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21 terms

Space Unit Vocabulary

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Solar System
the sun along with the planets, moons and other small celestial bodies that orbit around it. Can also be a similar system around another star.
Rotation
the circular movement of an object around its center axis
Axis of Rotation
an imaginary line passing through an object that it rotates around. (Ex. Earth's axis of rotation passes through the North and South poles)
Tilt
the angle at which an object is positioned compared to it's center axis. (Ex. the Earth tilts at a 23.5 degree angle)
Revolution/Orbit
a circular path a celestial body (planet, moon, etc.) takes around another. (Ex. The Earth makes one full revolution around the sun each year)
Moon Phase
the shape of the illuminated side of the moon as seen on Earth.
Solar Eclipse
occurs when the moon passes between the Earth and the Sun. The sun appears to be fully or partially "blocked" by the moon.
Lunar Eclipse
occurs when the Earth passes between the Sun and the moon.
Solstice
Occurs during the winter and summer, when the sun reaches the highest (summer) and lowest(winter) points in the sky at noon; causes the longest (summer) and shortest(winter) days of the year.
Equinox
Occurs during the spring and fall, when day and night are approximately the same time.
Tides
the daily rising and falling of the sea level due to the location of the sun, earth, and moon system (neap, spring, low, high)
Astronomical Unit (AU)
the mean distance from the center of the earth to the center of the sun; measurement used to describe distances in space
Gravity
the force that attracts a body towards the center of earth
Terrestrial Planets
smaller, rocky planets with hard surfaces made of rocks and metals
Gas Giant/Jovian Planets
larger planets made out of gases; no solid surfaces
Habitable
suitable or good enough to live in/on
Atmosphere
layer of gases surrounding a planet
International Space Station (ISS)
a large spacecraft in orbit around the earth that houses astronauts and cosmonauts to live and conduct science experiments
Spinoff
a product/technology that develops from another product/technology
Probe
an unmanned exploratory spacecraft that sends information about its environment back to earth
Satellite
a man-made or natural object (like a moon) that orbits earth or another planet

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