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A

AAO Anglo-Australian Observatory, based in New South Wales, Australia. The observatory is at an altitude of 1150m and has two telescopes: the 3.9m Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) and the 1.2m United Kingdom Schmidt telescope (UKST).
Absolute Magnitude The magnitude a star would have if it were placed at a distance of ten parsecs from the observer. More
Absorption Line A dark line in a star’s spectrum formed when radiation at a certain wavelength is absorbed by cooler gas in the outer layers of the star.
Achromatic Refractor A type of refracting telescope that contains at least two lenses in order to correct for chromatic aberration. More
Adaptive Optics A method of correcting for atmospheric interference using a bright reference star to detect variations and a deformable mirror to correct for them. More
Albedo The fraction of light reflected from a non-luminous body, such as a planet.
Aldrin, Edwin "Buzz" Member of the Apollo 11 crew and the second man to walk on the surface of the Moon. He was born in Montclair, New Jersey in 1930 and was selected for the astronaut programme in 1963. He established a new record for an EVA on the Gemini XII mission in 1966, before he and Neil Armstrong became the first men to walk on another world on 20th July 1969. The command module, which remained in orbit, was flown by Col. Michael Collins.
Alpha Centauri The closest star to the Sun, 4.3 light years away. Alpha Centauri is actually a system of three stars: a bright binary (double star) and, 2 degrees away, a faint red dwarf called Proxima Centauri. Proxima Centauri is the closest to us.
Andromeda A constellation in the northern sky named after a princess in Greek mythology. According to the myth, Andromeda was chained to a rock by her father to be eaten by the sea serpent, Cetus, which was terrorising his lands. Fortunately for Andromeda, she was saved by Perseus who swooped down on the back of his flying horse, Pegasus, killed Cetus and carried Andromeda off to be his wife.
Andromeda Galaxy The closest spiral galaxy to the Milky Way and the largest member of the Local Group. The Andromeda Galaxy is the most distant object that can be seen with the naked eye, at a distance of 2.3 million light years. It is classified as an Sb spiral galaxy, and is slightly bigger than our own galaxy. It is currently on a collision course with the Milky Way, and will hit in about 2 billion years.
Antennae A system of two interacting galaxies, in the constellation of Corvus, at a distance of 60 million light years away.
Antimatter Antimatter is made up of antiparticles, which have the same rest masses as matter particles, but opposite charges. When matter and antimatter meet they annihilate.
Aperture The diameter of a telescope’s main lens, mirror or collecting dish.
Aphelion The farthest point of an elliptical orbit from the Sun. i.e. the most distant point that a planet reaches from the Sun.
Apochromatic Refractor A refracting telescope that uses three or more lenses, with special properties, to completely cancel out chromatic aberration. More
Apollo 11 The first mission to land men on the surface of the moon. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin touched down the Eagle lander on the Sea of Tranquility on 20 July 1969. The Lunar Module stayed on the surface for 21 hours, and the astronauts spent 2 and a half hours outside. The command module, flown by Colonel Michael Collins, remained in orbit.
Apparent Magnitude A measure of how bright a star looks from Earth. Fainter objects have a higher apparent magnitude. The brightest star in the night sky is Sirius, the Dog Star, with an apparent magnitude of –1.46. More
Arc second An angular measurement equal to one sixtieth of an arc minute or 1/3600th of a degree.
Argon (Ar) One of the noble (inert) gases.
Armstrong, Neil The first man on the Moon. Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to walk on the surface of another world on the 20th July 1969. The command module, which remained in orbit, was flown by Col. Michael Collins. Armstrong was born in Wapakoneta, Ohio, in 1930. He was selected for the astronaut programme in September 1962 and was command pilot on Gemini 8 before taking command of Apollo 11. He was one of the first two civilian astronauts ever selected.
Asteroid A small rocky or metallic body in the Solar System, usually lying in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. More
Astronomical Unit A unit of length equal to the mean distance of the Earth from the Sun. 1AU = 149,597,870 km.
Atmosphere An envelope of gas surrounding an astronomical body.
Atmospheric Extinction The reduction of light from a celestial object as it passes through the Earth's atmosphere.
Atmospheric Turbulence Movement and variations in temperature and density in the atmosphere that can cause the light from celestial objects to shimmer
Atom The smallest particle of a chemical element that can take part in a reaction. It has a nucleus, containing protons and neutrons, surrounded by a cloud of electrons at different energy levels. The number of protons in an atom gives the atomic number, and this is different for each element.
Aurora An emission of light seen in the upper atmosphere. Particles from the solar wind are funnelled down to the polar regions by the Earth’s magnetic field. Here they interact with the atmosphere, exciting the atoms and causing them to emit light. The two colours usually seen are green and red, green caused by oxygen and red caused by nitrogen. Occasionally purple can be seen, also caused by nitrogen. The aurora are also known as the Northern and Southern lights.
Aurora Australis The Southern Lights
Aurora Borealis The Northern Lights
Axion A hypothetical elementary particle that may be a form of hot dark matter. It is thought to have a very tiny mass and interact extremely weakly with radiation. Back to Top

B

Bands Dark areas seen on Jupiter, where the atmospheric gas is falling into the planet.
Barred Spiral Galaxy A type of galaxy with spiral arms coming out from a bar of stars across the centre. More
Barringer Crater See Meteor Crater.
Beagle 2 A lander designed to search for signs of life on Mars. Beagle 2 will travel on the ESA Mars Express Spacecraft to be launched in 2003. Much of the lander is being designed and built in the UK.
Betelgeuse A supergiant also known as Alpha Orionis. It has a diameter hundreds of times larger than the Sun’s and is the tenth-brightest star in the night sky. It can be found in the constellation of Orion and has a surface temperature of about 2000 K, which makes it look red.
Big Bang The most likely theory for the origin of the Universe, in which the Universe has expanded from a single point of almost infinite temperature and density. More
Big Crunch The fate of a universe in which the density is greater than the critical density. The universe will expand from the Big Bang to a maximum radius, and then collapse back to a singularity again in the Big Crunch. More
Binding Energy The energy required to break up a nucleus into its protons and neutrons. The binding energy is also the energy that is released when two atoms fuse in a nuclear fusion reaction. Iron has the highest binding energy per nucleon. Iron is therefore the element at the peak of the binding energy curve.
Binoculars Two small, low-power telescopes mounted next to each other so that both eyes can look at a magnified object at the same time.
Black Body An ideal object that is a perfect absorber, and therefore a perfect emitter of radiation.
Blackbody Radiation The thermal radiation given out by a black body. It has a characteristic shape described by a function called the Planck function and it’s peak depends only on temperature.
Black Dwarf A white dwarf that has cooled until it is no longer visible.
Black Hole An object with such a strong gravitational field that its escape velocity is greater than the speed of light. It is believed that they form during the collapse of very massive stars. The radius of a black hole is defined as its event horizon, from inside which nothing can escape. At the centre of a black hole is a singularity - a point of infinite density where space and time break down.
Blueshift The Doppler shift of light towards the blue end of the spectrum. This occurs when the source of this light is approaching, and the wavelength of the light is compressed. A shorter wavelength means that the light looks bluer, hence the name blueshift. More
BOOMERanG A balloon experiment to study the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB).
Brown Dwarf An object smaller than 0.08 solar masses that never becomes hot enough to start hydrogen burning in the core. Brown dwarfs are very faint and hard to detect and so may account for some of the dark matter in the Universe.
Burning Front The edge of a layer within a star at which nuclear burning continues. Back to Top

