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Astronomy

QuestionAnswer
NASA stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASA initiative to land a man on the moon, inaugurated in 1961 and comprised of 17 missions; from 1967-1972 Apollo program
First manned landing on the moon's surface Apollo 11
Number of lunar landings by the US 6
Number of men who have walked on the moon 12
Final Apollo flight; occurred in December 1972 Apollo 17
layer of gases surrounding a planet or any body of sufficient mass, including a star; the layer's shape is maintained by gravity atmosphere
central part of a planet or star core
a large planet that consists primarily of gases instead of rock. gas giants
number of gas giants in the solar system 4 Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
process through which heat radiated from a planet's surface is absorbed and then radiated outward in all directions, even downward. Surface temperatures beneath the atmospheric gases are raised greenhouse effect
Earth has this effect but Venus has a much more extreme version of this effect greenhouse effect
An orbit of the Earth at an altitude of 90-620 miles. All manned space flights, except Apollo, and most artificial satellites are in this region Low Earth Orbit
On Earth, a layer around 1800 miles thick, between the outer part of the planet's core and the surface (crust) mantle
Areas of basaltic lava on the Moon's surface. Early astronomers wrongly identified these as areas of water. 16% of the Moon's surface. Dark patterns that make up "the Man in the Moon" Mare (Latin for sea)
Colloquially known as a shooting star. The name given to a streak of light caused by rock or dust burning up as it falls through a planet's atmosphere meteor
the appearance of several meteors in short succession meteor shower
A meteoroid that has landed on the surface of a moon or planet meteorite
a rocky body, smaller than an asteroid, in our Solar System meteoroid
aka a natural a satellite, an astronomical body that orbits a planet or smaller body, known as its primary. moon
largest moon in the Solar System Ganymede (Jupiter)
second largest moon in the Solar System Titan (Saturn)
the release of gas that was absorbed, frozen, or otherwise trapped in a surface. for example, in an ocean or area of rock on the surface of a planet outgassing
the embryos or initial formations of planets, formed in a protoplanetary disk (cloud of dust & gas surrounding a new star) They form from the collision of smaller planetestimals protoplanet
Where are several ____________ in orbit around a star, they collide to form one or more planets protoplanets
any loose mixture, such as soil or pieces of stone, that cover solid rock. Found on the Earth, the Moon, and on other planets, moons, and asteroids regolith (Greek for blanket and rock)
AKA a planetary ring, a disk-shaped formation of dust and particles orbiting a planet. Most celebrated is Saturn's, though Jupiter, Neptune and Uranus have this ring system
lacking in density. Used of a planet's atmosphere tenuous
the mean distance between the Earth and the Sun, roughly 93 million miles. astronomical unit (AU)
very thin cloud of gas and dust surrounding the heart or nucleus of a comet. coma
The heart of a comet is a ball of ice and rock particles called an ___ ____________ or dirty snowball icy conglomerate
The heart of a comet is a ball of ice and rock particles called an icy conglomerate or _______ __________ dirty snowball
As the comet nears the inner Solar System and is more strongly heated by the Sun, some of the dust & ice is vaporized, creating the _____ coma
In the Sun, an area between the radiation zone (nearer the core) and the solar photosphere, through which energy passed by convection convective zone
Hotter material rises from the bottom, carrying energy, then sinks again after cooling; the cooling material heats up again as it sinks and then rises once more in a rolling process convection (convective zone of the Sun)
A short-period comet named after this English astronomer Halley's Comet (officially known as 1P/Halley; named for Edmond Halley)
He correctly calculated in 1705 that the comets seen in 1531, 1607, and 1682 were one returning comet Edmond Halley
The brightest short-period comet visible to the naked eye and is visible every 75-76 years. Known since at least 240 BC Halley's Comet
It was seen during the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 and was represented in the Bayeux Tapestry that recorded the conquest. Halley's Comet
Last seen in 1986, it will appear again in 2061 Halley's Comet
Doughnut-shaped region in the outer Solar System, billions of miles from our Sun, containing small bodies and dwarf planets, including Pluto. Kuiper Belt (30-55 AU from the Sun)
Because their orbit lies beyond that of Neptune, these small bodies and dwarf planets are often called ______ _____________ __________ trans-Neptunian objects
The combination of two atomic nuclei to form a heavier nucleus, accompanied by the release of energy. This powers the Sun and other active stars Nuclear Fusion
