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39 Cards in this Set

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NEBULA
a cloud of dust and gas in interstellar space where stars are born
GALAXY
a large grouping of stars- three kinds
spiral (milky way)
elliptical (oval)
irregular
SOLAR SYSTEM
the system composed of the sun (a star) and the other bodies that travel around it
ORBIT
the elliptical path a body takes as it travels around another body in space
CORONA
the sun's outer atmosphere, may extend 10-12 times the diameter of the sun
CHROMOSPHERE
a thin region of the sun's atmosphere that is next to the photosphere
PHOTOSPHERE
the layer of the sun that we can see (It is dangerous to look at the sun-only at sunset)
CONVECTIVE ZONE
a region in the sun where gases circulate in the convection currents brining the sun's energy (heat and light) to the surface
RADIATIVE ZONE
a very dense region of the sun next to the core
CORE
the center of the sun where the energy is produced by nuclear fusions
NUCLEAR FUSION
the process by which two or more nuclei fuse to form a larger nucleus and create a new element
SUNSPOT
an area on the photosphere that is cooler and up as a dark sport
SOLAR FLARE
a large burst of gases off the surface of the sun, a prominence forms a loop back to the photosphere, gives off radiation (solar wind) that may disrupt communications on earth
COMET
a mass of rock particles and cosmic dust mixed with frozen water, methane, and ammonia, it gives off gas and dust in the form of a tail as it passes close to the sun in its orbit
ASTEROID
a piece of metallic rock that revolves around the sun and is similar to the material found in planets; they are usually found in the asteroid belt
ASTEROID BELT
a region in the solar system where the majority of asteriods orbit the sun; located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter
METEOROID
a small fragment of a comet, planet, moon, or asteroid that has broken off
METEOR
a meteoroid that burns up in the Earth's atmosphere before it reaches the ground
METEORITE
a meteor that does not completely burn up in the atmosphere and actually strikes the surface of another celestial body such as a planet or moon
PLANETESIMAL
the tiny building blocks of the planets that formed as dust particles stuck together and grew in size following the Big Bang
REVOLUTION
the elliptical movement of a body as it orbits around another body in space; for Earth-contributes to the change of seasons; one revolution takes 365.5 earth days or one earth year
TERRESTRIAL PLANETS
small dense rocky planets-inner solar system
GAS GIANTS
large gaseous planets-outer solar system
ASTRONOMICAL UNITS
(AU) the average distances between the earth and the sun, or approximately 150,000,000km or 93 million miles
LIGHT YEAR
the unit of length equal to the distance light travels in one year
PROGRADE ROTATION
when viewed from the north pole, earth appears to rotate counterclockwise
RETROGRADE ROTATION
when viewed form the north pole, a planet appears to rotate clockwise, such as Venus (opposite of Earth)
SUMMER SOLSTICE
On June 21, the north pole points directly at the sun. This day is called the summer solstice and daylight lasts for 24 hours; at the south pole it is the winter solstice and is 24 hours of darkness
WINTER SOLSTICE
On December 21, the north pole points away from the sun; called the winter solstice and the darkness lasts for 24 hours; at the south pole called summer solstice and there is 24 hours of daylight
EQUINOXES
The time when the sun in its apparent annual movement along the eliptic crosses the celestial equator. Makes night and day equal on all parts of Earth; Occurs March 21 (Spring) and September 21 (Autumn)
LUNAR
referring to the moon
PHASES
the different appearances of the moon due to varying amounts of sunlight on the side of the moon that faces the Earth; results from the changing relative positions of the moon, Earth, and the sun
ECLIPSE
an event which the shadow of one celestial body falls on another
WAXING
sunlit fraction of the moon gets larger
WANING
sunlit fraction of the moon gets smaller
GIBBOUS
a phase of the moon; a small fraction is not lit
CRESCENT
a phase of the moon; sunlit fraction is smaller than rest of moon
SPRING TIDE
a tide that is unsually high or low and only occurs when the moon, sun, and Earth are aligned; Occurs twice a month on full and new moons
NEAP TIDE
tides that are moderate; high tides are lower and low tides are higher; occurs on quarter moons, twice a month