C

c The speed of light in a vacuum with a value of c = 300,000,000 m/s, which is equivalent to 300 000 km/s or 10,800,000,000 km/h. The speed of light in a vacuum is theoretically the maximum speed possible. Nothing can move faster.
Caldera A large volcanic collapse crater that can reach several km in diameter.
Callisto The second largest moon of Jupiter and the outermost and faintest of the Galilean satellites, with an albedo of only 0.2. It has an icy surface with many impact craters and little sign of tectonic plate movement.
Caloris Basin An impact basin 1300km across, the largest on Mercury. It was probably formed about 4 billion years ago during a period of heavy bombardment. The inside of the basin contains many smooth plains called Caloris Planitia.
Carbon Burning The next stage of nuclear burning after helium burning, in which carbon is converted to higher elements.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) A colourless, odourless gas that doesn't burn and is formed when we breath.
Cartwheel Galaxy A ring-shaped galaxy in the constellation of Sculptor, at a distance of 500 million light years away. Cartwheel is an irregular galaxy that was formed when a large spiral galaxy was disrupted by a dwarf galaxy passing through it.
Cassini-Huygens A joint NASA, ESA and Italian Space Agency mission to Saturn. Launched in 1997, the probe should reach Saturn in 2004. The spacecraft caused a lot of controversy when it was launched, as it is nuclear powered. The Cassini orbiter will look at the atmosphere, rings and satellites of Saturn, whilst the Huygens probe will be dropped into the atmosphere of the largest moon, Titan, to study atmospheric and surface conditions.
CCD See Charge-Coupled Device
Celestial Sphere An imaginary sphere used as a background to position celestial objects.
Centre of Gravity The point in a body, or system of bodies, at which all external forces can be taken to act. This is the same as the centre of mass if the gravitational field is constant.
Centre of Mass The point in a body, or system of bodies, at which the whole mass of the system can be assumed to be concentrated.
Cephied A class of yellow giant or supergiant, pulsating variable star used to measure cosmological distances, e.g. to far-off galaxies. Cepheids have periods that are directly related to their absolute magnitudes, allowing them to be used as "standard candles". Distances are calculated by measuring the period, determining the absolute magnitude and comparing to the apparent magnitude.
Cernan, Eugene A. The last man to walk on the moon on December 14, 1972. Gene Cernan was the commander of Apollo 17, a mission carrying geologists to study the lunar surface and bring back rock and soil samples.
Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) A type of detector used on telescopes. The detector is split into about 1000 x 1000 pixels, each a tiny square diode. When the telescope is pointed at a galaxy, the mirror collects photons and directs them onto the CCD chip. When a photon hits a pixel, it causes a charge to build up on that pixel. The more photons that strike a pixel, the greater the charge that builds up, giving a “map” of light intensity which is read out and converted into an image. More
Charon The only moon of Pluto, Charon has a mass of one tenth that of Pluto, and so the two are often considered a double planet. Charon is probably made of rock and ice.
Chromatic Aberration An unwanted effect seen in refracting telescopes, caused by the fact that different wavelengths of light are refracted by different amounts by the lens and so are focussed at slightly different places. The effect can be reduced by using achromatic and apochromatic lenses.
Clementine A space probe built by the US Naval Research Laboratory to track missiles. It was launched in 1994 and used four different cameras to map the surface of the moon at several different wavelengths.
Closed Universe A universe which has a finite size and lifetime and in which space is positively curved e.g. a universe with a density greater than the critical density.
Cluster of Galaxies A group of galaxies possibly bound by gravity. The Milky Way is in a small cluster called the Local Group.
CNO Cycle A series of nuclear reactions that fuse hydrogen into helium in high mass stars, releasing energy as heat and light. More
Cold Dark Matter A type of dark matter thought to consist of heavy, slow-moving particles such as axions and photinos and low-mass black holes. More
Collimation The Alignment of components of a telescope. Also, making a beam of light parallel using an arrangement of lenses or mirrors.
Collins, Michael Collins piloted the command module of the Apollo 11 mission that landed the first men on the moon. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin touched down at the Sea of Tranquility, in the Eagle Lander, on July 20 1969. Collins remained in orbit.
Coma The gas and dust envelope surrounding the nucleus of a comet.
Comet A small (tens of km across) object made of ice and dust that orbits the Sun in a highly elliptical orbit. A comet consists of a nucleus of ice, rock and trapped gas that is dormant when it is a long way from the Sun. As it approaches the Sun, the gases heat up and burst out from the nucleus to form the coma and the tail. More
Constellation A collection of stars that make up a picture in the night sky. Most have names based on Greek mythology. The celestial sphere is divided into 88 constellations that are used to identify objects found within them.
Continental Drift The movement and formation of continents over long periods of time due to plate tectonics.
Convective Zone An area within a star where convection currents are largely responsible for energy transport.
Convex Curving outwards
Copernicus, Nicolaus (1473-1543) Polish astronomer and man of the church. Copernicus was the first person to suggest that the Earth goes around the Sun and is not at the centre of the universe. The Copernican system instead suggested a heliocentric (Sun-centred) universe. More
Core The central part of a star where all of the nuclear reactions take place. Also the innermost, densest region of a planetary body.
Corona Hot ionised gas that surrounds the Sun and some other stars. The solar corona has a temperature of about 2 million K, but is so thin that it can only be seen during total solar eclipses.
Corvus A small southern constellation that represents a crow
Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) A NASA satellite, launched in 1989, to study Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation. COBE discovered variations in the CMB and showed that it has a black body spectrum with a temperature of about 2.725 K.
Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) A faint glow from all directions in the sky, predicted by the Big Bang Theory. It has a black body temperature of about 2.725 K. More
Cosmic Ray A very fast moving atomic or subatomic particle travelling through space. These particles are mostly protons and helium nuclei (alpha particles), and they travel at close to the speed of light.
Cosmological Constant (Λ) A term introduced by Einstein that describes a type of negative pressure exerted by space itself. This may help explain the observed accelerated expansion, in an inflationary universe. More
Cosmological Principle The principle, which states, that the Universe is homogeneous and isotropic on large scales. This means that it looks the same from wherever we are, and in whichever direction we look.
Cosmology The study of the Universe, its structure and evolution.
Critical Density The density of matter in the Universe that is needed in order for the expansion of the Universe to be stopped. If the density of the Universe is much lower than the critical density it will go on expanding forever. If the density is much higher, the Universe will eventually collapse in the Big Crunch.
Critical Temperature The temperature that must be reached in order for a new nuclear reaction to begin within a star. The critical temperature is lowest for hydrogen burning via the p-p chain, and increases for each subsequent element.
Crust The rocky surface layer of a planetary body.
Curvature of Space-Time The property that the geometry of space and time becomes curved and distorted in the presence of strong gravitational fields, so that the usual laws of geometry cannot apply. Back to Top

