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Light the Way
illustration of a space cop holding sign that says Universal Speed Limit 300 km/sec and 186,000 mi/sec

What's the fastest thing in the universe ? If you said light, you're right! It takes us about 6 hours to fly from New York to California. Light can go there — and back — in 1/30 of a second! 

There's more to light than meets the eye!

It is a special kind of energy, called electromagnetic radiation, and it travels in waves.

diagram showing wavelengths for gamma rays, x-rays, ultraviolet tradition, infrared radiation, microwaves, and radio waves

 

Visible light waves come in different sizes: short ones look blue and long ones look red. All other electromagnetic radiation is invisible to our eyes — like the very long waves that can carry signals to radios.

Whatever the size, you won't find anything that goes faster than light. Why not? That's a light mystery that's kept scientists in the dark — so far.

Image Credits:

Photos: Michael Shara: courtesy of Denis Finnin, AMNH; Illustrations: Equation Invasion: Tony Persiani; Everyday Einstein: Daryll Collins; Light the Way: Space cop: Daniel Guidera; Electromagnetic Spectrum: Eric Hamilton