Astronomy Vocab 9

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Astronomy Vocab 9
2013-03-12 11:53:46

The Night Sky
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  1. Independent Variable (IDV) 
    The cause variable that the experimenter is choosing to change. Only 1 per experiment.
  2. Dependent Variable (DV)
    The effect variable that is measured or observed during an experiment. Can be more than 1 per experiment.
  3. Controlled Variable (CV)
    The variables that are not allowed to change (remain constant) so that the experiment is fair.
  4. Celestial Object
    Any existent object in space. e.g. planet, star, moon.
  5. Astronomer
    A scientist who studies astronomy which is the night sky.
  6. Revolution
    The time it takes for an object to orbit around another object.
  7. Rotation
    The turning of an object around an imaginary axis running through it.
  8. Constellation
    A group of stars that seem to make a distinctive pattern in the sky.
  9. Light-Year
    The distance that light travels in one year, about 9.5 x 10^12 km.
  10. Apparent Magnitude
    The brightness of stars as seen on Earth.
  11. Asterism
    A smaller group of stars that form patterns within a constellation.
  12. Latitude
    The location above or below the equator.
  13. Pointer Stars
    Bright or easy to find stars that can be used to find other stars or constellations.
  14. Zenith
    Directly overhead in the sky.
  15. Circumpolar
    Constellations close to Polaris that can be seen all year round in the northern hemisphere.
  16. Tide
    The rising and falling of ocean waters as a result of the Moon's gravity and Earth's gravity.
  17. Gravitational Force
    The force of attraction between all masses in the universe.
  18. Ellipse
    A curve that is generally referred to as an oval or the shape of an egg.
  19. Phases of the Moon
    The monthly progression of changes in the appearance of the moon, resulting different portions of the moon's sunlit side being visible from Earth. 
  20. Lunar Eclipse
    The full moon passes through the umbra portion of the Earth's shadowmoon  earth  sun
  21. Solar Eclipse
    The shadow of the new moon falls on the Earth's surface. earth  moon  sun
  22. Planet
    An object that orbits one or more stars (and is not a star itself), is spherical and does not share its orbit with another object.
  23. Solar System
    A group of planets that circle one or more stars.
  24. Retrograde Motion
    The movement of an object in the sky, usually a planet, from east to west, rather than in its normal motion from west to east.
  25. Astronomical Unit (AU)
    The average distance between Earth and the sun, about 150 x  km.
  26. Orbital Radius
    The average distance between the sun and any object that is orbiting the sun.
  27. Comet
    An object composed of rocky material, ice and gas that comes from the Kuiper Belt or Oort Cloud.
  28. Kuiper Belt
    A disc-shaped group of millions of small objects orbiting the sun beyond Neptune. Believed to be left over from formation of a solar system.
  29. Oort Cloud
    A spherical cloud of small icy fragments of debris at the furthest reaches of the sun's gravitational influence.
  30. Asteroid
    A small object that ranges in size from a tiny speck, like a grain of sand, to 500 km wide, most originate from in the asteroid belt located between Mars and Jupiter.
  31. Meteoroid
    A piece of rock moving through space that has broken off of asteroids, comets and planets. Trapped by Earth's gravity.
  32. Meteor
    A meteoroid that hits Earth's atmosphere and burns up due to atmospheric friction.  Known as a shooting star.
  33. Meteorite
    A meteoroid that is large enough to pass through Earth's atmosphere and reach the ground without being totally burned up.