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Space

Space vocabulary

TermDefinition
gravity the pulling force between two objects
rotation the spinning motion of an objects on its axis
revolution the movement of an object around another object
solar system the sun, planets/dwarf planets and their moons, asteroids, comets, and meteors
galaxy group of billions of stars and their planets, gas, dust that extends over many thousands of light-years that is held together by gravity.
Milky Way the galaxy that contains our solar system
universe all the galaxies, matter, and energy
sun average size star, no solid surface, made of hydrogen and helium gases
nuclear fusion the process by which hydrogen atoms join together to form helium.
prominences loops of gases on the sun that link different sunspots
axis the imaginary lint that runs through the north and south poles
spring tides when the sun and moon are aligned, causing strong gravitational pull and very high and very low tides
neap tides when the sun and moon are not aligned, the gravitational forces cancel each other out, and the tides are neither very high or very low
comet a ball of ice and dust whose orbit around the sun is a long, narrow ellipse
asteroids rocky objects that revolve around the sun, but are too small to be considered planets
meteroids chunks of rock or dust in space
meteor a meteroid that is burning up in the Earth's mesosphere
meteororites meteoroids that pass through the atmosphere and hit Earth's surface
new moon sun lights the moon facing away from Earth. The side of the moon facing Earth is dark
waxing crescent the moon appears as a sliver or crescent of light
first quarter half the lighted side of the moon
waxing gibbous the lighted side of the moon with more than half of it lighted
full moon the whole moon is lit
waning gibbous the fraction of the lighted side of the moon decreases
last quarter half of the moon is lit
waning crescent there is less and less of the lighted side of the moon visible and then it appears again as a crescent
Created by: Susan_Johnson