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Facts About Light: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Rodney Davis

Rodney has 9 years of elementary teaching experience and a Master of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education.

In this lesson, you'll learn several interesting facts about light. You'll discover the characteristics of light and key definitions associated with light.

What is Light?

Have you ever wondered why the sky is blue and the sunset appears to be red sometimes? Or maybe you noticed that sometimes the moon appears to be red or the sunset is orange. The sun is responsible for all these things.

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The sun produces light. Light is the natural energy produced to make things able to be seen. Let's learn more about light and what it is.

Facts About Light

Light is made of electromagnetic radiation and always follows a straight path. Visible light is the type of light that humans can see, but there are also other types of light that we can't see, such as ultraviolet and infrared light. Our human eyes are not able to see these types of light because the frequency, or the speed, the light moves at is undetected by human eyes. Interestingly though, some insects are able to see infrared light.

Light travels very fast! So fast that people will never be able to move as fast as light. Some scientists believe that if humans were able to travel as fast as light can, you could travel through time! Imagine being able to go to the past to see dinosaurs or even going to the future!

So how fast is light? Well, light travels at a speed of almost 300,000 kilometers per second, which is about 186,000 miles per second. The light we see from the sun, called sunlight, takes about 8 minutes to travel from the sun to the Earth. While light is very fast, some stars are so far away that by the time you see them shining in the night sky, they might already have died.

stars in the sky

Colors

If you look around you, you see many different colors. These colors come from light waves. Light moves on different wavelengths, and this produces the different colors. For example, we see a red apple because an apple reflects the color red wavelength and absorbs the rest.

colors in a wavelength

There are three primary colors of light: red, yellow, and blue. Other colors are made when you mix these colors together in some form. The secondary colors are orange, purple, and green. When all of the colors are combined white is created.

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