Is there a wavelength of light at which you could see air moving? I was thinking it would be amazing to put on a pair of goggles which enables you to see how air moves around across a landscape, while you stand at the top of a hill - without clouds or fog to give it away.

Maybe radar or lidar can do that? Or an extremely sensitive IR optical sensor, which picks up minute differences in temperature / pressure?

Even more amazingly, could one see areas where air pressure is at a specific value? Something like putting goggles on, and tuning them to a specific parameter value, then the air on some area on the landscape becomes opaque (therefore visible) to you, and everything else remains transparent (invisible)?

  • $\begingroup$ Maybe if there was a way of "seeing" a three dimensional image. We see in 2D, so seeing wind would be like seeing a cloud. $\endgroup$ – Vladimir Vargas Apr 8 '17 at 16:16
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    $\begingroup$ Not exact what you are asking but amazing too: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schlieren_photography $\endgroup$ – HolgerFiedler Apr 8 '17 at 19:08
  • $\begingroup$ @HolgerFiedler This would be exactly what I was thinking about! Please post it as an answer so I can accept it. Thank you! $\endgroup$ – CamilB Apr 11 '17 at 18:47
  • $\begingroup$ @Camil B Solutions of Navier Stokes Equation $\endgroup$ – Narasimham Apr 11 '17 at 22:48

From Wikipedia about Schlieren photography: Schlieren photography is a visual process that is used to photograph the flow of fluids of varying density. Invented by the German physicist August Toepler in 1864 to study supersonic motion, it is widely used in aeronautical engineering to photograph the flow of air around objects.


"The two remote sensing (RS) techniques used to date in wind energy applications are LIDAR (LIght Detection And Ranging, or ‘laser radar’) and SODAR (SOund Detection And Ranging, or ‘acoustic radar’). Both techniques employ the Doppler effect to detect the movement of air in the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) and infer wind speed and direction: In the case of LIDAR, electromagnetic radiation is reflected off particles, whereas with SODAR a pulse of sound is reflected off the varying temperature structure in the atmosphere. (www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/3/9/1871/pdf , Remote Sens. 2011, 3, 1871-1901; doi:10.3390/rs3091871 )


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