Space Chapter 8 Glossary Terms

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  1. Electromagnetic radiation
    radiation consisting of electromagnetic waves that travel at the speed of light (such as visible light, radio waves, and X rays)
  2. Refracting telescope
    a telescope that uses a lens to collect light from an object
  3. Reflecting telescope
    a telescope that uses a mirror to collect the light from an object
  4. Satellite
    an artificial human made object or vehicle that orbits Earth, the Moon, or other celestial bodies; also; a celestial body that orbits another of larger size (i.e. the moon is Earth's natural satellite)
  5. Orbiters
    observatories that orbit other celestial objects
  6. Solar nebula theory
    the theory that describes how stars and planets form from contracting , spinning disks of gas and dust
  7. Star
    a celestial body made of hot gases, mainly hydrogen and some helium
  8. Nebula
    a vast cloud of gas and dust, which may be the birthplace of stars and planets
  9. Protostar
    hot, condensed, object at the centre of the nebula
  10. Nuclear fusion
    the process of energy production in which hydrogen nuclei combine to form helium nuclei
  11. Photosphere
    the surface layer of the sun
  12. Sunspot
    an area of strong magnetic fields on the photosphere
  13. Solar wind
    a stream of fast-moving charged particles ejected by the sun into the solar system
  14. Solar flare
    Solar flares eject intense blasts of charged subatomic particles towards earth, when the particles from the sun collide with the earths upper atmosphere beautiful auroras can result. They result when the high energy charged particles are carried past Earth's magnetic field, generating electric currents that flow towards the earths poles. These electric currents charge gases in the earths upper atmosphere, producing the light in auroras.
  15. Importance of Sun
    The sun is needed for all life on earth. The suns energy drives most processes on earth that support our daily activities. Solar energy powers wind and ocean currents. It drives all the weather from summer winds, to hurricanes. It also provides the energy required for photosynthesis.
  16. Luminosity
    a star's total energy output per second; its power in joules per second (J/s)
  17. Absolute Magnitude
    the magnitude of a star that we would observe if the star were placed 32.6 light years from earth
  18. Spectroscope
    an optical instrument that produces a spectrum from a narrow beam of light, and usually projects the spectrum onto a photographic plate or a digital detector
  19. Spectral Lines
    certain specific wavelengths within a spectrum characterized by lines; spectral lines identify specific chemical elements
  20. Hertzsprung-Russell (H-R) diagram
    a graph that compares the properties of stars
  21. Main Sequence
    a narrow band of stars on the H-R diagram that runs diagonally from the upper left (bright, hot stars) to the lower right (dim, coo stars); about 90 percent of stars; including the Sun, are in the main sequence
  22. White Dwarf
    a small, dim, hot star
  23. Supernova
    a massive explosion in which the entire outer portion of a star is blown off
  24. Neutron Star
    a star so dense that only neutrons can exist in the core
  25. How low-mass stars evolve
    Low-mass stars (red dwarfs) have less mass than the Sun. They consume their hydrogen slowly over a period that may be as long as 100 billion years. During that time, they lose significant mass, essentially evaporating. In the end, all that remains of them is a very faint white dwarf. While white dwarfs no longer produce energy of their own, they are incredibly hot and takes tens of billions of years to cool down.
  26. How intermediate-mass stars evolve
    Intermediate-mass stars, such as the Sun, consume their hydrogen faster than low-mass stars, over a period of about 10 billion years. When their hydrogen is used up, the core collapses. As the core contracts, the temperature increases an the outer layers begin to expand. The expanded layers are cooler and appear red. At this phase the star is called a red giant. In about 5 billion years the Sun will become a red giant. Eventually the layers will disappear into space, and the Sun will becomeĀ a white dwarf.
  27. How high-mass stars evolve
    Stars that are 12 or more solar masses are high-mass stars. These stars consume their fuel even faster than immediate-mass stars. As a result, high-mass stars die more quickly and more violently. In massive stars, the core heats up to much higher temperatures. Heavier elements form by fusion, and the star expands into a supergiant. Eventually, iron forms in the core. Since iron cannot release energy through fusion, the core collapses violently, and a shock wave travels through the star. The outer portion explodes, producing a supernova.
  28. Black Hole
    The most spectacular deaths happen to stars whose initial masses are more than 25 solar masses. The remnant of the supernova explosion is so massive that nothing can compete with the crushing force of gravity. The remnant is crushed into a black hole. A black hole is a tiny patch of space that has no volume, but does have mass. Therefore, there is still gravity. In fact, the gravitational force of a black hole is so strong that nothing can escape it. Even light cannot escape a black hole's gravity.
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Space Chapter 8 Glossary Terms
2014-01-02 21:15:41
Space Unit

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