Browse the glossary using this index
Special | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | ALL
A flow of matter that is largely confined to a plane and that is spiralling in towards a central object.
The angle between two lines drawn from an observer’s eye to opposite sides of the object being observed.
A region between Mars and Jupiter in which most asteroids reside in stable orbits. Also called main belt.
The study of the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies claimed as having an influence on human affairs and the natural world. Astrology is not a science.
Astronomy is the scientific study of stars, space, and the physical universe as a whole.
The building block of chemistry comprising a tiny, dense, positively charged atomic nucleus (which can contain both protons and neutrons) with circulating negatively charged electrons equal in number to the number of protons in the nucleus.
The event which is believed to mark the origin of time and space. Consequences of the Big Bang include the fact that space is expanding, that the temperature of the Universe is falling and that elements or isotopes such as helium, lithium and deuterium have certain abundances in the Universe.
An hypothesis that, if there were enough matter in the Universe, the expansion of the Universe would eventually become a contraction, leading to a big crunch. This hypothesis is no longer believed to be valid.
A region of the Universe in which gravity is so strong that not even light can escape.