BJU Earth Science Chapter 22

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astronomical unit

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20 Terms

1

astronomical unit

The average distance between Earth and the sun, about 150 million kilometers

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2

solar spectrum

the entire span of electromagnetic wavelengths that the sun emits; includes radio waves, microwaves, infrared light, visible light, ultraviolet rays, x-rays, and gamma rays.

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3

nuclear fusion

The process by which two or more small nuclei fuse to make a bigger nucleus

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4

photosphere

the visible surface of the sun

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5

chromosphere

The lowest layer of the sun's atmosphere, starting at the photosphere and extending out to 2000 km from the sun's surface.

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6

corona

The hot outer atmosphere of the sun that extends far out into space to become solar wind. It is the location of solar prominences.

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7

prominence

a stream of solar plasma that rises into the corona from the chromosphere then gradually falls back.

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8

solar wind

A stream of electrically charged particles produced by the sun's corona

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9

sunspot

a cooler darker spot appearing periodically on the sun's photosphere

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10

solar flare

A sudden eruption of intense high-energy radiation from the sun's surface

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11

ray

a bright streak that radiates from some moon craters

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12

mare

a broad, lowland plain on the moon made of hardened lava

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13

rille

a long, narrow valley on the surface of the moon

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14

ecliptic

Path the sun takes across the sky

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15

revolution

Earth's yearlong elliptical orbit around the sun

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16

rotation

the spin of an object around an imaginary axis that passes through its center

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17

terminator

the line or edge separating the light and dark sides of any astronomical body

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18

lunar eclipse

Earth blocks sunlight from reaching the moon

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19

lunar phase

Changes in the visible portion of the Moon caused by its revolution about the Earth allowing us to see more or less of its lit up visible portion.

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20

solar eclipse

Occurs when the Moon passes directly between the Sun and Earth and casts a shadow over part of Earth

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