Astronomical Dictionary


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

 

Definition


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Sapas
In Phoenician mythology, goddess of commerce and travel, and messenger of the gods.
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Saturn
Planet sixth in order from the sun. In Roman mythology, god of agriculture, and father of Jupiter (Greek name, Cronos).
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Scarp
A cliff or steep slope of some extent that may form a marked topographic boundary.
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Schiaparelli
Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli (1835-1910). Italian astronomer at the Milan Observatory who reported markings on Mars which he called "canali".
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Shearing
The motion resulting from stresses that cause or tend to cause contiguous parts of a body to slide relatively to each other.
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Shield volcano
A broad volcanic cone with gentle slopes constructed of successive nonviscous, mostly basaltic, lava flows.
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Sif
In Scandinavian mythology, the grain goddess renowned for her long golden hair. Mate of the thunder god Thor.
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SIR C X SAR
Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C and X- Band Synthetic Aperture Radar. An instrument that performs detailed observations of Earth at any time, regardless of weather or sunlight conditions.
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Slumping
A landslide that results from the downward sliding of rock debris as a single mass, usually with a backward rotation relative to the slope along which the movement takes place.
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Stickney
Angeline Stickney (1830-1892) The wife of Asaph Hall, known for her persistent encouragement of her husband as he strove to and eventually succeeded in the discovery of the satellites of Mars.
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Stratosphere
An upper portion of a planetary atmosphere, above the troposphere and below the ionosphere, characterized by relatively uniform temperature and horizontal winds.
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Tectonic
Relating to the deformation of the crust of a moon or planet, the forces involved in or producing such deformation, and the resulting forms.
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Terminator
The line separating the illuminated and unilluminated parts of a celestial body; the dividing line between day and night as observed from a distance.
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Transit
The apparent journey of Mercury or Venus across the Sun's disc, or of a planet's moon across the disc of its parent.
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Terrestrial
Belonging to the class of planets that are similar to the Earth in density and composition (i.e. Mercury, Venus, and Mars).
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Tethys
In Greek mythology, a sea goddess.
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Theia
Pre-Hellenic goddess of light, mother of the dawn. In Greek mythology, mother of Helios (the Sun) and Eos (the Dawn).
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Titan
In Greek mythology, Titans were the firstborn children of Uranus (the sky) and Gaea (the Earth). The ruler of the Titans was Cronos, whose Roman name is Saturn.
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Topography
The shape and form of the surface of a planet.
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Triton
In Greek mythology, merman, half-man, half-fish. Son of Poseidon and Amphitrite.
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Trough
A long linear depression.
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Umbra
From the Latin for shade, it is the shadow area defining a total eclipse, or the dark central region of a sunspot. When the Moon enters into the umbra completely, it is totally eclipsed. If it only partially enters into it, then it is partially eclipsed.

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Uranus
anet seventh in order from the sun. In Greek mythology, god of the sky, mate of the goddess of the Earth, and father of the Titans.
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Variable Star
Any star whose brightness or magnitude varies with time. The variations can be intrinsic because of internal processes or extrinsic, due to eclipses, dust and other phenomena. Variations can also be irregular or periodic. There are many sorts of variable stars, including Cataclysmic, Cepheid, Extrinsic, Eruptive, Intrinsic, Irregular, Long-Period, Regular, and Semi-Regular.
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Valhalla
In Norse mythology, Odin's hall, where he received the souls of slain warriors.
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Astronomical [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]

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