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8Sci CH19

8th Science CH19 The Solar System

TermDefinition
asteroid traveling chunks of rock found mostly in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter; “runaway” asteroids may be captured by planetary gravity and become moons or may be responsible for some surface features of planets
comet large chunk of ice, dust, gases, and rock fragments that travels through space and is pulled into orbit by the sun’s gravity
gaseous giant planets huge, low-density planets made mainly of gases; these planets were formed farther from the sun where the effects of solar winds and thermal energy were less intense; Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune
meteor space object formed of rock fragments; meteors are called meteoroids until they enter Earth’s atmosphere; meteors glow as they streak across the night sky and most burn up completely due to friction
meteorite meteoroids that survive passing through Earth’s atmosphere and hit Earth’s surface, sometimes producing craters
planet body of matter that moves around a star in a fixed, counterclockwise orbit; except for Pluto, which is small and formed of rock and ice, the planets of our solar system are classified as either Earth-like terrestrial planets or gaseous giant planets
solar system system formed about 5 billion years ago from a rotating cloud of hydrogen and helium gases and dust particles that condensed to form its major components--the sun and its nine planets
terrestrial planets the four small planets that were formed nearest the sun and whose surfaces are composed of dense, rocky material; Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars