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IR Outdoors & Indoors

Go outside on a sunny day and observe what absorbs and what reflects near infrared.  Objects that absorb near infrared will be dark, objects that are highly reflective will appear bright red (sorry, your eyes still add color to what it is seeing). 

    Look at the natural world, such as clouds, blue sky, shadows, puddles, ponds, streams, grass, leaves, bark, and flowers. 
    Look at what is made by people, such as bricks, cement, shingles, windows, painted wood, etc.
    Take along a mirror and look at your clothing, hair, skin, sunglasses. Do any clothing patterns, such as stripes on shirts, disappear when looking through the goggles?

For those objects that may be touched, compare what is warm to whether it absorbed or reflected near IR. Or, take along a thermal infrared thermometer and measure the temperature of objects that are equally illuminated in the sun.

Note on Safety – do not look directly at the sun while wearing the goggles, nor should you do any activity that requires your full vision while wearing the goggles, such as driving, running, etc.  Use the goggles while standing or sitting in order to observe.

Go indoors and look at all of the light sources that are available.  What objects emit large amounts of near IR and what don’t?  Is this light needed for most visual uses, such as reading?

A landscape, sky, and people as seen in visible light.

Same scene while wearing the infrared goggles.