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Vocabulary definitions & terms for 5th grade solar system unit

Solar System

the Sun and the planets and other objects that orbit the Sun


a large body in space that orbits a star and does not produce light on its own


a path of an object as it circles around another object in outer space

Sun Energy

heat and light that radiates through space to Earth

Planetary Orbits

the near circular path of the planets around the Sun

Gravitational Attraction

a natural force that pulls two objects toward one another


the joining together of the nuclei of two different atoms resulting in the formation of new atom and the release of energy


a natural object that revolves around a planet


the only planet in the solar system on which life is known to exist


a natural or human built object that revolves around another object in space


a rocky object that orbits the Sun, found mostly in the region between Mars and Jupiter


a small object in space which orbits a star and is made of a rocky core surrounded by ice, dust particles, and frozen gases


the star that is made of mainly hydrogen and helium gases, and supplies the heat and light that sustains life on Earth


a piece of rock or metal from space that enters Earth's atmosphere

Elliptical Orbit

a flattened,circular shaped path that revolves around an object

Circular Orbit

a circular path that revolves or goes around an object


an invisible force that pulls objects toward each other


something that causes an object to move, change its shape, speed or direction


the movement of an object around another object or point

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