Basic Astronomy Word List

Basic Astronomy Word List

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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

astronomy:
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

composition:
The qualitative and quantitative chemical make-up of matter

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

ecliptic:
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.

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

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

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

ion:
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

movements:
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

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

rotation:
The spinning motion of a body about its axis

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An outdated theory of the universe which states that the universe is infinitely old and infinitely expanding

universe:
All matter-energy everywhere

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