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28 Cards in this Set

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Asteroid
Fragment of Rock that orbits the sun.
Asteroid Belt
The regions between the orbit of Mars and Jupiter in which most asteroids are found.
Astronomical Unit
Average distance betwen the earth and the sun, approximately 149.5 million km.
Coma
Spherical cloud of gas and dust that surronds the nucleus of a comet.
Comet
body of rock, dust, methane, ammonia, and ice that revolves around the sun in a long, eliptical orbit.
Earth-grazer
Asteroid that orbits the sun in an elongated ellipse that may pass close to the earth and sun.
Ellipse
oval whose shape is determined by two points within the figure.
Epicycle
small circular motion of the planets within thier orbits proposed as an explination for retrograde motion.
Fireball
brilliant flash of light produced by a meteor that vaporized quickly.
Focus
one of two points within an ellipse that determines the shape of the figure.
Geocentric
earth-centered
Heliocentric
sun-centered
Inertia
tendency of a moving body to remain in motion or a stationary body to remain at rest until an outside force acts on it.
Iron Meteorite
type of meteorite made of iron, with a characteristic metallic apperance.
Jovian Planet
any one of the first four outer planets---Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, or Neptune---with properties similar to those of Jupiter.
long-period comet
comet with a period of several thousand or million years.
meteor
meteoroid that enters the earth's atmosphere.
meteor shower
phenomenon caused by the burning up of large numbers of meteors as they enter the earth's atmosphere.
meteroite
meteor or part of a meteor left after it hits the earth's surface.
meteroid
small bit of rock or metal moving through the solar system left by a comet or produced by a collision between asteroids.
Oort cloud
spherical cloud of dust and ice surronding the solar system that may contain as many as a trillion comets.
Orbit Period
time required for a planet to make one revolution around the sun.
Retrograde Motion
apparent periodic reversal in the motion of some planets as viewed from the earth.
Short Period Comet
comet with a period of up to 100 years.
Stony meteorite
most common type of meteroite simialr in compostion to rocks found on the surface of the earth.
Stony-iron meteorite
rare type of meteroite that contains both iron and stone.
terrestrial planet
anyone of the four planets closest to the sun---Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars---with properties similar to those on Earth.
Trojan asteroid
asteroid that orbits the sun just ahead of or behind the planet Jupiter.