Basic Astronomy Word List

Basic Astronomy Word List


Definition for ASTRONOMY:
Astronomy is the science which deals with the study of all matter/energy in the universe.

astronomical unit:
Distance from the earth to the sun-- 93 million miles

The science which deals with the study of all matter-energy in the universe

big bang:
Universe exploded from a primordial atom and will keep expanding forever

black hole:
The volume of space surrounding a collapsed star throughout which the escape velocity equals or exceeds the speed of light

The qualitative and quantitative chemical make-up of matter

The position or arrangement of matter-energy throughout an area or space

Reference plane of the solar system which is created by the earth orbiting the sun

electromagnetic spectrum:
From most energetic to least energetic, it consists of gamma rays, X-rays, ultraviolet, visible, infrared, microwaves and radio energy. This radiation can travel through a vacuum or through a medium. In a vacuum its velocity is the speed of light, 186,000 miles/second.

The process of change of the universe over time from a beginning to an end

Basic manner in which matter congregates in the universe; composed of millions to hundreds of billions of stars

The most abundant element in the universe composed of one proton and one electron

An atom or molecule which is not electrical neutral because it has either gained or lost electrons

light year:
Distance that light travels in one year

Change in the position of a heavenly body due to a change in the position of the earth or the body itself

oscillating universe:
A big bang universe that has sufficient matter to collapse once again

physical states:
Solid, liquid, gas and plasma

A hot ionized gas in which ions and electrons are in free association

The spinning motion of a body about its axis

The orbiting motion of one body around another body

solar system:
Our sun surrounded by its family of nine planets, moons, and lesser bodies

steady state:
An outdated theory of the universe which states that the universe is infinitely old and infinitely expanding

All matter-energy everywhere


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