How are X-Ray images Shown?

Are You Curious About How X-Ray Images Are Shown? 

When a doctor needs to see the inside of your body, they use an x-ray exam to take pictures of what is inside of you. X-ray images are usually used to look at the condition of your teeth and bones 🦴. 

Solid things like your bones will show up white while squishy materials like your muscles will look gray.  The air in your lungs will look black. X-ray can be dangerous to a certain level, but you want to find out how X-rays look like (in a safe way), fret not! We are here to help you. 

What you need

  • Black construction paper
  • Tape
  • Clear box 
  • light source (torch light or handphone flash light)
  • Vellum paper/Carbon paper
  • X-ray printables (click to download)

Light box with torch light, and dinosaur bones 


Step by Step

  1. Cover the box with black construction paper. Leave the lid uncovered.
  2. Place the torch light inside the box and close it. This is your light box. You can also cut a hole on the surface of the box and cover it with transparency film after you have placed the torch light in the box. 
  3. Print out the x-ray images on the carbon paper. 
  4. Bring your light box to a dark room and put the x-ray image on top of the light box. Watch the magic happen! Option: You can simply hold the printed x-ray image against the window to see how your x-ray image turns out.

Printed X-ray on carbon paper


What do you observe?

Dense body parts, such as bones, block the passage of the X-ray beam through the body. These look white on the X-ray image. Softer body tissues, such as the skin and muscles, allow the X-ray beams to pass through them. They look darker on the image. Now that you have learnt about how x-ray imaging works, you can try to make your own!

Explore more activities and learn about your body and the work of doctors from the What Doctors Do box and the Inside Your Body box.