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29 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
temperature
a measure of the average kinetic energy of particles in a substance
photon
an individual particle of light, characterized by a wavelength and a frequency
wavelength
the distance between adjacent peaks of a wave
frequency
describes the role of which peaks of a wave pass by a point
ion
atoms with a charge (excess of protons or electrons)
isotope
same # of protons, different # of neutrons
doppler effect
the effect that shifts wavelengths of spectral features in objects that are moving towards or away from the observer
redshift
light emitted from an object moving away from you will have its wavelength lengthened
blueshift
light emitted from an object moving towards you will have its wavelength shortened
angular resolution
the smallest angle at which you can distinguish two objects
light pollution
human-made light that hinders astronomical observations
solar nebula
the piece of the interstellar cloud from which our own solar system was formed
condensation
the formation of solid or liquid particles from a cloud of gas
accretion
process by which small objects gather together to form large objects
planetesimals
the building blocks of planets, formed by accretion in the solar nebula
half-life
the time it takes for half of the nuclei in any given quantity of a radioactive substance to decay
extrasolar planet
a planeet orbiting a star other than our sun
core (planet)
the dense central region of a planet that has undergone differentiation
core (star)
central region in which nuclear fusion can occur
mantle
the rocky layer that lies between a planets cor and crust
lithosphere
relatively rigid outer layer of a planet; generally encompasses the crust and uppermost part of the matle
differentiation
the process in which gravity separates materials according to density
convection
energy transport process in whichwarm material expands and rises while cooler material contracts and falls
tectonics
the disruption of a planet's surface by internal stresses
tidal heating
a source of internal heating created by tidal friction. it is particularly important for satellites with eccentric orbits such as io and europa
comet
relatively small, icy object that orbits a star
kuiper belt
comit -rich region of our solar system that spans 30-100AU from the sun; comets in this region have orbits that lie fairly close to the plane of planetary orbits and travel around the sun in the same direction as planets
oort cloud
huge, spherical region centered on the sun, extending perhaps half-way to the nearest stars, in which trillions of comets orbit the sun with random inclinations, orbital directions and eccentricities
coriolis effect
causes air or objects moving on a rotating planet to deviate from straight-line trajectories.