Spherical cloud in the outer Solar System, beyond the Kuiper Belt, that could contain up to 2 million frozen bodies. The farther reaches of this area mark the limit of the Sun's gravitational attraction. The boundary of the Solar System Oort Cloud
Astronomers believe that most comets originate in the _____ _______ Oort Cloud
The Meteor shower occurring annually from July 23 - August 20, so called because the area from which the meteors appear to fall lies in the constellation, Perseus Perseids
The dust and debris of the Perseids meteor shower come from the comet _____ ______ Swift-Tuffle
The Perseids are mostly visible in the _______________ ____________ northern hemisphere
rotating disk of gas and dust surrounding a newly formed star in a developing star system. Planets form from the gas and grains of dust protoplanetary disk
comet with an orbital period around the Sun of less than 200 years short-period comet
The outer atmosphere of the Sun, not normally visible because it is one million times less bright than the visible solar protosphere solar corona
It can be seen during a total solar eclipse, when the brightness of the solar disk is blocked by the Moon, or using a coronagraph instrument, which blocks the light coming from the solar disk in order to enable study of the solar atmosphere solar corona
the visible outer layer of the Sun, only around 60 miles thick. Sunspots, faculae (bright areas), and granules (cellular features) are visible on this layer protosphere
a vast ball of gas of great mass (held together by gravity) that generates heat and light through nuclear fusion reactors at its' core star
dark spots on the solar photosphere that result when magnetic activity limits convection, creating areas where the very high temperature is partly reduced sunspots
His paradigm-shifting heliocentric theory stated the Sun, not the Earth, was at the center of the universe Nicolaus Copernicus
the starting point of space & time in an explosion from a single, extremely hot and extremely dense point Big Bang
According to various competing theories, the Universe began with the ____ _____ Big Bang
AKA the Big Freeze. One projected end for the expanding universe. Galaxies will drift away, stars will burn out, galaxies will become exhausted and the Universe will become large, dark and cold Big Chill
The Universe will expand until it reaches a critical point, then begin to contract, becoming more dense and hotter and finally reaching an infinitely dense, hot point Big Crunch
Matter will be torn apart by the dark energy that pushes the expansion of the universe Big Rip
a diffuse field of radiation-the first light released in the aftermath of the Big Bang that spread out through the expanding universe Cosmic Microwave Background
Discovered in 1964; it established the primacy of the Big Bang over other theories of the origin and state of the Universe Cosmic Microwave Background
the study of the birth, size, shape, growth and projected end of the Universe cosmology
energy that fuels the expansion of the universe dark energy
unseen matter whose gravitational effects are detected on visible matter, galaxies, and large-scale structures in the Universe dark matter
the 4 basic forces effective in the Universe: gravitational force, electromagnetic force, strong nuclear force, weak nuclear force fundamental forces
the rate of expansion of the Universe Hubble Constant
Extremely powerful explosion, releasing substantially more energy than a supernova-that gives issue to gamma ray bursts of long duration hypernova
intensely short, very fast expansion that occurred in the aftermath of the Big Bang. Followed by a period of relatively gradual expansion inflation
Thought to have occurred for just an infinitesimally small fraction of a second, between 10^-38 and 10^-36 seconds after the Big Bang inflation
the distance that light travels in one year: 5.9 trillion miles (9.5 trillion km) light-year
a theory suggesting that the effects of the gravity may be longer lasting and stronger than generally thought MOND: Modified Newtonian dynamics,
These effects rather than dark matter hold together galaxies and other clusters that would otherwise fall apart MOND: Modified Newtonian dynamics,
quasi-stellar radio sources. quasars
astronomers first thought these were radio stars, but then discovered that the radio waves were emitted by a galaxy with a bright nucleus consisting of a supermassive black hole quasars
stars that emit radio waves, such as pulsars radio stars
New matter is continuously created in a constantly expanding Universe, forming new stars and galaxies, while old galaxies and stars become unobservable as the Universe expands steady-state theory
This theory first proposed by James Jeans and then developed by Fred Hoyle is a rival theory to the Big Bang steady-state theory
The Universe has a constant average density and no end or beginning in time. This theory has been discredited steady-state theory
Eclipsing binary star in the constellation Perseus. Once ever 69 hours, one star eclipses the other for about 10 hours. This means that its light appears to dip, noticeably enough to be seen by the naked eye Algol
In many cultures, the star is associated with evil. Hebrew tradition calls the star Satan's Head and the ancient Greeks saw it as the winking eye of a Gorgon held by the hero Perseus Algol (Arabic for the demon)
