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Common Terms

Nathan Smith-Manley

Last Update a year ago

Common astronomical terms:


Astronomy: The scientific study of the universe and celestial objects, including stars, planets, galaxies, and other phenomena.


Celestial object: Any object in the universe outside the Earth's atmosphere, such as stars, planets, moons, asteroids, comets, and nebulae.


Solar system: The collection of celestial objects that orbit around the sun, including the planets, moons, asteroids, and comets.


Galaxy: A large system of stars, dust, and gas that are held together by gravity. The Milky Way is the galaxy that contains our solar system.


Constellation: A group of stars that appear to form a pattern or shape in the sky, often named after mythological figures or objects.


Eclipse: The blocking of one celestial object by another, such as a solar eclipse (when the moon passes between the sun and Earth) or a lunar eclipse (when the Earth passes between the sun and the moon).


Comet: A small celestial object composed of ice, dust, and gas that orbits the sun and produces a coma (a fuzzy halo) and a tail when it approaches the sun.


Common meteorological terms:


Meteorology: The scientific study of the Earth's atmosphere and weather.


Weather: The state of the atmosphere at a specific time and place, including temperature, humidity, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and atmospheric pressure.


Climate: The long-term patterns of weather in a particular region or area.


Front: The boundary between two air masses with different temperatures, humidity levels, and densities, which can cause changes in the weather.


Storm: A severe disturbance in the atmosphere that can cause high winds, heavy rain or snow, lightning, and thunder.


Hurricane: A tropical cyclone with sustained winds of 74 mph (119 km/h) or greater that forms over the ocean and can cause severe damage to coastal areas.


Tornado: A violent rotating column of air that extends from a thunderstorm cloud to the ground and can cause significant damage to structures and vegetation.

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