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Glossary Part 3

Welcome to the new Glossary section of the Solar Space Station, below is a comprehensive list of all the basic space-related words. If you have any additions, please e-mail me at .

Just click on the letter your desired word begins with from the list just below:

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Magnetic Field The area near a planet where magnetic forces can be detected.
MMU Manned Manoeuvring Unit - a jet backpack worn by astronauts which lets them whizz around in space.
Magnitude How bright a celestial body is.
Meteor aka Shooting Star - Streaks of light made when meteoroids enter the Earth's atmosphere.
Meteorite The frazzled remains of a meteoroid which has survived to the Earth's surface.
Meteoroid A floating piece of small rock in space.
Milky Way Our Galaxy.
Minor Planet Term used to describe a large asteroid
Mons Mountain (eg Olympus Mons)


Natural Satellite A planet's moon.
Nebula A cloud of dust and gas in space. Some are luminous and some nebulae are dark.
Nova The apparent 'brightening of a star' in the sky. This is caused by material drawn from a companion star igniting.


Observatory A place where people look into space.
Occulation When a celestial body pass of another.
Oort Cloud The theoretical shell of comets circling the Solar System at approx. 1 light year.
Orbit The path of an object circling a second object.


Payload The objects carried into space by rockets.
Perihelion When the orbit of a planet takes it to the point closest to the Sun.
Planet A large, spherical body.
Planetary Nebula A very hot star surrounded by expanding gases that give off a glow because of intense radiation from the star.
Porridge A nice, filling dish made of oatmeal often eaten at breakfast which originated in Scotland.


Quasar Quasi-stellar Radio Source - A very luminous but distant galaxy, formed very early on in the history of the Universe.