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25 Cards in this Set

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accretion
The sticking together of solid particles to produce a larger particle. (p. 370)
albedo
The ratio of the light reflected from an object divided by the light that hits the object. Albedo equals 0 for perfectly black and 1 for perfectly white. (p. 353)
asteroid
Small, rocky world. Most asteroids lie between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt. (p. 363)
breccia
Rock composed of fragments of earlier rocks bonded together. (p. 353)
comet
One of the small, icy bodies that orbit the sun and produce tails of gas and dust when they approach the sun. (p. 363)
condensation
The growth of a particle by addition of material from surrounding gas, atom by atom. (p. 369)
condensation sequence
The sequence in which different materials condense from the solar nebula as we move outward from the sun. (p. 369)
differentiation
The separation of planetary material according to density. (p. 371)
extrasolar planet
A planet orbiting a star other than the sun. (p. 359)
Galilean satellites
The four largest satellites of Jupiter, named after their discoverer Galileo. (p. 365)
gravitational collapse
The process by which a forming body such as a planet gravitationally captures gas from its surroundings. (p. 368)
half-life
The time required for half of the atoms in a radioactive sample to decay. (p. 366)
heat of formation
In planetology, the heat released by in-falling matter during the formation of a planetary body. (p. 372)
heavy bombardment
The intense cratering during the first 0.5 billion years in the history of the solar system. (p. 375)
Jovian planet
Jupiterlike planet with a large diameter and low density. (p. 364)
meteor
A small bit of matter heated by friction to incandescent vapor as it falls into Earth's atmosphere. (p. 366)
meteorite
A meteor that survives its passage through the atmosphere and strikes the ground. (p. 366)
meteoroid
A meteor in space before it enters Earth's atmosphere. (p. 366)
outgassing
The release of gases from a planet's interior. (p. 372)
planetesimal
One of the small bodies that formed from the solar nebula and eventually grew into protoplanets. (p. 369)
protoplanet
Massive object resulting from the coalescence of planetesimals in the solar nebula and destined to become a planet. (p. 370)
radiation pressure
The force exerted on the surface of a body by its absorption of light. Small particles floating in the solar system can be blown outward by the pressure of the sunlight. (p. 374)
solar nebula theory
The theory that the planets formed from the same cloud of gas and dust that formed the sun. (p. 356)
terrestrial planet
An Earthlike planet - small, dense, rocky. (p. 364)
uncompressed density
The density a planet would have if its gravity did not compress it. (p. 368)