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ELL Earth Sci 29

The Solar System

TermDefinition
geocentric Earth-centered model of the solar system
heliocentric Sun-centered model of the solar system
ellipse oval shape pattern traveled by planets around the Sun
aphelion point in the orbit of a planet at which it is farthest from the Sun
perihelion point in the orbit of a planet at which it is closest to the Sun
astronomical unit average distance from the Earth to the Sun, approximately 143.5 million km
orbit period time required for a planet to make on revolution around the Sun (measured in Earth days or years)
inertia tendency of a moving body to remain in motion until an outside force acts upon it
terrestrial planets planets with properties similar to those of the Earth (Mercury, Venus, & Mars)
Jovian planets gaseous planets with star-like qualities (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, & Neptune)
day the amount of time for a planet to make one complete rotation on its axis
year the amount of time for a planet to make one complete orbit around the Sun
asteroids a fragment of rock that orbits the Sun
asteroid belt the region between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter in which most asteroids are formed
Trojan asteroids asteroid that orbits the Sun just ahead or behind the planet Jupiter
earth-grazer asteroids asteroid that orbits the Sun in an elongated ellipse that may pass close to the Earth and the Sun
comet body of rock, dust, methane, ammonia and ice that revolves around the Sun in a long, elliptical orbit
coma spherical cloud of gas and dust that surrounds the nucleus of a comet
Oort cloud spherical cloud of dust and ice surrounding the solar system that may contain as many as a trillion comets
meteoroid small bit of rock or metal moving through the solar system left by a comet or produced by a collision between asteroids
meteor a bright streak of light caused when a meteoroid burns up in the Earth's atmosphere
meteorite meteoroid or part of a meteoroid left after it hits the Earth's surface
Created by: Jesse Wayland