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Vocab 1

Astronomy Vocab

TermDefinition
Astronomy Science that deals with celestial objects, space, and the physicla universe.
Geocentric Having or representing the earth as the center, as in former astronomical systems.
Heliocentric Having or representing the sun as the center, as in the accepted astronomical model of the solar system.
Retrograde motion A planet moving in the opposite direction of the other plants in its solar system.
Ellipse A regular oval shape, traced by a point moving in a plane so that the sum of its distances from two other points (the foci) is constant, or resulting when a cone is cut by an oblique plane that does not intersect the base.
Astronomical unit (AU) a unit of measurement equal to 149.6 million kilometers, the mean distance from the center of the earth to the center of the sun
Rotation the action of rotating around an axis or center
Revolution an instance of revolving.
Precession the slow movement of the axis of a spinning body around another axis due to a torque (such as gravitational influence) acting to change the direction of the first axis.
Perihelion the point in the orbit of a planet, asteroid, or comet at which it is closest to the sun.
Aphelion the point in the orbit of a planet, asteroid, or comet at which it is furthest from the sun.
Perigee the point in the orbit of the moon or a satellite at which it is nearest to the earth.
Apogee the point in the orbit of the moon or a satellite at which it is furthest from the earth.
Phases on the moon shape of th eilluminated part of the moon
Solar ecplipse an eclipse in which the sun is obscured by the moon.
lunar eclipse an eclipse in which the moon appears darkened as it passes into the earth's shadow.
Crater a large, bowl-shaped cavity in the ground or on the surface of a planet or the moon, typically one caused by an explosion or the impact of a meteorite or other celestial body
Terrestrial planet a planet made up of mostly solid rocks and metals
Jovian planet plantes mostly made up of gasses.
Nebula a cloud of gas and dust in outer space, visible in the night sky either as an indistinct bright patch or as a dark silhouette against other luminous matter.
Planetesimal a minute planet; a body that could or did come together with many others under gravitation to form a planet.
Asteriod a small rocky body orbiting the sun.
Comet a celestial object consisting of a nucleus of ice and dust and, when near the sun, a “tail” of gas and dust particles pointing away from the sun.
Coma a diffuse cloud of gas and dust surrounding the nucleus of a comet.
Meteoroid a small body moving in the solar system that would become a meteor if it entered the earth's atmosphere.
Meteor A meteor is the flash of light that we see in the night sky when a small chunk of interplanetary debris burns up as it passes through our atmosphere
Meteorite a meteor that survives its passage through the earth's atmosphere such that part of it strikes the ground
Electromagnetic spectrum the range of wavelengths or frequencies over which electromagnetic radiation extends.
Photon a particle representing a quantum of light or other electromagnetic radiation.
Spectroscopy the branch of science concerned with the investigation and measurement of spectra produced when matter interacts with or emits electromagnetic radiation.
Doppler effect an increase (or decrease) in the frequency of sound, light, or other waves as the source and observer move toward (or away from) each other
Refracting telescope a telescope that uses a converging lens to collect light
Reflecting telescope a telescope in which a mirror is used to collect and focus light
Radio telescope an instrument used to detect radio emissions from the sky, whether from natural celestial objects or from artificial satellites
Hubble telescope The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is a space-based telescope that was launched in 1990 by the space shuttle
Space shuttle a rocket-launched spacecraft, able to land like an unpowered aircraft, used to make repeated journeys between the earth and earth orbit
Created by: Alex Kidd