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Definitions (492)


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solar maximum

The midpoint in the solar cycle where the amount of sunspot activity and the output of cosmic particles and solar radiation is highest.
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host galaxy

A galaxy in which a cosmic phenomenon, such as a supernova explosion or a gamma-ray burst, has occurred.
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molecular velocity

The average speed of the molecules in a gas of a given temperature.
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rocky planet

A planet located in the inner solar system and made up mostly of rock. The rocky planets are Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. This group is also known as terrestrial planets.
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solar minimum

The beginning and the end of a sunspot cycle when only a few sunspots are usually observed, and the output of particles and radiation is normal.
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infrared telescope

An instrument that collects the infrared radiation emitted by celestial objects. There are several Earth- and space-based infrared observatories. The Infrared Telescope Facility, an Earth-bound infrared telescope, is the U.S. national infrared observing facility at the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii. A planned space-based infrared observatory is the S [..]
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primordial nucleosynthesis

Element building that occurred in the early universe when the nuclei of primordial matter collided and fused with one another. Most of the helium in the universe was created by this process.
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nuclear transformation

The process by which an atomic nucleus is transformed into another type of atomic nucleus. For example, by removing an alpha particle from the nucleus, the element radium is transformed into the element radon.
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The layer of gases surrounding the surface of a planet, moon, or star.
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absolute brightness

A measure of the true brightness of an object. The absolute brightness or magnitude of an object is the apparent brightness or magnitude it would have if it were located exactly 32.6 light-years (10 parsecs) away. For example, the apparent brightness of our Sun is much greater than that of the star Rigel in the constellation Orion because it is so [..]
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