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Astronomy Part 2

TermDefinition
Photosphere The luminous envelope of a star from which its light and heat radiate
Chromosphere A reddish gaseous layer immediately above the photosphere of the sun or another star.
Corona The rarefied gaseous envelope of the sun and other stars.
Solar Wind The continuous flow of charged particles from the sun that permeates the solar system.
Sunspot A spot or patch appearing from time to time on the sun's surface, appearing dark by contrast with its surroundings.
Prominence An eruption of a flamelike tongue of relatively cool, high-density gas from the solar chromosphere into the corona where it can be seen during a solar eclipse or by observing strong spectral lines in its emission spectrum.
Solar Flare A brief eruption of intense high-energy radiation from the sun's surface, associated with sunspots and causing electromagnetic disturbances on the earth, as with radio frequency communications and power line transmissions.
Nuclear Fusion An atomic reaction that fuels stars.
Binary Star A system of two stars in which one star revolves around the other or both revolve around a common center.
Light-Year A unit of astronomical distance equivalent to the distance that light travels in one year, which is 9.4607 × 1012 km (nearly 6 trillion miles).
Apparent magnitude The magnitude of a celestial object as it is actually measured from the earth.
Absolute magnitude The magnitude (brightness) of a celestial object as it would be seen at a standard distance of 10 parsecs.
Main-sequence star Any star that is fusing hydrogen in its core and has a stable balance of outward pressure from core nuclear fusion and gravitational forces pushing inward.
Red Giant A very large star of high luminosity and low surface temperature.
Supergiant A very large star that is even brighter than a giant, often despite being relatively cool.
Nova A star showing a sudden large increase in brightness and then slowly returning to its original state over a few months.
Hertzsprung-Russel diagram The graph showing the absolute magnitude plotted against the surface temperature for a group of stars.
Protostar A contracting mass of gas that represents an early stage in the formation of a star, before nucleosynthesis has begun.
Supernova A star that suddenly increases greatly in brightness because of a catastrophic explosion that ejects most of its mass.
White dwarf A small very dense star that is typically the size of a planet.
Neutron Star A celestial object of very small radius (typically 18 miles/30 km) and very high density, composed predominantly of closely packed neutrons
Black Hole A region of space having a gravitational field so intense that no matter or radiation can escape.
Galaxy A system of millions or billions of stars, together with gas and dust, held together by gravitational attraction.
Big Bang Theory The prevailing cosmological model for the universe from the earliest known periods through its subsequent large-scale evolution.
Created by: madisonbarden