Solar System Vocabulary

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asteroid belt
The region of the solar system between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, where many asteroids are found.
asteroid
a small, rocky object that orbits the sun; most are found in a belt located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter
comet
a small body that gives off gas and dust as it passes close to the sun
Galilean moons
the four largest moons of Jupiter: Io, Europa, Ganymede and Castillo
gravity
a force of attraction between objects that is due to their masses
meteor
a bright streak of light that results when a meteoroid burns up in Earth's atmosphere
meteorites
a meteoroid that reaches Earth's surface without burning up completely; hits the ground
meteoroids
small, rocky bodies that travel through space
nuclear fusion
process by which nuclei of small atoms combine to form a new, more massive nucleus; the process releases energy
osteoporosis
a condition in which the body's bones become weak and break easily
elliptical orbit
An orbit that is long and flat., Oval or egg shaped orbit
terrestrial planet
one of the highly dense planets nearest to the sun; Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars
greenhouse effect
the process by which heat is trapped in the atmosphere by water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and other gases that form a "blanket" around the earth
jovian planet
planet that has a deep, massive atmosphere; first four outer planets: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune
orbit
the path that a body follows as it travels around another body in space