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Unit 2 Part 2

Part 2 Astromony Vocabulary

TermDefinition
Photosphere the region of the sun that radiates energy into space; visible surface of the sun.
Chromoshere the first layer of the solar atmopshere found directly above the photosphere.
Corona the outer weak layer of the solar atmosphere.
Solar Wind steams of protons and electrons ejected at high speed from the solar corona.
Sunspot a darkspot on the sun, which is cool by constrast to the surrounding photosphere.
Pronminence a concentration of gases above the solar surface that appears as a bright archlike structure.
Solar Flare a sudden and tremendous eruption in the solar chromosophere.
Aurora a bright display of ever-changing light caused by solar radiation interacting with the upper atmosphere in the region of the poles.
Nuclear fusion the way in which the sun produces energy; Nuclear fusion occurs when less massive nuclei, releasing tremendous amounts of energy.
Constellation an apparent group of stars originally named for mythical characters; The sky is presently divided into 88 constelations.
Binary star one of two stars revolving around a common center of mass under their mutual gravitational attraction.
Light-year The distance light travels in a year.
Apparent magnitude the brightness of a star when veiwed from Earth.
Absolute magnitude the apparent brightness of a star if it were viewed from a distance of 32.6 light-years; used to compare the true brightness of stars.
Main-sequence star a star that falls into the main sequence category on the H-R diagram; This category contains the majority of stars and runs diagonally from the upper left to the right on the H-R diagram.
Red giant a large, cool star of high luminosity; a star occupying the upper- right portion of the H-R diagram.
Supergiant a very large, very bright star.
Cepheid variable a star whose brigthness varies periodically because it expands and contrasts; a type of pulsating star
Nova a star that explosively increases in brightness
Nebulae muliple clouds of gas and/or dust in space.
Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram a plot of stars according to their absolute magnitudes and temperatures.
Protostar a collapsing cloud of gas and dust destined to become a star; a developing star not yet hot enough to engage in nuclear fusion
Supernova an exploding star that increases in brightness many thousands of times.
White dwarf a star that has exhausted most or all of its nuclear fuel and has collapsed to a very small size, belived to be near its final stage of evolution.
Neutron star a star of extreamly high density composed entirely of neutrons.
Pulsar a variable radio source of a small size that emits radio pulses in very regular periods.
Black hole a massive star that has collapsed to such a small volume that its gravity prevents the escape of everything, including light.
Galaxy a group of stars, dust, and gases held together by gravity.
Hubble's law a law that states that the galaxies are retreating from the Milky Way at a speed that is proportional to their distance.
Big Bang Theory the theory that proposes that the universe originated as a single mass, which subsequently exploded.
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