Sunspot cycle The change in strength of the Sun’s magnetic field, which determines the number of sunspots and the amount of particles emitted in the solar wind. The period of the cycle is about 11 years. Supermassive black hole A black hole possessing as much mass as a million or a billion stars. Supermassive black holes reside in the centers of galaxies and are the engines that power active galactic nuclei and quasars. Supernova The explosive death of a massive star whose energy output causes its expanding gases to glow brightly for weeks or months. A supernova remnant is the glowing, expanding gaseous remains of a supernova explosion. Supernova Remnant The glowing, expanding gaseous remains of a supernova explosion. Tail A tail is made up of dust and gas from a comet’s coma. A tail forms when the solar wind separates dust and gas from the coma, pushing it outward and away from the Sun in either a slightly curved path (for dust) or a straight path (for gas). Telescope An instrument used to observe distant objects by collecting and focusing their electromagnetic radiation. Telescopes are usually designed to collect light in a specific wavelength range. Examples include optical telescopes that observe visible light and radio telescopes that detect radio waves. Temperature A measure of the amount of heat energy in a substance, such as air, a star, or the human body. Because heat energy corresponds to motions and vibrations of molecules, temperature provides information about the amount of molecular motion occurring in a substance. Terabyte A measure of computer data storage capacity equal to approximately a thousand billion bytes (or a thousand gigabytes). In computer language, a byte of information represents a letter or digit. So, a thousand billion bytes is equal to a thousand billion letters. Terrestrial Planets whose density and chemical makeup are similar to those of Earth. Terrestrial planets The four planets of the inner solar system (Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars) are called terrestrial planets because they are made up mostly of rock. Theory An accepted idea used to explain nature. Theories not only explain an observed event, they can also be used to predict what will happen. Sometimes, an idea that is really a hypothesis is incorrectly called a theory. A true scientific theory is a hypothesis that makes predictions. Those predictions have been tested and have proven to be accurate. Created by TechBrick Robotics [email protected]
/ 410.838.8264 / [email protected] TERM DEFINITION Thermal radiation Radiation released by virtue of an object's heat, namely, the transfer of heat energy into the radiative energy of electromagnetic waves. Examples of thermal radiation are sunlight, the orange glow of an electric range, and the light from in incandescent light bulb.
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