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What is a Red Shift?

Red shift occurs when the source of radiation is moving AWAY from you. and refers to the shift in wavelength of the radiation. Blue shift occurs when the source is moving TOWARDS you. The radiation might be sound or light or any other electro-magnetic radiation. The classic example is a train whistle. When the train approaches, the whistle has a higher pitch than when the train is stationary, and a lower pitch when the train recedes. Astronomers use measurements of the red shift of stars and galaxies as a distance indicator. If you would like to know more about how that works, please ask in another question.


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