study guide - Basic Astronomical Objects Star- A large,...

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Basic Astronomical Objects Star- A large, glowing ball of gas that generates heat and light through nuclear fusion in its core. Our Sun is a star. Planet- A moderately large object that orbits a star and shines primar-ily by reflecting light from its star. According to a definition approved in 2006, an object can be considered a planet only if it: ( 1) orbits a star; ( 2) is large enough for its own gravity to make it round; and ( 3) has cleared most other objects from its orbital path. An object that meets the first two criteria but has not cleared its orbital path, like Pluto, is designated a dwarf planet. Moon ( or satellite) An object that orbits a planet. The term satellite is also used more generally to refer to any object orbiting an-other object. Asteroid- A relatively small and rocky object that orbits a star. Aster-oids are officially considered part of a category known as small solar system bodies. Comet- A relatively small and ice- rich object that orbits a star. Like as-teroids, comets are considered
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This note was uploaded on 03/10/2010 for the course ED 4070 taught by Professor Sweet during the Fall '09 term at Western Michigan.

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study guide - Basic Astronomical Objects Star- A large,...

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