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TermDefinition
biosphere the global sum of all ecosystems.
cryosphere the frozen water part of the earth system
geosphere any of the almost spherical concentric regions of matter that makeup the earth and its atmosphere
magnetic field the magnetic effect of electric currents and magnetic materials
nuclear fission the main process generating nuclear energy
radiant energy the energy of electromagnetic waves
angular momentum the rotational analog of linear momentum
barycenter the center of mass of two or more bodies that are orbiting each other.
conservation of momentum a conservation law stating that the total linear momentum of a closed system remains constant through time.
eccentricity measure of how an orbit has an eccentricity of zero.
ellipse a curve on a plane surrounding two focal points such that the sum of the distances to the two focal points is constant for every point on the curve
escape velocity the lowest velocity that a body must have in order to escape the gravitational attraction of a particular planet or other object.
nutation a periodic variation in the precession of the earth's axis
Kepler's laws of motion three laws devised by Kepler to define the mechanics of planetary motion.
precession a change in the orientation of the rotational axis of a rotating body.
synchronous rotation the result of tidal forces that over time slow the rotation of the smaller body until it is synchronized with its period of revolution around the larger body.
universal law of gravitation that any two bodies in the universe attract each other with a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.
Brahe designed and built instruments. invented the angle measuring device
Copernicus convinced that earth is a planet just like the other five known at the time.
Kepler discovered that the orbit of mars around the sun is not a perfect circle.
Galileo used telescope to view the universe. discovered four moons orbiting Jupiter, planets are circular disks, Venus phases, moon's surface and sunspots.
Created by: sydcop