of infrared radiation, and its interaction with material in the
result in astronomers focusing on certain research areas.
The cold dust and gas between stars emits primarily infrared radiation.
This material is a comparatively easy target for infrared astronomers,
and has become one of the main subjects of infrared astronomy.
In the cold interstellar medium (easily observed in the infrared)
new stars are born. Star formation in our Milky Way Galaxy is
one of the hot topics of infrared astronomy. The nearest star-forming
region in our galaxy is a cloud of gas and dust in the constellation
Orion. With a magnitude of 4.0, it can be easily seen during winter
by the naked eye. The University of Lethbridge's Dr. David
Naylor has been studying this unique region of the sky for
Infrared radiation can travel much greater distances than
visible light, opening a window to remote parts of the universe.
At the point visible light fades during its journey to us,
infrared light is still intact. In general, objects that
are distant appear very small and dim. In order for these
distant objects to be seen, they would have to be large
and bright. Individual stars at these incredible distances
are too small and dim to be seen. However, galaxies typically
consist of millions of stars dispersed over a very large
area, emitting plenty of light. A favorite area for infrared
astronomers is the study of extremely remote and ancient
galaxies, with a goal of determining the origins of our