D

Dark Current The charge that builds up in a CCD detector even when no light is falling on it.More
Dark Frame An image taken with the shutter of a CCD detector closed in order to account for dark current. More
Dark Matter “Missing” mass in the Universe that cannot be seen, but is detected through the movement of stars and galaxies. More
Dark Spot A feature seen on Neptune caused by a huge storm in the atmosphere.
Data Reduction The process of converting the raw data taken with a telescope into data that can be studied. More
Day The period of rotation of the Earth.
Declination A coordinate used to locate astronomical objects. Declination is measured in degrees, arc minutes and arc seconds north or south of the celestial equator. More
Deimos The outermost, irregular shaped moon of Mars. It may be a captured asteroid.
Density Mass/Volume.
Deuterium An isotope of hydrogen with one proton and one neutron in the nucleus.
Density Wave A wave of increased density that moves through the disc of a spiral galaxy, causing a concentration of interstellar material and stars. This encourages star birth in the area, and can be seen as the spiral arms.
Detector A device used with a telescope that collects light from astronomical objects, over a period of time, to give a brighter, clearer image. More
Diameter The distance from one side of a circle or sphere to the point opposite, passing through the centre.
Differential Rotation The effect where different parts of a non-solid body, such as a star or the atmosphere of a planet, turn at different speeds.
Diode An electronic, semiconductor device that allows current flow in only one direction.
Distance Modulus The difference between the corrected apparent magnitude and the absolute magnitude of an object. More
Dithering A process used by astronomers to correct for the effects of bad pixels and cosmic rays in CCD images. More
Dobsonian Telescope A type of Newtonian telescope with a friction based mounting. More
Dog Star See Sirius
Doppler Shift A change in radiation wavelength caused by the relative movement of the source. If the source is approaching, the wavelength of the light will be compressed, so the light will be shifted towards the blue end of the spectrum – blueshift. If the source is receding, the wavelength will be stretched, shifting the light towards the red end of the spectrum – redshift.
Dust Lane A long, wide band of dust across a galaxy. They are most often seen in spirals and are visible because they block out light from the stars behind.
Dynamical Perturbations Changes in the light of a star caused by its movement due to one or more orbiting planetary bodies. Back to Top

E

Earth Our planet. Earth is the third planet from the Sun and is the only place in the Universe known to support life.
Eagle Lander The Lander, carried on NASA's Apollo 11 mission, that placed astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the surface of the moon for the first time, on July 20, 1969. The command module, which remained in orbit, was piloted by Col. Michael Collins
Eccentricity (e) A measure of how elliptical an orbit is. For a circle e=0, for a parabola e=1.
Eclipse See Solar Eclipse; Lunar Eclipse.
Ecliptic The plane of the Earths orbit around the Sun, inclined at about 23.4 degrees to the equator, due to the Earths tilt.
Einstein, Albert (1879-1955) The German-born American physicist who devised the special and general theories of relativity. These changed the way scientist thought about space and time and gave the famous relation E=mc2, to link mass and energy. Einstein won a Nobel Prize in 1921 for his explanation of the photoelectric effect.
Electromagnetic Force A fundamental force that influences anything which carries a charge. Opposite charges attract, whilst like charges repel.
Electron An elementary particle with a negative charge of –1.602x10-19 C and a mass of 9.109x10-31 kg. Electrons orbit the nucleus of atoms at discrete energy levels and equal the number of protons in neutral atoms.
Element A substance that is made up of atoms with the same number of protons in their nuclei. Elements are the simplest substances that cannot be broken down chemically.
Ellipse A flattened circle, or oval. The extent of flattening is given by the eccentricity.
Elliptical In the shape of an ellipse
Elliptical Galaxy A circular or elliptical shaped, featureless galaxy with no spiral arms and little gas and dust. More
Emission Line A bright line in a spectrum at a particular wavelength of radiation, given out by excited atoms. Different gases have different emission spectra, and these can be used to determine the composition of a source.
Emulsion A light-sensitive coating on photographic plates.
Energy The ability to do work.
Epoch A particular period of history, or a reference point in time.
Equator The line where a plane that is perpendicular to a bodies axis of rotation, and passes through its centre, crosses the surface of the body.
Equatorial Plane The plane that passes through the centre of a body and is perpendicular to that body’s axis of rotation.
Eros The first asteroid known to have an orbit that passes within the orbit of Mars. It was discovered in 1898 and is also known as asteroid 433.
Erosion The wearing away of the surface of the Earth, or other planetary body, due to natural processes such as running water.
ESA European Space Agency. A cooperation between European countries to carry out space research. ESA was founded in 1975 and has it's main headquarters in Paris.
Escape Velocity The velocity needed by any object to escape from a gravitational field.
Europa Second Galilean and fourth largest moon of Jupiter. It has a cracked, icy surface with few impact craters, suggesting it is still geologically active. Europa is thought to be one of the few places in the Solar System capable of supporting life.
Extra-Solar Planet A planet orbiting a star other than our own Sun. More
Eyepiece A system of one or more lenses used to magnify and view the image formed by a telescope. Back to Top

