Can you see snakes with thermal imaging?

Can you see snakes with thermal imaging?

Snakes are cold-blooded for a reason—they barely show up in thermal imaging! (That’s a human arm that’s you’re seeing in yellow.)

While there are thousands of different kinds of snakes, they all share the trait of using external heat sources to regulate internal temperature.

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Can you see snakes with thermal imaging?

Most  thermal imaging exists in a spectrum between being cool and slow-moving or warm and active and have evolved to efficiently retain any heat they pick up from their environment

Can thermal scopes see through walls?

Popular media has been responsible for a wealth of misinformation throughout the years about thermal—or infrared—imaging.

What exactly can thermal cameras “see” through? To answer that, here’s a rundown of the most commonly asked questions we receive about what you can and can’t see through using a thermal camera.

(Knowledgeable individuals might point out that thermal cameras don’t “see” anything: they detect heat and then assign colors based on the range of temperatures detected by the sensor. However, we’ll use it as a shorthand in this article.)

Thermal cameras cannot see through walls, at least not like in the movies. Walls are generally thick enough—and insulated enough—to block any infrared radiation from the other side.

If you point a thermal camera at a wall, it will detect heat from the wall, not what’s behind it. However, if something inside the wall causes enough of a temperature difference, a thermal imager will be able to sense it on the surface of the wall.

Building maintenance professionals often use thermal imagers to detect issues like water leaks or missing insulation without needing to tear down walls to assess the problem.

Studs inside the wall (vertical lines) are colder than the insulation, causing a temperature difference on the surface of the wall.

Can thermal imaging see through smoke?

Yes, thermal cameras can detect heat through smoke, and are widely used by firefighters for this purpose.

Soot particles in smoke effectively block visible light, but allow infrared radiation to pass through, letting firefighters or other first responders navigate through smoke-filled environment


The person in the doorway is concealed by smoke in the visible light spectrum, but easily detected by thermal imaging.

Can thermal imaging see through fog?


Fog and rain have the potential to severely limit the range of a thermal camera due to the scattering of radiation off water droplets.

However, in many circumstances, thermal cameras can penetrate fog much more successfully than visible light cameras or the human eye.

This is one reason why car manufacturers are incorporating thermal imagers into the sensor suites of autonomous vehicles.

Under certain circumstances, thermal imaging can detect objects through fog much more clearly than visible light detectors.

Can thermal imaging see through glass?

Fun fact: glass acts as a mirror for infrared radiation. If you point a thermal imager at a window, you won’t see anything on the other side of the glass, but you will get a nice reflection of yourself in thermal.

This is because glass is a highly reflective material, meaning it shows the reflected temperatures of objects rather than letting infrared radiation be transmitted through. The same principle applies to other reflective materials, like polished metal.

Can thermal imaging see through trees?

A thermal camera can’t detect objects through the trunk of a tree, but thermal can help with spotting people or animals in forested areas.

Search and rescue teams often employ thermal imaging to spot heat signatures when searching through large tracts of wilderness.

Thermal imaging cannot see through trees (or wood), but it can be helpful for spotting people in forested areas where their heat signatures stand out much more than a visible image might.

Can thermal imaging see through plastic?

A fun party trick to perform with a thermal camera is to hold up a thin, opaque sheet of plastic (like a garbage bag) in front of a warm object or person.

Infrared radiation will pass through the plastic, allowing the thermal camera to detect whatever is behind it, while visible light will be blocked.

However, this trick only works with very thin plastic—thicker plastics will block infrared radiation.

Is 12 microns better than 17 microns?

12 μm is stronger than 17 μm, there’s no doubt about it. There are some advantages with a 12μm detector for thermal monocular comparing to 17μm .

We did some tests with monocular with 12 μm detector plus a 25mm lens and the other one17μm detector plus a 35mm lens, the result was amazing.

Their observed distance is the same! And when they both use the 25mm lens, the observed distance of 17um detector is over 30% more than the 17 μm detector.

Can you see snakes with thermal imaging?
Can you see snakes with thermal imaging?

The material used for the 12 μm detector is VOx which has significant advantages over a-Si. NETD is less than 40mK, 14-bit digital output is supported.

High sensitivity and ease to use, keeps the primary competitive advantages of IRay products. Currently, IRay 12 micron 1280×1024, 640×512, 384×288, and 256×192 full range detectors have been in mass production.

The following is a specific description of the 12-micron detectors.

Resolution 1280×1024,12 μm


  1. Super large FPA ,XGA high resolution detector;
  2. Frame rate up to 60Hz ;
  3. Typical power consumption is less than 350mW;
  4. NETD < 40mK (@f/1.0, 30Hz, 300K);
  5. 14-bit digital output.
  6. Supporting detector Evaluation Kit (can be customized)

Resolution 640×512/384×288



  1. Available with ceramic or wafer level (WLP) packages;
  2. 14-bit digital output;
  3. Frame rate up to 60Hz
  4. Under typical working conditions, the power consumption of 640 and 384 array products is less than 150mW and 100mW respectively;
  5. NETD≤40mK (@f/1.0, 50Hz, 300K);
  6. Support for TEC-less and shutter-less applications.
  7. Supporting detector Evaluation Kit (can be customized



  1. 14-bit digital output;
  2. Wafer level packaging (WLP);
  3. Provide a standard I2C interface;
  4. Support 5V/1.8V standard voltage and support MCU-based application solutions;
  5. Under typical operating conditions, the power consumption is less than 60mW.
  6. Supporting detector Evaluation Kit (can be customized)

What is UM in thermal?

UN is called a micron. Most thermal optics are 12 to 17 microns, with the lower the number being the best quality.

What does Micron mean in thermal imaging?

Microns is represented as µm, are a length of measurement equal to one millionth of a meter.