The Space Place :: Match the Faces

Match LIGHT faces with HEAT faces!

National Science Teacher's Association web pick

The pictures in the top row were taken with an infrared camera. The pictures on the second row were taken with a regular camera. An infrared camera sees heat, rather than light. Can you match up the face in the infrared image with the same face in visible light?

If you match all the images, this web page will automatically reload, mixing up the infrared images so you may play again. If you match incorrectly, you will be allowed to change your answers.

The infrared pictures (normally in shades of gray) have been colored so that the warmer and cooler parts of the faces would show up better.

Color legend for infrared pictures

A
Quiet thinker
B
Ice cream lover
C
Track runner
D
Cocoa drinker

Infrared waves are just like visible light, except longer . . . too long for our eyes to see.

Our eyes see light waves that are not too short, not too long, but just right within a tiny range of sizes.

LightbulbVisible and Infrared Radiation

Infrared waves are too long for our eyes to see, but warm objects are sending them out all the time. So we see light from a lightbulb, but we don't see the heat from the lightbulb.

As you can see, things "look" very different in infrared. All we need is a special infrared-detecting instrument. See the sidebar for just the thing!

Lake Tahoe

This picture of Lake Tahoe (on the California/Nevada border) was taken from an aircraft. But the colorful part of the lake is an infrared image that has been color-enhanced. Purple and blue show the coldest parts of the lake, while yellow and red are the warmest.

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