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Astronomy vocab list

rotation the spin of a body on its axis.
orbit the path that a body follows as it travels around another body in space.
revolution the motion of a body that travels around another body in space; one complete trip around the sun.
astronomical unit the average distance between Earth and the sun; approximately 150 million kilometers.
light-minute the distance that light travels in one minute of time; approximately 18 million kilometers.
terrestrial planets one of the highly dense planets nearest to the sun; Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars.
prograde rotation the counter-clockwise spin of a planet or moon as seen from above the planet's North Pole;rotation in the same direction as the sun's rotation.
retrograde rotation the clockwise spin of a planet or moon as seen from above the planet's North Pole.
gas giants a planet that has a deep, massive atmosphere, such as Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, or Neptune.
satellites natural or artificial bodies that revolve around a planet.
phases the change in the sunlit area of one celestial body as seen from another celestial body.
eclipse an event in which the shadow of one celestial body falls on another
comet a small body of ice, rock, and cosmic dust that follows an elliptical orbit around the sun and that gives off gas and dust in th form of a tail as it passes close to the sun.
asteroid a small, rocky object that orbits the sun, usually in a band between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter
meteoroid a relatively small, rocky body that travels through space.
meteorite a meteoroid that reaches the Earth's surface without burning up completely.
meteor a bright streak of light that results when a meteoroid burns up in the Earth's atmosphere.
Created by: wheels3