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AstronomyVocabulary-SolarSystem&Beyond-Part I

astronomer a scientist who studies space & the objects that exist in space.
constellation a pattern of stars, usually named after ancient folk heroes, gods or animals.
axis an imaginary rod that stretches through a planet.
rotation a planet spinning on its axis; an object spinning in isolation.
revolution an object spinning around another object.
star a huge globe of hot gases that shines by its own light.
planet a large object that circles a star & doesn't produce its own light; any of the 9 large bodies that revolve around the Sun.
hemisphere describing one half of Earth. Northern/Southern or Eastern/Western.
horizon the line in the distance where the land appears to meet the sky.
zenith the highest point in the sky; the point directly up in the sky (not north).
Copernicus an early astronomer who first proposed the idea that Earth travels around the Sun.
Galileo an early astronomer who first used a telescope to study the night sky. He discovered that the moon did not shine by its own light & that the surface of the moon was covered with craters, mountains & valleys.
telescope an instrument used for viewing distant objects
refracting telescope a telescope in which light from an object is gathered & focused by a lens.
reflecting telescope a telescope in which light from an object is gathered & focused by a mirror.
lens a curved piece of glass or other material like glass, that brings light rays closer together or farther apart so that things are shown to be clearer, larger or closer.
convex shaped in an outward curve.
concave rounded inward, like the inside of a bowl.
focal point the point at which the lenses of a refracting telescope bring an image to focus.
eyepiece lens the lens at the eye of a telescope.
objective lens the lens at the far end of a telescope.
mirror a material that can reflect light and images.
geocentric the theory that Earth is the center of our solar system & it stated that the sun revolves around Earth.
heliocentric the correct theory that the sun is the center of our solar system-Earth revolves around the sun.
orbit a path of one object in space traveling around another object.
gravity an invisible force that pulls a less massive object to a more massive object.
waxing growing larger.
waning growing smaller.
crescent the thin, curved shape of the moon when it's at its smallest.
gibbous the moon phase when approximately 3/4 of the surface is reflecting the sun's light.
New Moon the point at which the moon is not reflecting any light that can be seen by the observer.
Full moon the point at which one entire surface of the moon in visible because it is reflecting the maximum amount of light
lunar eclipse an eclipse of the moon when the moon passes into the shadow of earth. it is not illuminated by the sun's light and can't be seen
solar eclipse an eclipse of the sun when the moon passes directly between our space on earth and the sun which blocks the sun for a few minutes
meteoroid ball like pieces of rock and other debris in space
meteorite small pieces of rock and other debris that has fallen from space and collided with earth's surface
meteor ball- like pieces of rock and other debris that have begun breaking up and have entered earth's atmosphere
crater a bowl shaped depression caused when a meteorite or other
satellite an object that orbits Earth, the Moon or any other object in space
Blue Moon the rare occurrence of two full moons in one month
Big Bang Theory the theory that the universe was created by a huge explosion.
elliptical oval in shape.
solar system the sun and everything that revolves around the sun.
universe all the galaxies and the space around them; everything in space.
galaxy a system that is made up of billions of stars,star clusters,and glowing clouds of dust and gas
nebula a cloud of dust and gas within a galaxy
accretion the process where bits of dust and matter are pulled together by gravity to form moons or planets.
spiral a curve that widens as it winds away from a center point.
trajectory the curve that a body in space takes in orbit.
terrestrial planets planets that have a rocky surface.
gaseous planets planets that have solid cores, but are covered by an atmosphere of gases; Gas Giants.
Created by: coached4417