F

Faulkes Telescope what
Field of View The angular size of the area of sky that a telescope can view at any one time.
Flat Field An exposure taken of a constant source to counteract pixel variations in a CCD image. More
Flat Universe what
Fluence Total Energy observed per cm2 of a detector.
Flux The amount of energy or particles passing through a cross-section of area per second.
Focus The point in a telescope at which the light rays converge, also called the focal point. Also one of two points, in an ellipse, at which the Sun may lie in a planetary orbit.
Force A reaction between two or more bodies which tends to affect the physical relationship between them, such as their motion or position.
Friction A force that opposes the movement of one object against another Back to Top

G

Galactic Bar The oblong or cigar shaped area of stars across some spiral galaxies.
Galactic Bulge The central area of spiral galaxies, roughly spherical in shape.
Galactic Disc The much thinner, extended area, containing stars, dust and gas, that orbits the centre of a galaxy.
Galactic Halo Any of the material, in a roughly spherical distribution, surrounding a galaxy.
Galactic Nucleus The very centre of a galaxy, often containing a dense group of stars.
Galactic Ring A ring seen around some spiral galaxies.
Galaxy A group of stars, dust and gas held together by gravity. More
Galilean Moons The four largest moons of Jupiter, discovered by Galileo in 1610. They are Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.
Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) An Italian astronomer, mathematician and physicist who made the first serious observations using telescopes. Galileo found mountains on the moon, Jupiter’s four largest moons and the many stars in the Milky Way, as well as observing the phases of Venus. Galileo believed in the Copernican, sun-centred universe, for which he was tried for heresy.
Galileo Spacecraft A NASA probe, launched to Jupiter in 1989.
Gamma Ray Burst A strong burst of gamma rays from an unknown source. More
Gamma Rays High energy radiation with wavelengths less than about 0.01nm. Photons have energies from 100 keV to over 10 GeV.
Ganymede The largest of Jupiter’s moons, larger than any other in the Solar System. Ganymede is also the brightest of the Galilean satellites, with an icy surface and varying areas of high and low albedo.
Gas Giant A planet made mainly of gas, which is much larger than the Earth. In our Solar System, the gas giants are Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.
General Theory of Relativity Einstein's theory that describes the effects of gravitational fields of matter on space and time.
Giotto The first ESA probe, launched to Halley’s comet in 1985.
Gravitational Microlensing The bending and amplification of light from a distant object by a closer object that passes between it and the observer.
Gravity A force of attraction, between two objects, that is proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.
Great Red Spot A huge storm that has raged for hundreds of years in the atmosphere of Jupiter. So large that over 4 Earths would fit inside it.
Greenhouse Effect An effect that causes the temperature of a planet to rise, due to the absorption of infrared radiation by gases in the atmosphere. Radiation from the Sun is at ultraviolet wavelengths and passes largely through the atmosphere. Once has been absorbed and re-radiated by a planet, however, it is at infrared wavelengths and can no longer pass easily through the atmospheric gases. This causes it to be reflected back and warm the surface. Back to Top

H

Hale-Bopp A long-period comet discovered on July 23rd 1995. It has a period of about 2400 years, and was last seen in April 1997.
Halley's Comet A short-period comet that returns approximately once every 76 years. Last seen in 1986, it is due to return in 2061.
Heliocentric Universe A Sun-centred or Copernican Universe
Helium what
Helium Flash The explosive onset of helium burning in the core of low-mass stars.
Hellas Crater A huge impact crater on the surface of Mars, measuring about 2500km across and 5km deep.
Hemisphere Half of a sphere. The Earth is usually seperated into the northern and southern hemispheres, divided by the equatorial plane.
Herschel, (Frederick) William (1738-1922) German-born English astronomer and musician and private astronomer to George III. He discovered Uranus in 1781 and several satellites of Saturn and Uranus in the years that followed. He also made many surveys of the sky and deduced that the Sun lies in a flattened disc of stars, the Milky Way.
Herschel, John Frederick William (1792-1871) English astronomer and scientist, he continued the observations made by his father William, which he published in the "General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters".
Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram A diagram that shows the brightness of stars plotted against their colour or spectral type. This can be used in stellar classification. More. It can also demonstrate the evolution of a star. More
Hipparchus of Nicaea (c.190-c.120 BC) A Greek astronomer, mathematician and geographer who devised the first system to classify the brightness of stars. Careful observations allowed him to compile a catalogue of 850 stars, divided into six classes of magnitude.
Homogeneous Uniform throughout space.
Hot Dark Matter A type of dark matter thought to consist of low-mass, fast moving particles such as neutrinos. More
H-R Diagram See Hertzprung-Russell Diagram
HST See Hubble Space Telescope
Hubble Deep Field A view, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, of hundreds of faint, distant galaxies in a small, seemingly featureless region of space.
Hubble, Edwin Powell (1889-1953) American astronomer who first identified nebulae to be galaxies outside our own. Hubble classified these in his tuning-fork diagram. He also deduced that these galaxies were moving away from us faster the further away they were, from which he established a relationship called Hubble’s Law.
Hubble's Constant The value that relates the distance of an object to speed of recession in Hubble’s Law. The value of Hubble’s constant is now thought to be about 65 ± 10 km/s/Mpc. More
Hubble Space Telescope (HST) A joint NASA and ESA, 2.4m reflecting telescope, launched in 1990. It orbits at about 600km and has provided some of the clearest images of far-off objects to date.
Hubble Tuning Fork Diagram A diagram that demonstrates Hubble’s classification of galaxies. More
Huygens An ESA probe that will be dropped into the atmosphere of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, in 2004, to study its surface, clouds and atmosphere. Part of the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft.
Hydrogen The lightest and most abundant element in the Universe, with an atomic number of 1. Hydrogen is usually a colourless gas.
Hydrogen Burning A set of nuclear reactions, which take place in the centre of stars, to convert hydrogen into helium.
Hydrogen Envelope A layer of hydrogen around a helium core in a star. The hydrogen in the core has become depleted through nuclear fusion to helium. Back to Top

