ASTRONOMY TERMS

Astronomy terms are used to describe the various phenomena in space. In this section you can learn what every astronomy term means and how it helps us to better understand the cosmos.
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How the Big Crunch Theory Works

We take much for granted about our universe, like it's getting bigger. What if the universe stopped expanding and started collapsing inward with a giant crunch?

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  • How Nebulae Work

    How Nebulae Work

    Nebulae are collections of dust and gases scattered across the galaxy. They're the sites where stars are born and what's left behind after they die. See more »

  • How Space Collisions Work

    How Space Collisions Work

    Space collisions are the universe's car wrecks. Only in outer space, it's stars, asteroids and even galaxies doing the smashing. See more »

  • How the Big Bang Theory Works

    How the Big Bang Theory Works

    The big bang theory is well-known, but there are many misconceptions about it. Like what? Let's start with this one: There was no bang. See more »

  • How the Big Crunch Theory Works

    How the Big Crunch Theory Works

    We take much for granted about our universe, like it's getting bigger. What if the universe stopped expanding and started collapsing inward with a giant crunch? See more »

  • How the Leonid Meteor Shower Works

    How the Leonid Meteor Shower Works

    Every November, the Leonid meteor shower fills the sky with "shooting stars." This year, the shower is expected to peak twice. Learn how Leonid and other meteor showers work. See more »

  • Is Earth on a collision path with a major asteroid?

    Is Earth on a collision path with a major asteroid?

    There's a 45-million-ton asteroid out there with Earth's name on it. In 2029, it'll be closer to us than our moon is. And that's not even the fly-by that scientists are worried about. See more »

  • Is there a hole in the universe?

    Is there a hole in the universe?

    While routinely scanning the stars, NASA scientists came across something they didn't expect to see: a vast area of space empty of stars, planets and matter. See more »

  • The Ultimate Meteorite Quiz

    The Ultimate Meteorite Quiz

    Meteors and meteorites have fascinated human beings for ages, but have you managed to turn your fascination into some hardcore knowledge? Wishing on a star isn’t going to help you now. See more »

  • What are dark matter and dark energy?

    What are dark matter and dark energy?

    Every day, astronomers unravel a little more of the universe's inner workings, but the jury is still out on 95 percent of its contents. See more »

  • What existed before the big bang?

    What existed before the big bang?

    So much of our cosmological history starts with the much-discussed big bang, but what led up to that cataclysmic moment? And did time even exist back then? See more »

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