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Mr. Vaughan Unit 10

Unit 10 Solar System

TermDefinition
solar system the sun and all the bodies that orbit the sun.
heliocentric a model in which the earth and the other planets orbit the sun.
geocentric a model in which the earth is at the center of the solar system, with the sun, moon, and other planets circling it.
parallax an apparent shift in the position of an object when viewed from different locations.
gravity the force of attraction between objects due to their masses.
orbit the path that a body follows as it travels around another body in space.
aphelion the object is farthest from the sun when orbiting the sun.
perihelion the object is closet to the sun when orbiting the sun.
centripetal force the inward force that causes an object to move in a circular path.
solar nebula a collapsed cloud of dust and gas which formed the solar system.
planetesimals a small body from which a planet originated in the early stages of development of the solar system.
nuclear fusion the process by which two or more low-mass atomic nuclei fuse to form another, heavier nucleus.
sunspot dark areas that form on the surface of the sun. Hot, convecting gases are prevented from reaching the sun's surface. 1500 degrees cooler.
solar flare an explosive release of energy that can extend outward as far as the sun's outer atmosphere.
prominence huge loops of relatively cool gas that extend outward thousands of kilometers from the sun.
terrestrial planet the four small, dense, rocky planets that orbit closest to the sun.
astronomical unit the average distance between the sun and earth, or approximately 150 million kilometers.
gas giant have deep, massive gas atmospheres made up mostly of hydrogen and helium. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are the gas giants and orbit farthest from the sun.
planetary ring a disk of material that circles a planet and consists of orbiting particles.
dwarf planet a celestial body that orbits the sun and is round because of its own gravity but does not have the mass to clear other bodies out of its orbital path.
kuiper belt region of the solar system that begins just beyond the orbit of Neptune and contains small bodies made of mostly ice.
kuiper belt object any of the minor bodies in the kuiper belt.
comet a small body of ice, rock, and dust that follows a highly elliptical orbit around the sun.
oort cloud a spherical region that surround the solar system and extends almost halfway to the nearest star.
asteroid a small, irregularly shaped, rocky object that orbits the sun.
meteoroid a sand grain to boulder-sized, rocky body that travels through space.
meteor a bright streak of light that results when a meteor burns up in Earth's atmosphere.
meteorite a meteoroid that reaches Earth's surface without burning up.
Created by: dougteach65