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Sci Vocab - Stars

Science Vocabulary - Stars

TermDefinition
Star A huge sphere of glowing plasma that generates energy by nuclear fission in its core
Nuclear Fission A process in which two atomic nuclei join to form a heavier nucleus and release large amounts of energy
Gravity The force that pulls all objects that have mass and energy toward one another.
Electromagnetic (EM) Spectrum The electromagnetic (EM) spectrum is the range of all types of EM radiation. Types of EM radiation that make up the electromagnetic spectrum are visible light, radio waves, microwaves, infrared light, ultraviolet light, X-rays and gamma-rays.
Magnitude The brightness of an object in space given as a number. Bright objects have low or negative numbers, dim objects have high numbers
Light Year The distance traveled by light in a vacuum in one year.
Binary Stars A system of two stars in which one star revolves around the other or both revolve around a common center.
Trinary Stars A stellar system that has three stars orbiting around each other; triple star.
Parallax The effect whereby the position or direction of an object appears to differ when viewed from different positions, e.g., through the viewfinder and the lens of a camera
Mass How much matter a star contains
Astronomer A scientist who studies the objects in the sky, including planets, galaxies, black holes, and stars
Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram A diagram showing a star's temperature and brightness in relation to other stars.
Constellation A named area of the sky (defined by the International Astronomical Union). The whole sky is divided into 88 constellations.
Nebula A cloud of gas and/or dust in space.
Proplyd An opaque disc of gas and dust orbiting a young star. Planets may eventually form from the gas and dust in them.
Exoplanet A planet that orbits a star other than the Sun.
Orbit The path taken by an object around another when affected by its gravity.
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
Neutron Star A dense collapsed star that is mainly made of neutrons.
Convective Layer A region of turbulent plasma between a star's core and its visible photosphere at the surface, through which energy is transferred by convection.
Neutrino A subatomic particle produced by nuclear fusion in stars as well as in the Big Bang.
Pulsar A neutron star that sends out beams of radiation as it spins.
Singularity A point where some property is infinite. For example, at the center of a black hole, according to classical theory, the density is infinite.
Event Horizon A theoretical boundary around a black hole beyond which no light or other radiation can escape
Accretion Disk A rotating disk of matter formed by gradual accumulation of layers around a massive body (such as a black hole) under the influence of gravitation
Black Hole An object in space with such a strong gravitational pull that nothing, not even light, can escape from it.
Lensing The bending and focusing of light and especially the formation of multiple images of a more distant object by a celestial object acting as a gravitational lens. Black holes bend light.
Wormhole A theoretical passage through space-time that could create shortcuts for long journeys across the universe
Globular Cluster A ball-shaped cluster of stars that orbits a large galaxy
Open Cluster A group of up to a few thousand stars that were formed from the same giant molecular cloud and have roughly the same age
Donor Star In an interacting binary, the star that is losing material to its companion.
Created by: HT Hawks