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incoming solar radiation


to incline or bend from a vertical position

Foucault pendulum

instrument that proved that the earth rotates

Coriolis effect

The way Earth's rotation makes winds in the Northern Hemisphere curve to the right and winds in the Southern Hemisphere curve to the left.

Terrestrial motion

motion of the earth

Rate of rotation

measured in DEGREES per unit of time (15 degrees/hour)


an imaginary line around the Earth parallel to the equator


Distance east or west of the prime meridian, measured in degrees; also called meridian


the star that is always directly above the north pole


the act of rotating as if on an axis


the orbiting of one heavenly body around another.


a configuration of stars as seen from the earth


the (usually elliptical) path described by one celestial body in its revolution about another

Solar noon

Time of day when sun is highest in sky

Direct ray

Ray coming in at a 90 degree angle


the amount of energy in a light or sound wave, which we perceive as brightness or loudness, as determined by the wave's amplitude

Angle of incidence

The angle at which a ray of light hits a mirror.

State of matter

(chemistry) the three traditional states of matter are solids (fixed shape and volume) and liquids (fixed volume and shaped by the container) and gases (filling the container)

Specific heat

the heat required to raise the temperature of one gram of a substance one degree centigrade

Phase change

a change from one state (solid or liquid or gas) to another without a change in chemical composition

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