Do you know what a meteor is, or what scientists mean when they are talking about cryogenics? Our collection of science terms explains the meaning of some of the most common scientific ideas.
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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.
How do scientists find details about the early days of our solar system? One way is to investigate comets. Find out how the Deep Impact spacecraft fired an impactor into Comet Tempel 1 to get some answers.
By Carolyn Snare
Hewish, Antony (1924-) is a British astronomer and astrophysicist, a scientist who studies the physical nature, origin, and development of the solar system, galaxies, and the universe.
Payne-Gaposchkin, Cecilia Helena (1900-1979) was a British-born astronomer who became an authority on variable stars (stars that change in brightness) and the structure of the Milky Way Galaxy.
Eudoxus of Cnidus (NY duhs or kuh NY duhs) (400 B.C.?-350 B.C.?) was a Greek astronomer who made important contributions to the field of geometry.
Al-Tusi, Nasir al-Din (1201-1274) was one of the greatest scholars of his time and one of the most influential figures in Islamic intellectual history.
Aberration of Light is a phenomenon in which a star or other celestial body, as viewed from the earth, appears to be slightly displaced from its true position.
Andromeda Galaxy, a spiral galaxy that is larger than the Milky Way (the galaxy to which Earth belongs) but similar to it in structure, and the closest to ours.
Transit, in astronomy, is the passage of one celestial body across the disc (face) of a larger, more distant body, or across the observer's meridian.
Azimuth, the horizontal direction of an object, measured clockwise in degrees, minutes, and seconds of arc from true north or south along the theoretical horizon.
Bolometer, an instrument used to measure infrared, or heat, radiation. The bolometer is essentially a very sensitive thermometer.
Chronometer, a timepiece that is exceptionally accurate. Traditionally, the term refers to the marine chronometer, a rugged mechanical instrument used at sea to keep time for navigational purposes.
Cosmogony, the study of the origin and development of the universe as a whole and of the individual bodies that compose it.
Day, in astronomy, the average length of time between successive noons. Noon is defined as the instant when the sun is highest in the sky.
Double Star, a pair of closely-spaced stars that to the unaided eye usually appear as a single star.