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Unit 2 Part 1

Vocabulary for Astronomy

Astronomy The scientific study of the universe; It includes the observation and interpretation of celestial bodies and phenomena.
Geocentric Describes the concept of an Earth centered universe.
Heliocentric Describes the view that the sun is at the center of the Solar System.
Retrograde motion The apparent westward motion of the planets with respect to teh stars.
Ellipse An oval.
Astronomical Unit (AU) Average distance from Earth to the sun; 1.5 x 10^8, or 150 million kilometers.
Rotation The spinning of a body, such as Earth, about its axis.
Revolution The motion of one body moving around another, as Earth around the Sun.
Precission A slow of Earth's axis that traces out a cone over a periodof 26,000 years.
Perihilion The point in the orbit of a planet where it is closest to the Sun.
Aphelion The place in the orbit of a planet where the planet is the farthest from the sun.
Perigree The point at which the moon is closest to Earth.
Apogee The point where the moon is farthest from the Earth.
Phases of the Moon The progression of changes in the moon's appearence during the month.
Solar eclipse An eclipse of the Sun; A solar eclipse occurs when the moon moves in a line directly between the Earth and the Sun.
Lunar eclipse An eclipse of the moon; A lunar aclipse occurs when the moon passes through Earth's shadow.
Crater The depression at the summit of a volcano or that which is produced by a meteorite impact.
Terrestrial planet Any of the Earth - like planets, including Mercury, Venus, Mars, Earth.
Jovaian planet The Jupiter - like planets: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune; These planets have relatively low densities and are huge gas giants.
Nebula A cloud of gas and/or dust in space
Planetesimal small, irregularly shaped body formed by colliding matter
Asteroid A small, rocky body, which can range in size from a few hundred kilometers to less than a kilometer; The asteroids' orbits lie mainly between those of Mars and Jupiter.
Comet A small body made of rocky and metallic pieces held together by frozen gases; Comets generally revolve about the sun in an elongated orbit.
Coma The fuzzy, gaseous component of a comet's head.
Meteoroid A small, solid particle that travels through space.
Meteaor The luminous phenomenon obsreved when a meteoroid enters Earth's atmophere and burns up, popularly called a shooting star.
Meteorite Any portion of a meteoroid that reaches Earth's surface.
Electromagnetic Spectrum The arrangement of elctromagnetic radiation according to wavelength.
Photon A small packet of light energy.
Spectroscopy The study of the properties of light that depend on wavelength.
Doppler Effect The apparent change in frequency of electrtomagnetic or sound waves caused by the relative motions of the observer.
Refracting Telescope A telescope that uses a lens to bend and concentrate the light from distant objects.
Reflecting Telescope A telescope that concentrate light from distant objects by using a concave mirror.
Radio Telescope A telescope designed to make observations in radio wavelenghts.
Hubble Telescope A space telescope launched into space in 1990 and is there to this day.
Space Shuttle A space vehicle used to get from Earth and into Earth's obrit.
Created by: 3169304