I

Inclination The angle that the plane of a body’s orbit makes with a reference plane through the object it is orbiting, or the angle made by the body’s axis of rotation with a line perpendicular to that reference plane. In our Solar System, this reference plane is the plane of the Earths orbit, called the ecliptic.
Infinity Space, time or a quantity which has no bounds and goes on forever.
Inflation A very short period of huge expansion in the early stages of the Universe after the Big Bang. More
Infrared Radiation at the reddest end of the spectrum with wavelengths of 1-1300 µm.
Interstellar Between the stars
Interstellar Absorption Also called interstellar extinction, this is the absorption of the light from stars by gas and dust in the interstellar medium.
Interstellar Extinction See Interstellar Absorption
Interstellar Medium The material between stars made up, in our own galaxy, of mainly gas with a small amount of fine dust.
Inverse Square Law A law describing the weakening of a force or energy flow with distance from the source as 1/R2.
Io The third largest moon of Jupiter and the closest of the Galilean satellites to the planet. Io is highly volcanic due to tidal forces caused by the gravitational pull of Jupiter. This also means that its surface is relatively young, with many mountains and plains, but no impact craters. The volcanic nature of Io was identified, by the Voyager spacecraft, in 1979.
Ion An atom that has lost one or more of its electrons and therefore carries a positive charge.
Ion Tail One of the tails of a comet consisting of ionised gas from the coma, carried away by the solar wind. Also called gas tails, they are often blue or green in colour and can reach a length of over 108 km.
Iron what
Iron Oxide Rust formed by the reaction of iron with oxygen, responsible for the red colour of Mars.
Irregular Galaxy A type of galaxy with little structure. Irregular galaxies are divided into type I and type II irregulars. More
Isotropic The same in all directions Back to Top

J

Japanese Space Agency See NASDA.
Jovian Jupiter-like or of Jupiter.
Jovian Planet See Gas Giant Back to Top

K

Kepler, Johannes (1571-1630) German astronomer and mathematician who established his three laws of planetary motion after calculations of the orbit of Mars. More
Kepler's Laws Three laws that govern the movement of the planets around the Sun. More
Kuiper Belt A belt of millions of small, icy objects in the outer Solar System, lying in almost the same plain as the planets, beyond the orbit of Neptune. It is thought, by some astronomers, that Pluto and its moon Charon may, in fact, be Kuiper Belt objects. Back to Top

L

Large Magellenic Cloud One of two irregular galaxies that neighbour the Milky Way. The LMC is seen as a long, hazy patch of light in the constellations of Mensa and Dorado.
Laser Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. A device which produces a parallel beam of strong radiation. Lasers are now used as artificial standards in adaptive optics telescopes.
Lava Molten rock that issues from volcanoes
Length Scale what
Lenticular Galaxy A galaxy with a lens-like appearance, classified as an S0, which has a disc and central bulge, but no spiral arms.
Lepton A type of elementary particle, such as an electron, muon or neutrino, which is not effected by the strong nuclear force.
Light Curve A plot showing the variations in the brightness of an object with time
Light Year The distance travelled by light, through space, in one year. Equal to 9.4607x1012 km, 63,240 AU or 0.3066 parsecs.
Local Group The cluster of galaxies of which the Milky Way is a member. Containing 31 known galaxies, in a diameter of 3 million light years, the group is thought to have a mass of 3 to 5 x 1012 times that of the Sun.
Logarithmic Increasing in powers of ten.
Long Period Comet A comet with a period of over 200 years.
Luminosity The amount of radiation given out by a star.
Lunar Of the Moon.
Lunar Prospector A NASA probe, launched in 1997, to look for frozen water at the poles of the moon and to its gravitational field and volcanic emissions. Back to Top

M

Magellanic Clouds The two Irregular galaxies that accompany the Milky Way.
Magma Molten rock within a planet or moon.
Magnitude A measure of a star’s brightness. More
Main Sequence A strip from top left to bottom right on a Hertzprung-Russell diagram. Stars are on the Main Sequence if they are in their hydrogen-burning phase, with their position depending on their mass.
Mantle The layer between the core and the crust of a planetary body.
MAP Microwave Anisotropy Probe. A NASA mission to measure fluctuations in the Cosmic Microwave Background much more accurately than ever before, to give a better picture of the early Universe.
Maria Dark, young, lowland plains on the moon, consisting of basaltic lava with few large craters.
Mariner 10 A NASA space probe, launched in November 1973, which was the first to visit two planets, Venus and Mercury.
Mars Express A planned ESA mission to Mars that will carry the Beagle 2 lander to search for sub-surface water and signs of life on the planet.
Mass The amount of matter in an object.
Matter Anything that has mass
Matter-Dominated Era The era in which the expansion of the Universe is dominated by the gravitational effect of matter over the effect of radiation pressure.
Maunder Minimum A period of low solar activity, from 1645 to 1715, in which hardly any sunspots were seen. There was also a mini ice age on Earth at around this time.
MAXIMA A balloon mission to study the Cosmic Microwave Background.
Messier Catalogue A list of astronomical objects, including nebulae, star clusters and galaxies, first put together by Charles Messier in 1771. The catalogue has now been extended beyond Messier’s 103 objects, which are still referred to by their Messier number.
Meteor A short streak of light caused by a meteoroid entering the Earth’s upper atmosphere. More
Meteor Crater A large, well-preserved impact crater in Arizona. The crater has a diameter of 1.2km and a depth of 175m. It was formed by a nickel-iron meteorite, about 50m across, which struck the ground about 50,000 years ago.
Meteorite A natural object from space that hits the surface of a planetary body. More
Meteoroid A small part from an asteroid or comet that orbits the Sun. It becomes a meteor if it enters the Earth’s atmosphere. More
Methane CH4. A colourless and odourless flammable gas.
Milky Way The spiral galaxy we live in. More
Miranda The fifth-largest moon of Uranus. It is thought to have been broken up by a huge impact, and then reformed again from the debris.
Moon The only natural satellite of Earth. More
Mount Wilson Observatory An observatory at an altitude of 1740m, in the San Gabriel Mountains near Los Angeles. It houses the 2.5m Hooker Telescope, as well as a 1.5m reflector and two tower telescopes for observing the Sun. Back to Top

