Astronomical Dictionary


Dictionary of Astronomical Definitions and Terms.
Astronomical [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]

 

Definition


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Basalt
Fine-grained igneous rock (rich in mafic minerals) that has erupted onto the surface.
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Atlas
In Greek mythology, brother of Prometheus and grandfather of Hermes (Mercury). Condemned to stand forever supporting the heavens on his shoulders. The Atlantic Ocean is named for him.
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Atla
In Norse mythology, a giantess, mother of Heimdall.
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Arachnoid
Spider or cobweblike feature on the surface of Venus, typically having a diameter of about 100-km and a central volcanic structure surrounded by a complex network of lineaments.
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Apollo
In Greek mythology, one of the twelve Olympian gods. God of prophecy, healing, archery, music, youth, plastic arts, science and philosophy.
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Aphrodite
One of the twelve Greek Olympian gods. Goddess of Love (Roman name, Venus), daughter of Zeus and Dione .
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Antipodal point
The opposite point with respect to any given point.
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Anorthosite
A type of igneous rock composed almost entirely of feldspar, a group of minerals that make up about 60% of the Earth's crust.
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Altimetry
The measurement of elevation or altitude.
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Albedo
The ratio of the amount of solar radiation reflected from an object to the total amount incident upon it.
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Akna
In Native American traditions from Mexico and from the Arctic, "Moon" (Wife of the Sun) and "The Mother" (Goddess of Childbirth), respectively.
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Adams
John Couch Adams (1819-1892) English astronomer. One of the discoverers of the planet Neptune.
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Achondrite
A stony meteorite, coarsely crystallized, with sizable fragments of various minerals visible to the naked eye.
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Aa
A basaltic lava with a rough, jagged surface.
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Granulation
The mottled, orange peel, appearance of the Sun's surface; caused by convection within the Sun and often referred to as the "rice grain" patterning.
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Geomorphology
The study of the external structure, form, and arrangement of rocks in relation to the development of landforms.
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Geyser
A type of hot spring that intermittently erupts jets of material.
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Giotto
Giotto di Bondone (1267?-1337) Italian medieval painter, architect, and sculptor.
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Graben
A long, relatively depressed crustal unit or block that is bounded by faults along its sides; a trough.
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Gula
One of the primary goddesses of the Akkadian and Babylonian peoples. The mother-goddess and great physician, she had the power to inflict as well as cure disease.
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Heliocentric
Sun-centered. Positions of planets, including the Earth and Moon, referred to the center of the Sun. It is normal to give the Geometric Positions, i.e., positions not corrected for light-time.
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Hadley
John Hadley (1682-1744) English mathematician and inventor. Built first serviceable reflecting telescope and invented an improved quadrant known as Hadley's quadrant.
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Halley
Edmond Halley (1656-1742) English astronomer. In 1758, predicted accurately the return of a comet previously observed in 1531, 1607, 1682. The body was subsequently named Halley's Comet.
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Herschel
Sir William Herschel (1738-1822). British astronomer. Built reflecting telescope of superior quality and with it discovered planet Uranus . Discovered satellites of Uranus and of Saturn.
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Hestia
In Greek mythology, one of the twelve Olympian gods. Sister of Zeus and goddess of the hearth and home (Roman name, Vesta).
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Astronomical [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]

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