Region in which matter has been highly compressed and as a result gravity acts with such force that everything in the area, even light, is drawn powerfully in. They come into existence when a massive star is dying black hole
the most massive and hottest type of star; it gives off bright blue light, often seen in regions of spiral galaxies where stars are being born blue giant star
3800 light years distant in the constellation Scorpius. A planetary nebula given its descriptive name because its vast gas clouds resemble the wings of this creature Butterfly Nebula (aka NGC 6302)
a cloud of dust or gas in interstellar space nebula
flash of high-frequency electromagnetic radiation, typically released during a supernova gamma ray burst
one with a significantly larger luminosity and radius than a main sequence star giant star
typically as much as 1000 times luminous as our Sun and 10-100 times ours Sun's radius giant star
Even larger, more massive and more luminous stars are labeled supergiants and hypergiants
those on the main sequence of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram of color and brightness main sequence stars
Red giant star 200-400 light years away in the constellation Cetus. An example of a pulsating variable star. Its brightness varies on a regular cycle 332 days in length Mira (aka Omicron Ceti)
extremely dense start created from exhausted nuclear fuel following the final explosion (supernova) of a massive star at the end of its life neutron star
explosion in a white dwarf star caused when the star takes on matter from a twin in a binary star system and reignites, leading to runaway nuclear fusion on the surface of the white dwarf nova explosion
less powerful and bright than a supernova. name comes from Latin for 'new' because previous invisible white dwarf stars reappear when a nova occurs and may be taken for a new star nova explosion
a cloud of gas expelled into space by a giant red star. term derived from William Herschel planetary nebula
Herschel thought the clouds he viewed were similar to gas giant Uranus, although these nebulae form around dying stars and have no connection to planets planetary nebula
a cooler star, of lower mass compare to a giant blue star red giant star
A planetary nebula in the constellation of Lyra. It consists of a cloud of ionized gas expelled into space by a red giant star Ring Nebula (aka Messier 57)
explosion at the end of a star's life, when the core of a massive star collapses to form a black hole or a neutron star supernova
Type 1A occurs when a white dwarf star takes in material from a companion in a binary star system, until passing a critical mass (1.4 times our Sun), it explodes supernova
structure created by a supernova explosion, containing the material of the star that exploded and any interstellar material swept along with it supernova remnant
highly dense remnant of a star, created after a red giant star swells and gives issue to a vast nebula, exposing the star's core-which cools and grows dim white dwarf star
These stars vary in brightness in different ways and for many reasons variable stars
stars often form in pairs binary stars
The surface brightness and color of stars is plotted on the ________________ __________ diagram-the key to how stars live and die Hertzsprung-Russell
Formed in supernova explosions, ___________ are neutron stars that reveal their presence as pulsating radio stars pulsars
The nearest galaxy to our own. A spiral galaxy 2.5 million light-years away in the Andromeda constellation and contains one trillion stars Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy which we live in Milky Way Galaxy
Type of star that varies between a compressed and an expanded state. Cepheid variable
The stars (which have a mass of between 5 & 20 times that of our Sun) expand when pressure builds up, then contract because pressure is lower in the star's expanded state. Cepheid variable
These stars are used by astronomers to establish extragalactic distances Cepheid variable
An icy body with a coma (temporary atmosphere) and a tail in orbit around the Sun that becomes visible when sufficiently close to the Sun comet
The tail points away from the Sun, while the curved coma follows its' path comet
higher density clouds in the interstellar medium, in which stars are formed diffuse star formation nebulae
galaxy in the form of an ellipsoid. One of 3 galaxy types identified in 1936 by Edwin Hubble along with lenticular and spiral galaxies elliptical galaxy
a system bound together by gravity, containing stars, clouds of dusts, gas in the interstellar medium, and dark matter galaxy
group of stars tightly bound in a spherical shape by gravity, that orbits the core of a galaxy. 150-160 of these in the Milky Way, containing some of the oldest stars in the galaxy globular cluster
the matter that fills the space between the star systems within a galaxy. Consists of gas and dust; from these materials, new stars are formed interstellar medium (ISM)
type of disk galaxy with a central group of stars (called a bulge) similar to a spiral galaxy, but lacking the spiral arms lenticular galaxy
Created by: Mr_Morman