Astronomical Dictionary
Letter: N


Dictionary of Astronomical Definitions and Terms.
Astronomical | N

 

Definition


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Nebula
A term used to describe celestial objects which have a fuzzy, or nebulous, appearance (from the Latin for cloud.), such as gas, or dust, clouds. Galaxies were once described thus..
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Nova
Literally, a new star. An existing star which suddenly increases its brightness by more than 10 magnitudes and then slowly fades. This happens when a star throws off a portion of its outer shell or envelope; after this happens, the star usually returns to normal. On the average, 25 such eruptions per year occur in a spiral galaxy such as our own (the Milky Way). But, only 2 or 3 new novae are usually discovered in our galaxy each year.
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Navka
Arab mother-goddess.
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Neptune
Planet eighth in order from the sun. In Roman mythology, god of the sea (Greek name, Poseidon).
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Nucleus
The frozen core of a comet which contains almost the entire cometary mass and is located in the comet's head.
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