Science Vocabulary

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  1. Independant variable
    The factor that is changed by the experimenter.
  2. Dependant Variable
    The variable you are measuring or observing in the experiment.
  3. Controlled Variable
    Variables that could effect the outcome of the experiment. They are purposely controlled so that they would not influence results
  4. Hypothesis
    A prediction of the outcome of an experiment, based on previous research

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  5. Celestial object
    • Any natural object that can be seen in our sky
    • ex: stars, planets, moons, asteroids, galaxies, comets etc.

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  6. Astronomer
    A scientist who studies celestial objectsImage Upload 3
  7. Revolution
    The movement of one object around anotherImage Upload 4
  8. Rotation
    The turning of an object around it's own axisImage Upload 5
  9. Constellation
    A group of stars that form a distinctive pattern in the sky. There are 88 official constellations.

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  10. Light-year
    The distance light travels in one year, approx. 9.5 million kilometres.

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  11. Apparent magnitude
    • Brightness of a star as seen from Earth
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  12. latitude
    • Geographical location above or below the equator. 
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  13. Tides
    • The rising and falling of oceans waters caused by the Moon's and Earth's gravity.
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  14. ellipse
    • A curve that is referred to as being an oval, the shape of planetary orbits
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  15. Phases of the moon
    • The monthly progression of changes in the appearance of the moon that result from different portions of the moon being lit up by the sun
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  16. Eclipse
    When one celestial object moves in front of another celestial object, as viewed from earth
  17. lunar eclipse
    • When a full moon passes in the shadow of the Earth
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  18. Solar eclipse
    • When the shadow of he moon falls on the surface of the Earth
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  19. Planet
    • A spherical object that orbits one or more stars and does not share its orbit with another object
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  20. Solar system
    • A group of planets that circle one or more stars.
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  21. Retrograde
    • The movement of a planet from east to west rather than west to east, produced when earth is passing the planet in its orbit.
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  22. Motion
    • The action or process of moving or being moved.
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  23. Astronomical unit (AU)
    • The average distance between the Earth and the Sun, 150x10^6 km
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  24. Orbital radius
    • The average distance between the Sun and an object that is orbiting the Sun
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  25. Comet
    • An object composed of rocky material, ice and gas. Originates from the Kuiper Belt or Oork cloud.
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  26. Asteroid
    • A small non-spherical object believed to be debris from the formation of our solar system.
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  27. Meteoroid
    • A piece of rock moving through space
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  28. Meteor
    • A meteoroid that hits Earths atmosphere and burns up
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  29. Meteorite
    • A meteoroid that is large enough to pass through Earth's atmosphere and reach the ground without being totally burned up
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  30. Electro-magnetic radiation
    • Varying types of energy waves, travelling at the speed of light.
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  31. Refracting telescope
    • Telescope that uses a lens to collect light from an object
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  32. Reflecting telescope
    • Telescope that uses mirrors to collect light from an object
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  33. Satellite
    • Any object that orbits another object
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  34. Solar nebula theory
    • The theory that describes the formation of stars and planets from the collapse of a nebula, and a spinning disk of dust and gas.
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  35. Star
    • A celestial body made of hot gas, mainly hydrogen and helium
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  36. Nebula
    • Vast cloud of gas and dust, which may be the birthplace of a star and planets.
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  37. Protostar
    • Hot condensed object at centre of a nebula
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  38. Nuclear fusion
    • Process of energy production in which hydrogen nuclei combine to form helium nuclei.
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  39. Photosphere
    • Surface layer of the sun
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  40. Sunspot
    • Area of strong magnetic fields on the surface of the sun.
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  41. Solar winds
    • Fast-moving charged particles ejected by the sun into the solar system
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  42. Luminosity
    • A stars total energy output per second
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  43. Absolute magnitude
    • Magnitude of a star that we would observe if it were 32.6 light years away.
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  44. Spectroscope
    • Optical instrument that produces a spectrum from a narrow beam of light
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  45. Spectral lines
    • Specific wavelengths within a spectrum, characterized by lines that identify specific chemical elements.
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  46. HR Diagram
    • Graph that compares properties of stars.
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  47. Milky Way
    • Spiral galaxy that contains our solar system
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Science Vocabulary
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