N

NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the US space agency.
NASDA National Space Development Agency. The Japanese space agency established in October 1969 to develop and promote the peaceful use of space.
NEAR Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous, a NASA space probe launched in 1996 to study the asteroid Eros.
Nebula A large cloud of gas and dust in space. There are three main types, these are emission nebulae, which give out light, reflection nebulae, seen by reflected light, and dark nebulae, which show up against a brighter background.
Neutral Atom An atom with an equal number of electrons to protons so that it has no net charge, i.e. it is not ionised.
Neutrino An elementary particle with no charge and only a tiny mass, but a very high velocity, close to the speed of light. There are three types of neutrinos known, these are the electron neutrino, the muon neutrino and the tau neutrino. Neutrinos are leptons and are the most likely candidate for hot dark matter, making up some of the missing mass in the Universe.
Neutron An elementary particle found in atomic nuclei. Neutrons have no charge and a mass slightly higher than that of a proton.
Neutron Star A very small, dense star that is thought to be formed during a type II supernova explosion.
Newton, Isaac (1642-1727) English mathematician and physicist who made the world's first working reflecting telescope. Newton also wrote the “Principia” dealing with the celestial mechanics of the Solar System, and one of the most important scientific books ever written.
Newton’s Law of Gravitation Two bodies attract each other with a force that depends on the product of their masses divided by the square of the distance between them. More
Newtonian Telescope A reflecting telescope that uses mirrors to collect and focus light. More
NGC New General Catalogue. A catalogue of 7840 galaxies, nebulae and star clusters, published by J. L. E. Dreyer in 1888, an extension of Herschel’s General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars.
Nitrogen (N) A non-metallic element, usually found in the form of an odourless, colourless and unreactive gas, N2, which makes up about 78% of the Earth's atmosphere.
Nuclear Burning Nuclear reactions that create the energy given out by stars. More
Nuclear Fusion The fusing together of two low mass atomic nuclei to form one of higher mass with the release of energy. This is the process that provides the energy to make stars shine. It does, however, need a temperature of about 108 K to overcome the initial repulsion between the positively charged nuclei.
Nuclear Reaction A reaction that involves a change to one or more nuclei, such as nuclear fusion or radioactive decay.
Nucleosynthesis The creation of elements by nuclear reactions.
Nucleus, Atomic The central part of an atom that contains positively charged protons and uncharged neutrons and makes up the majority of an atoms mass. The number of protons in the nucleus defines the atomic number and therefore the type of element.
Nucleus, Cometary The small, central, solid body, made of ice, gas and dust, in the head of a comet. This contains virtually all the mass of the comet and is also the source of any activity. Back to Top

O

Olbers, Heinrich Wilhelm Matthäus (1758-1840) German physician and amateur astronomer who pointed out what has come to be known as Olbers’ paradox. Olbers developed a method to calculate the orbit of a comet and discovered Pallas and Vesta. He also suggested that the tails of comets are expelled from their heads by the Sun.
Olbers' Paradox A paradox that states that if the Universe was infinite and with an infinite age then why is the sky dark at night? This can be resolved when the finite age of the Universe is taken into account. More
Olympus Mons A volcano on Mars, the largest in the Solar System, thought to be active within the last billion years. Olympus Mons is 27km high, with a caldera 80km across. If it were placed on Earth, Olympus Mons would collapse under its own weight due to the higher gravity.
Oort Cloud A roughly spherical cloud of comet nuclei that surrounds the Sun, some of which are occasionally affected by passing stars and sent into orbits which pass through the inner Solar System. The cloud is thought to contain around 1012 objects.
Open Universe A universe that has an infinite lifetime and will keep on expanding forever.
Orbit The path of one body around another. The planets, for example, move in elliptical orbits around the Sun.
Orion A constellation, on the celestial equator, which contains the bright stars Betelgeuse and Rigel, as well as the Orion Nebula, M42.
Overdensity An area in the Universe with a slightly higher density than average, which may condense to form structure.
Oxygen (O) A gas which makes up 21% of Earth's atmosphere, usually found in the form of O2. Oxygen is needed for animal and plant life.
Ozone Layer A layer of ozone (O3) in the stratosphere of Earth’s atmosphere that absorbs dangerous ultraviolet radiation from the Sun. Back to Top

P

Parabola A curve that extends to infinity as its arms become parallel. It can be thought of as an ellipse with an infinite distance between the two foci.
Parallax A system of measuring distances to stars. More
Parallel Two lines are parallel if they remain at a constant distance away from each other along their lengths.
Parsec Parallax-second. A unit of distance defined as the distance at which one A.U. makes an angle of one arc second.
Pathfinder A NASA space probe launched to Mars in 1996. It carried the Sojourner rover that roamed the surface of Mars and analysed its composition.
Perihelion The closest point in an orbit around the Sun.
Period The time taken for one orbit, or the time between repeated events.
Phobos The irregularly shaped inner moon of Mars. It is covered in impact craters, the largest of these is Stickney crater with a diameter of 11.5 km. Phobos is thought to be a captured asteroid.
Photino A theoretical fundamental particle that may help explain some of the missing mass in the Universe. Photinos are fermions.
Photographic Plate A type of detector used in telescopes to collect light from distant objects. More
Photometry The measurement of light.
Photon An electromagnetic radiation particle, with zero mass and charge, which travels at the speed of light. The energy of a photon is proportional to its frequency.
Photosphere The layer of a star from which most of its energy is released as visible or infrared radiation, this is the layer we see.
Pixel One of the elements that makes up the array in a CCD camera.
Planck An ESA mission to study the Cosmic Microwave Background to help answer questions about the early Universe. Planck is due for launch in 2007.
Planet A roughly spherical body, seen by reflected light, orbiting the Sun or another star. A body with a mass greater than ten Jupiter masses becomes a brown dwarf. More
Planetary Nebula A bright cloud of dust and gas around an evolved star.
Pleiades An open cluster (M45) in Taurus known as the Seven Sisters.
Polar Cap A bright layer of ice around the poles of a planetary body, which varies in size during the year.
Pope, Alexander (1688-1744) English writer and poet.
Population I Stars Stars that lie in the disc of the galaxy, like the Sun, and have a relatively high content of heavy elements. They are thought to have formed continuously through the lifetime of the disc, containing the debris from population II supernovae.
Population II Stars Stars found in the halo and nuclear bulge of the galaxy. They have much lower concentrations of heavy elements and were probably formed early in the life of the galaxy.
P-P Chain See Proton-Proton Chain
Principia The common name for Newton’s ‘Philosophae naturalis principia mathematica’, which deals with the mechanics of the Solar System, including his law of gravitation, laws of motion and derivations of Kepler’s laws.
Prograde The movement of a body in an anticlockwise direction around the Sun or anticlockwise rotation on its axis as seen from above the Suns north pole. This is the usual direction of rotation or orbit for bodies in the Solar system and can also be called direct motion.
Proton An elementary particle found in all atomic nuclei. It has a positive charge equal in magnitude to that of an electron, and a rest mass of 1.673x10-27 kg.
Proton-Proton Chain The set of reactions that converts hydrogen into helium in stars of less than two solar masses. More
Protostar A star in its early life, before nuclear burning has begun, as it condenses from a cloud of dust and gas.
Pulsar A rapidly spinning neutron star that gives out regular radio pulses. Most pulsars are thought to have been formed in supernova explosions, however, some may come from white dwarfs which have collapsed to neutron stars.
Pulsating Star See Variable Star Back to Top

