The aural thermometers parents and pediatricians use to take the temperatures of their squirmy little ones are based on technology that the space shuttle uses to measure the temperature of distant stars and planets. The infrared sensors on the space shuttle get the temperature of a star by measuring the amount of infrared energy it emits. Aural thermometers function in a similar manner: They measure the amount of infrared energy that the eardrum emits. Veterinarians use aural thermometers on dogs and cats.
Republished with permission from CIO (view original version)