Glossary of Basic Astronomy Words

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When many meteors enter our atmosphere at once, or almost at once.
Radio telescope
An antenna or set of antennas that is used to detect radio radiation from space.
One Year
the length of time the Earth takes to orbit the Sun.
When one ""body"" (like the moon) passes through the shadow of another.
Dust tail
the dust left behind a comet, reflecting sunlight.
Annular eclipse
a type of solar eclipse in which a ring (annulus) of sunlight remains visible.
Asteroid belt
a region of the solar system, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, in which most of the asteroids orbit.
Double Star
A binary star; two or more stars orbiting each other.
Black hole
A region of space that nothing, not even light, can escape from.
The science of applying the laws of physics to the universe.
Astronomical Unit (A.U.)
The average distance from the Earth to the Sun.
The region around the head of a comet.
The center of a star or planet.
Dark bands around certain planets, like Jupiter.
A object orbiting the sun that when it gets close to the sun shows a coma and may show a tail.
one of 88 areas that the sky has been divided into to make finding a star or other object easier.
An chunk of rock from space that is smaller than an asteroid.
Light year
the distance that light travels in one year.
Full moon
The phase of the moon when the side facing the earth is completely lit by sunlight.
an very bright meteor.
Giant planets
Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
Places on the moon that are above the level that may have been smoothed by flowing lava.
the study of the Earth.
Great Red Spot
Thel large red storm going around like a tornado on Jupiter.
Gibbous moon
the phases between half moon and full moon.
An chunk of rock from space after it hits a planet or moon, especially on the earth.
New moon
The phase when the side of the moon facing the earth is the side that is not lit at all by sunlight.
Shooting stars
a "minor planet" ,a chunk of rock smaller than planet size but larger than a meteoroid, in orbit around a star.
Spring tides
The tides of the ocean are at their highest when the earth, moon, and sun are in a line.
Terrestrial Planets
Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars.
a ball of gas that makes its own light and heat because of nuclear reaction in its center.
Gas and dust left behind as a comet orbits close to the sun. The sunlight makes the tail bright.

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