Q

Quantum Gravity A theory that gravitational interaction is by the exchange of small packets of gravity called gravitons, similar to photons of light. These have not yet been observed.
Quark A fundamental particle that makes up hadrons, and has a charge of either 2/3 or -1/3. Baryons, such as protons and neutrons, are made up of three quarks.
Quintessence ? Back to Top

R

Radar Astronomy A method that uses reflected radio pulses to study bodies in the Solar System.
Radiation-Dominated Era The time up to 30,000 years after the big bang when the expansion of the Universe was dominated by radiation and high-speed particles.
Radiative Zone The area in the core of low-mass stars or the envelope of high-mass stars, where the energy is transferred mainly by radiation, rather than convection.
Radius The straight line from the centre of a sphere or circle to any point on its surface.
Red Giant A large, cool, bright star that has left the main sequence after burning all the hydrogen in its core. Red giants have diameters of over 25 times that of the Sun.
Red Giant Branch A branch on a Hertzprung –Russell diagram where red giants are located.
Redshift The amount of shift in wavelength of light to the red end of the spectrum due to Doppler shift or the expansion of the Universe. More
Reflecting Telescope A type of telescope that uses mirrors to collect and focus light from astronomical objects. More
Refracting Telescope A type of telescope that uses lenses to collect and focus light from astronomical objects. More
Refractive Index A measure of how much that light is bent by a material.
Regolith A layer of dust and broken rock on the surface of a planetary body, similar to soil but with no organic material.
Resolution The smallest separation between two objects by which a telescope can distinguish them apart.
Retrograde The movement of a body in a clockwise direction around the Sun or clockwise rotation on its axis as seen from above the Suns north pole. Also, motion that is backwards compared to the observers own motion.
Right Ascension (RA) A coordinate used to position astronomical objects. Right ascension (symbol α) is measured clockwise around the celestial equator in hours, minutes and seconds.
Rotational Axis An imaginary line, through the centre of a body, about which it rotates.
Rotational Period The time taken for a body to rotate once about it's axis Back to Top

S

Satellite Any smaller object that orbits a larger one.
Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope A compact telescope that uses two curved mirrors to collect and focus light from astronomical objects. More
SEDS Students for the Exploration and Development of Space. A worldwide student organisation promoting the peaceful exploration of space.
Semi-Major Axis Half of the longest diameter of an ellipse.
Semi-Minor Axis Half of the shortest diameter of an ellipse.
Seyfert Galaxy A type of galaxy, usually a spiral or barred spiral, which has a small, bright nucleus with strong, broad emission lines in its spectrum.
Shakespeare, William (1564-1616) English playright and poet whose works are considered the greatest in English Literature. The moons of Uranus are named after characters of Shakespeare and Alexander Pope.
Shell Burning The nuclear burning that continues in a shell around the core of a star when the fuel within that core has been depleted. The burning shell moves outwards as more and more fuel is used.
Shoemaker-Levy 9 A comet discovered in 1993, in a two year orbit around Jupiter. The nucleus had been disrupted by a close approach to the planet in 1992, and at least 21 fragments hit Jupiter, in July 1994, producing dark spots and then a belt, which could be seen for 18 months.
Short-Period Comet A comet with an orbital period of less than 200 years. The most famous of these is Halley’s comet, which returns once every 76 years.
Silicon (Si) A non-metallic element often found in the Earth's crust.
Silicon Chip A small crystal of silicon semiconducter used in electronics.
Singularity A single point of infinite temperature and pressure. The Universe is thought to have expanded from a singularity in the Big Bang.
Sirius Also know as the Dog Star, the brightest star in the night sky. Lies in the constellation of Canis Major.
Sloan Digital Sky Survey A project to study the 3-D, large scale structure of the Universe by mapping the positions of galaxies and quasars around the north pole of the galaxy.
Small Magellenic Cloud The smaller of two irregular galaxies that neighbour the Milky Way. The SMC can be seen as a hazy patch in the constellation of Tucana.
Solar Sun-like or of the Sun.
Solar Eclipse The movement of the Moon between the Sun and an observer on Earth.
Solar Mass A unit of mass equal to that of the Sun, 1.989 x 1030 kg.
Solar Maximum The period when the activity of the Sun and the number of sunspots are highest.
Solar Minimum The period when the activity of the Sun and the number of sunspots are lowest.
Solar Prominence A loop of plasma extending from the Sun, following a magnetic field line.
Solar System Our Sun and everything that orbits around it.
Solar Wind The outflow of particles, such as protons, electrons and some light nuclei, from the corona of the Sun.
Spectral Type The classification of a star due to its spectrum. This depends on the surface temperature and therefore the colour of the star. The order of classification is O – B – A – F – G – K – M. More
Spectroscopy The use of spectra to find information about astronomical objects.
Spectrum The full range of electromagnetic radiation, from long wavelength radio waves (105 – 10-3m) all the way to gamma rays (10-11 – 10-14m).
Sphere Anything in the shape of a ball
Spherical Aberration An effect caused by curved mirrors and lenses, in which light hitting the edge of the mirror is focussed at a slightly different point to that hitting the centre.
Spiral Arms The curved areas, extending through the discs of spiral galaxies where young stars, clusters, dust and nebulae are concentrated.
Spiral Galaxy A type of galaxy with spiral arms extending from a central bulge. More
Standard Candle A star with a known luminosity dependence that can be used to calculate cosmological distances.
Standard Star A star with accurately known magnitude and colour that can be used to calibrate images of new objects.
Star A shining ball of gas that produces energy through nuclear fusion. More
Steady State Theory A model of an expanding universe in which matter is constantly created so that the density remains constant. More
Stellar Nursery A large cloud of dust and gas where new stars are being formed.
Stellar Wind See Solar Wind
Stickney Crater A large impact crater on the surface of the Martian moon Phobos. The crater measures 11.5 km in diameter.
Strong Nuclear Force A fundamental force that binds protons and neutrons together in atomic nuclei
Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) A colourless gas, with a strong odour, produced by burning sulphur. Used to make sulphuric acid.
Sun The average yellow star about which the Earth and other planets orbit. More
Sunspot A dark spot on the Sun’s photosphere. Sunspots usually occur in pairs that are connected by strong magnetic field lines. They are more common when the Sun is at its most active, i.e. at solar maximum.
Supercluster A group of clusters of galaxies.
Supergiant A huge star at least 10,000 times brighter than the Sun and a diameter between 20 and several hundred times greater. Supergiants are stars of at least 10 solar masses that have swollen up and left the main sequence. They are the largest and brightest type of star.
Supernova The explosion of a massive star at the end of its life that can outshine the galaxy in which it lies. Supernovae are classified as either type I or type II, where type II supernovae show hydrogen lines in their spectra. See Type I Supernova and Type II Supernova.
Synchronous Lock The rotation of a satellite so that it always keeps the same face towards the body it is orbiting, or rotates whole number of times in a whole number of orbits. Back to Top

