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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Nebular Hypothesis

Nebular Hypothesis, an explanation of how the solar system was formed, proposed by Pierre Simon de Laplace in 1796.

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  • What if we were next to a black hole?

    What if we were next to a black hole?

    When a star dies, it becomes a black hole. Once something passes through the it's gone for good, never to be seen or heard from again. If we lived next to a black hole, would it suck us in too? See more »

  • Aurora Borealis

    Aurora Borealis

    Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, a glow in the night sky in the regions near the north magnetic pole. See more »

  • Calendar

    Calendar

    Calendar, a system of dividing time into convenient periods of days, months, and years. See more »

  • Corona Info

    Corona Info

    Corona, the outer portion of the sun's atmosphere. Normally, the corona is visible only during a total solar eclipse, when it appears as an irregular whitish halo around the darkened sphere of the sun. See more »

  • Cosmic Rays

    Cosmic Rays

    Cosmic Rays, high-energy radiation consisting chiefly of subatomic particles moving at nearly the speed of light. See more »

  • Eclipse

    Eclipse

    Eclipse. An eclipse of the sun, or solar eclipse, occurs when the moon's shadow sweeps across the earth. See more »

  • How does gravity assist with interplanetary satellites?

    How does gravity assist with interplanetary satellites?

    When satellites go off to places like Jupiter or Saturn (or even out of the solar system), they follow crazy orbits. They will often loop around a planet to get a "gravity assist" or "gravity boost." How does that work? I know the Galileo probe looped around Earth twice to get a boost, and the Pioneer and Voyager probes used Jupiter. See more »

  • How many teaspoons are there in a cubic light year?

    How many teaspoons are there in a cubic light year?

    Have you ever really thought about the scale of the universe? A good starting point is the teaspoon. See more »

  • If you were to move all of the matter in the universe into one corner, how much space would it take up?

    If you were to move all of the matter in the universe into one corner, how much space would it take up?

    If you took all of the matter in the universe and you pushed it all into one corner, how much space would it take up? I am trying to understand how much of the universe is 'empty.' See more »

  • Meteor

    Meteor

    Meteor. As the term is commonly used, a meteor is a small celestial body that enters the atmosphere of the earth. See more »

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