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Astronomy

Things and People to Know

TermDefinition
Rotation the spinning of Earth on its axis
Galaxy a huge cluster of stars, dust and gas held together by gravity
Venus this terrestrial planet has a thick, poisonous atmosphere and is often referred to as Earth's twin.
Copernicus this astronomer was the first to develop the heliocentric model of our solar system
Ring the gas giants all have at least one of these, which is a disk of small particles of ice and rock
Sun the star at the center of our solar system; also the ONLY star in our solar system
Revolution the movement of one planet around another; also known as a planet's orbit
Saturn the gas giant with the most complex ring system
Uranus this gas giant's axis is tilted, causing it to spin on its side
Terrestrial Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars are described this way because they are made of rock
Mars this terrestrial planet is also known as the "Red Planet" and is believed to have once had water
Kepler this astronomer was Brahe's assistant and used information they gathered to study the the planets' orbits; he was the first to propose that they were shaped like a flattened circle, or ellipse
Tycho Brahe this astronomer first described the the positions of our planets in the solar system
Moon a natural satellite that revolves around a planet
Galileo astronomer who used the telescope to make discoveries that supported the heliocentric model of the solar system
Ptolemy the Greek astronomer who first explained the Geocentric Model of the universe
Pluto is now known as a "Dwarf Planet"
Neptune a cold, blue planet in our solar system
Elliptical the shape of the planets' orbits: oval shaped
Geocentric Model this model states that the Earth is at the center of the solar system and that everything else revolves around it
Eight the number of planets in our solar system
Heliocentric Model the current theory of the organization of our universe; states that the Earth is part of a solar system that revolves around the sun
Gas Giants Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are said to __ ___ because of their size and composition
Jupiter the largest planet in our solar system; has a giant hurricane system the size of Earth
Mercury this small terrestrial planet has almost no atmosphere & was first explored by the Mariner 10