4: D-3 Planets and other objects in Space

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a small rocky object that surround moves around the sun


an imaginary line which runs through both poles of a planet


a small mass of dust and ice that orbits the sun in a long, oval-shaped path

gas giants

planets which are large spheres made up mostly of gases---for example, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune

inner planets

the planets closest to the sun; Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars


the path that an object such as a planet makes as it revolves around a second object

outer planets

the planets fartherest from the sun; Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto


one of the different shapes the moon seems to have as it orbits around Earth


a large object that moves around a star


the movement of any object in an orbit, such as Earth moving around the sun


the motion of a planet or other object as it turns on its axis


an object that moves around another object in space; the moon is a satellite of Earth

solar system

a group of objects in space that move around a central star

space probe

an uncrewed space vehicle that carries cameras, instruments, and other research tools


a huge, burning sphere of gases; for example, the sun


a device people used to observe distant objects with their eyes

moon cycle

the different appearances of the moon caused by the moon's orbit around Earth, new moon, crescent moon, quarter moon, gibbous moon, and full moon


the period of time that it takes for a planet (as, e.g., Earth or Mars) to make a complete revolution around the sun


one of the natural periods into which the year is divided by the equinoxes and solstices or atmospheric conditions, caused by tilted axis of the Earth.

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