50 terms

Unit 8 - Astronomy

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Equator
The reference point for latitude; 0 degrees.
Prime Meridian
The reference point for longitude; 0 degrees.
Ecliptic
Plane that contains Earth's orbit around the Sun.
Precession
'Wobble' in the Earth's rotational axis
Big Bang Theory
Proposes that the universe began as a single point and has been expanding ever since.
Black hole
Small, extremely dense remnant of a star whose gravity is so immense that not even light can escape its gravity field.
Fusion
Process in a star's core in which lightweight hydrogen nuclei combine into heavier helium nuclei.
Luminosity
Energy output from the surface of a star per second; measured in watts.
Spectrum
Arrangement of visible light ordered according to wavelength.
Gravity
A force of attraction between objects that is due to their masses
Element
A pure substance made of only one kind of atom
Atom
Basic unit of matter
Subatomic Particles
Particles inside an atom (protons, neutrons, electrons)
Electron
A subatomic particle that has a negative charge
Neutron
A subatomic particle that has no charge and that is found in the nucleus of an atom
Proton
A subatomic particle that has a positive charge and that is found in the nucleus of an atom
Molecule
the simplest structural unit of an element or compound
Nebula
A large cloud of gas and dust such as the one that formed our solar system
Universe
All of space and everything in it
Doppler Effect
An observed change in the frequency of a wave when the source or observer is moving
Galaxy
A collection of stars, dust, and gas bound together by gravity
Fission
A nuclear reaction in which a massive nucleus splits into smaller nuclei with the simultaneous release of energy.
Electromagnetic Waves
A form of energy that can move through the vacuum of space.
Solar Radiation
Transmission of energy from the sun in the form of electromagnetic waves.
Photosynthesis
Plants use the sun's energy to convert water and carbon dioxide into sugars
Magnetic Field
The area of magnetic force around the Earth, protects us from solar radiation.
Spectroscopy
Method used to study composition of stars
Nutation
Wobbling around the precessional axis, but without any change in the tilt. This changes the stars near the pole.
Barycenter
The point between two objects where they balance each other out.
Kepler's 1st Law
planets travel in ellipses
Kepler's 2nd Law
an object speeds up the closer it get to the object it is orbiting
Kepler's 3rd Law
the time it take for a planet to go around a star can be calculated by the distance it is from the star and vice versa
Ellipse
A elongated circle, or oval shape, the shape of the planets orbit.
Rotation
CIRCULAR MOVEMENT AROUND AN AXIS
Revolution
The orbital movement around an object
Oblate Spheroid
shape of the earth, a slightly flattened sphere
Seasons
Caused by the tilt of Earth on its axis as it revolves around the Sun
Circumference
The distance around a circle
Axis
An imaginary line through a body, about which it rotates.
Tilt
23.5 degrees, causes seasons
Vernal Equinox
March 21, Beginning of Spring
Autumnal Equinox
First day of fall; equal day and night hours, usually around September 22
Solstice
Either of the two times of the year when the sun is at its greatest distance from the celestial equator (Winter and Summer)
Spring Tide
When the tidal range is greatest. (full moon and new moon)
Neap Tide
A tide with the least difference between consecutive low and high tides.
Satellite
A space station that orbits the Earth receiving and transmitting signals from Earth-based stations over a wide area
Lunar Eclipse
An eclipse where the Earth comes between the Sun and the Moon and it is a full Moon (the moon is covered, has a shadow of dark red cast on it, or slightly dimmed)
Solar Eclipse
The blocking of sunlight to Earth that occurs when the moon is directly between the sun and Earth.
Terrestrial Planet
The name given to the four inner planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars
Jovian Planet
Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
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