Introduction to Astronomy Mr. Lewis Music, Motion, & Multimedia, 2007
Observatory • observatory: a place or building that uses large telescopes for observing outer space.
Planetarium • planetarium: a domed room in which shows the night sky from any locations at any time far in the past to far in the future. Some planetariums are able to show all dome films surrounding the audience with the action.
Galaxy • galaxy: a very large cluster of stars (tens of millions to trillions of stars) gravitationally bound together. NGC 5866 is tilted nearly edge-on to Earth's line-of-sight. AndromedaGalaxy, M31
Nebula • nebula: an enormous cloud of gas and dust. Eagle Nebula
Asteroid • asteroid: boulder to mountain-sized piece of rock remaining from the early solar system. The largest asteroid is only 1000 kilometers across but most are much smaller. Asteroid 951 Gaspra
Milky Way Galaxy • Milky Way Galaxy: the large spiral galaxy in which our Sun and planets reside. Our Sun is one star of several hundred billion in the Milky Way.
Sun • Sun: the star at the center of our solar system.
Mercury • Mercury: the closest planet to the Sun.
Venus • Venus: the second planet from the Sun. “[Venus’s] atmosphere is composed mostly of carbon dioxide. There are several layers of clouds many kilometers thick composed of sulfuric acid.” It’s pressure is 90 times that of earth. Some areas of the planet are so hot that they would cause lead to melt. Source: www.nineplanets.org.
Earth • Earth: the third planet from the Sun.
Rotate • rotate: when an object spins
Revolve • revolve: when an object moves in a circular-like pattern (orbits) another object.
Orbit • orbit: the path one object takes around another object.
Our Moon • Moon: a rocky sphere that orbits the Earth. “Most rocks on the surface of the Moon seem to be between 4.6 and 3 billion years old.” Source: www.nineplanets.org.
Craters • craters: a hole in the ground made by the impact of a meteorite. Meteor Crater in Arizona, 49,000 years old. Aristarchus and Herodotus on the moon
Greenhouse Effect • greenhouse effect: the trapping of heat energy close to a planet's surface by certain types of gases in the atmosphere (e.g., water, methane, and carbon dioxide). These gases allow visible light from the Sun to reach the surface but prevent the infrared light from the heated surface to radiate back to space.
Mars • Mars: fourth planet from the sun. Mars once had liquid water on it and therefore, possibly life. It may still have liquid water and life on it below the surface.
Valles Marineris • Valles Marineris: a huge canyon. It is found on Mars.
Olympus Mons • Olympus Mons: the largest mountain in the solar system. This mountain is a volcano and found on Mars. Almost as big as the state of Arizona
Jupiter • Jupiter: the fifth planet from the Sun.
Europa • One of Jupiter’s moons, Europa may have a deep ocean of liquid water on it and therefore may have life in the ocean. “Jupiter has a total of sixty-three moons, ranging from tiny "moonlets" only a few miles in diameter up to giant Ganymede, which is larger than two of the planets in the solar system. The four largest moons are called the Galilean moons because they were discovered by Galileo Galilei when he started using his primitive telescope almost five hundred years ago.” Source: Astronomy for Kids at http://www.dustbunny.com/afk/planets/jupiter/jupmoons.html
Great Red Spot • Great Red Spot: a giant hurricane like storm that is about 2 times bigger than the size of Earth.
Saturn • Saturn: the sixth planet from the Sun.
Uranus • Uranus: the seventh planet from the Sun.
Neptune • Neptune: the eighth planet from the Sun.
Pluto • Pluto: Pluto was officially re-classifiedfrom a full-fledged planet to a "dwarf planet" on August 24, 2006. That means Pluto is no longer considered a real planet. Consequently, our solar system now has only eight planets. Charon
Questions to Ponder • How is it possible that Earth and other planets do not crash into each other? • Why does the moon appear so cratered and Earth does not? • Is it possible for an asteroid to hit Earth? • What causes the seasons on Earth? • How does the sun create energy? • Is there life on other planets?
Questions to Ponder • Are humans responsible for the greenhouse effect? • Should Pluto be reclassified as a “real planet?” • What causes gravity? • How fast is our solar system traveling through space? • Is it possible to create a situation on the moon that allows life to exist?
Questions to Ponder • Are the dangers involved in space travel actually worth the knowledge that humans gather when they go in space? • How is it possible for a gas planet to remain a “gas planet?” Gas tends to go it’s on way on Earth. • Since light travels, does that mean that if a star explodes and it is 2 million light years from Earth, did the star actually explode 2 million years ago?