T

T Tauri Star A very young star, of equal or lower mass than the Sun, which is still contracting. T Tauri stars are less than about 10 million years old and lie on the Hayashi track on a Hertzprung–Russell diagram. The names comes from the first of this type of star to be identified.
Tectonics The movement of plates of planetary crust that causes continental drift on Earth, as well as volcanoes and earthquakes.
Telescope A device that uses lenses or mirrors to collect, focus and magnify light from distant objects. More
Terrestrial Of Earth, or Earth-like.
Tesla The unit of magnetic flux density i.e. the strength of magnetic field passing through unit area in unit time.
Tharsis Mons A huge upland region on Mars, including three large volcanoes, each reaching a height of 27 km.
Tidal Force The gravitational force, caused by a massive body, which creates tides on another body.
Time The property that stops all events happening at the same point from coinciding.
Titan The largest moon of Saturn and the second largest in the solar system. Titan is made of rock and ice and has a substantial atmosphere of mainly nitrogen, with some methane and hydrogen and traces of other elements.
Transit The movement of one object across another larger object, such as an extrasolar planet across the star it orbits.
Tuning Fork Diagram A diagram, in the shape of a tuning fork, which shows Hubble’s classification of galaxies. More
Type I Supernova A supernova explosion showing no sign of hydrogen in its spectrum. SNe I are divided into three classes: Ia, Ib and Ic. Type Ia are thought to be due to the explosion of a neutron star that has gained mass from another star and are usually seen among old stars. Types Ib and Ic probably come from the explosion of massive stars that have already lost their hydrogen envelope and are seen among new star populations.
Type II Supernova A violent explosion of a star greater than 8 solar masses leaving behind a neutron star, or possibly a black hole. SNe II can be distinguished from SNe I due to the presence of hydrogen in their spectra. They usually occur in young star populations. Back to Top

U

Ultraviolet Radiation Radiation at the far blue end of the spectrum with wavelengths between about 90 and 350 nm.
Universe Everything that exists including matter, space and time. More Back to Top

V

Vacuum Empty space where no matter is present.
Valles Marineris A large system of canyons on Mars, the largest in the solar system. It stretches for over 4000 km and can be up to 500 km wide and 4 km deep. Valles Marineris can be seen from Earth as the dark streak across the red planet. It was named after the Mariner 9 spacecraft that discovered it in 1971.
Variable Star A star that varies in brightness. More
Vela Satellites A series of US military satellites designed to monitor Soviet nuclear testing by looking for gamma rays. They actually found gamma ray bursts coming from beyond the Earth.
Venera A series of Soviet space probes to Venus, which took the first pictures of the planets surface and the first analysis of the atmosphere and soil.
Virgo Cluster A large, irregular cluster of galaxies, the closest to our own. The Virgo Cluster contains about 2000 galaxies and is roughly elliptical in shape. It lies at a distance of about 50 million light years away.
Visible Band The part of the electromagnetic spectrum that can be seen by the human eye.
Visible Universe The extent of the Universe that can be seen because it is close enough that its light has had time to reach us in the age of the Universe. More Back to Top

W

Wavelength The distance between peaks of a wave.
Weak Nuclear Force A fundamental force between elementary particles that can be responsible for radioactive decay.
Whirlpool Galaxy An Sc-type spiral galaxy, about 25 million light years away in Canes Venatici, which is interacting with a small irregular galaxy. The Whirlpool Galaxy, also known as M51, is seen face on, and was the first galaxy in which the spiral structure could be clearly seen.
White Dwarf A small dense star left over from the collapse of the cores of less massive stars. Back to Top

X

X-Rays Electromagnetic radiation to the far blue end of the spectrum, with wavelengths of about 0.01-10nm, and energies of 0.1-100 keV. Back to Top

Y

Year The time the Earth takes to orbit the Sun, approximately 365.25 days. Back to Top

Z

Zenith The point directly above an observer on the celestial sphere, so that a line to it is at right angles to the plane of the horizon.
Zones Bright areas seen on Jupiter, where the atmospheric gas is rising. Back to Top




[A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G] [H] [I] [J] [K] [L] [M] [N] [O] [P] [Q] [R] [S] [T] [U] [V] [W] [X] [Y] [Z]

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Authors: Carolyn Brinkworth and Claire Thomas

Last updated: July 2001