Chapter 8 Glossary Terms

  1. Electromagnetic radiation
    • Radiation consisting of electromagnetic waves that travel at the speed of light
    • i.e.- Visible light, radio waves, and X rays)

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  2. Refracting telescope
    • A telescope that uses a lens to collect the light from an object
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  3. Reflecting telescope
    • A telescope that uses a mirror to collect light from an object
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  4. Satellite
    • An artificial (human made) object or vehicle that orbits Earth, the Moon, or other celestial bodies; also a celestial body that orbits another of fa larger size
    • i.e.- the Moon is Earth's natural satellite
  5. Orbiters
    Observatories that orbit other celestial objects
  6. Solar nebula theory
    • The theory that described how stars and planets form from contracting, spinning disks of gas and dust. This is shown below.
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  7. Star
    A celestial object body made of hot gases, mainly hydrogen and some helium
  8. Nebula
    A vast cloud of gas and dust, which may be the birthplace of stars and planets
  9. Protostar
    Hot, condensed object at the center of a nebula
  10. Nuclear fusion
    The process of energy production in which hydrogen nuclei combine to form helium nuclei
  11. Photosphere
    • The surface layer of the sun
    • Shown on the right hand side below

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  12. Sunspot
    • An area of strong magnestic fields on the photosphere
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  13. Solar wind
    A stream of fastmoving charged particles ejected by the Sun into the solar system
  14. Solar flare
    • A solar flare is when complex groups of sun spots eject solar wind. 
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  15. Importance of the Sun
    • The Sun is needed for all life on Earth. Energy from the Sun drives most processes on Earth that support daily activities
    • i.e.- Sun is necessary in finding sufficient food, and providing shelter. The Sun is also responsible of the natural heating and lighting of the Earth
  16. Luminosity
    A star's total energy output per second; its power in joules per second (j/s)
  17. Absolute magnitude
    The magnitude of a star that we would observe if the stars were placed 32.6 light years from Earth
  18. Spectroscope
    An optical instrument that produces a spectrum from a narrow beam of light, and usually projects the spectrum onto a photographic plate of a digital detector
  19. Spectral lines
    Certain specific wavelengths within a spectrum characterized by lines; spectral lines identify specific chemical elements
  20. Hertzsprung-Russell (H-R) diagram
    A graph that compares the properties of stars
  21. Main sequence
    • A narrow band of stars on the H-R diagram that runs diagonally from the upper left (bright, hot stars) to the bottom right (dim, cool stars)
    • About 90% of stars including hte Sun are in the main sequence
  22. White dwarf
    A small, dim, hot star
  23. Supernova
    A massive explosion on which the entire outer portion of a star is blown off
  24. Neutron star
    A star so dense that only neutrons can exiat in the core
  25. How low-mass stars evolve
    Low-mass stars consume their hydrogen slowly over a time frame that may be up to 100 billion years. As they age they loose mass, become white dwarfs. 
  26. How intermediate-mass stars evolve
    They consume hydrogen faster than low-mass stars. When their hydrogen is used up the core collapse. The layers begin to expand and the temperature rises. It now appears red and is called a red giant. 
  27. How high-mass stars evolve
    These consume fuel faster than the other 2 and die quickly and violently. The stars expand into supergiants and heavy elements form by fusion. The outer part of the star creates a supernova, which can be billions of times brighter than the original star. A supernova ejects elements into the universe becoming new planets, stars, etc. 
  28. Black hole
    • A tiny patch of space that has no volume, but has mass and gravity
    • Extremely strong gravitational pull means nothing can escape, not even light
Card Set
Chapter 8 Glossary Terms
Earth and Space Science Chapter 8 Glossary Terms