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Adriana Ramirez

ESPS Astronomy Vocab

Term Definition
Astronomy The study of stars and planets.
Big Bang Theory Theory that the universe originated in a huge explosion that releases all matter and energy.
Red shift Moving away from the observer.
Blue shift Moving closer to the observer.
Frequency How many wave peaks pass a certain point per given time.
Wavelength The distance between two corresponding parts of a wave.
Absolute Brightness (magnitude) The brightness a star would have if it were at a standard distance from earth.
Cosmic MIcrowave Background. Radiation left over from the big bang.
Universe Space and all the matter and energy in it.
Galaxy A collection of stars, dust and gas bound together by gravity.
Electromagnetic Spectrum The range of wavelengths or frequencies over which electromagnetic radiation extends.
Astronomical Unit The distance from the Earth to the Sun.
Light year The distance that light travels in one year.
Cosmology Study of the universe.
Apparent Brightness (magnitude) How bright a star appears from Earth.
Solar System The sun and all of the planets and other bodies that travel around it.
Star A ball of hot gas, primarily hydrogen and helium that undergoes nuclear fusion.
Planet A large body in space that orbits a star and does not produce light of its own.
Solar nebula The cloud of gas and dust that formed our solar system.
Gas giant A large planet that consist of mostly of gases.
Nuclear Fusion The process by which two or more small nuclei fuse to make bigger nucleus.
Main sequence The location on the HR diagram where most stars lie.
HR diagram Classifies stars by temperature and absolute brightness.
Red giant A large reddish star late in its life cycle.
White dwarf A small, hot star that is the left over center of an old star.
Neutron Star A star that has collapsed under its own gravity.
Pulsar A neutron star that produces radio waves.
Blackhole A star in which light cannot escape.
Nova A star that suddenly becomes brighter.
Doppler shift The shift that changes to a different wavelength.
The convention zone Columns of hot gas and ride, cool and descend.
Photosphere The inner layer of the sun's atmosphere.
Chromosphere The middle layer of the sun's atmosphere.
Corona The outer layer of the sun's atmosphere.
Sunspot A dark area of gas on the sun's surface that is cooler than the gases that are surrounded.
Prominence A huge reddish loop of gas that stand out from the sun's surface linking parts of sunspot regions.
Solar Flare A sudden eruption of high energy radiation from the sun's surface.
Coronal Mass Ejection A large explosion of matter and energy from the sun.
Parallax The apparents change in position of an object when it is seen from different places.
Nebular A model that describes the sun and the solar system forming together out of a cloud of gas and dust.
Constellations Patterns of stars in the sky.
Created by: adriana.ramirez