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Moon Glossary

A

accumulated
to gather or pile together
astronaut
a person who travels beyond the earth's atmosphere
astronomer
an expert in the study of the Sun, Moon, stars, planets, and other space bodies
atmosphere
all the gases which surround a star, like our Sun, or a planet, like our Earth

C

crater
a hole caused by an object hitting the surface of a planet or moon or a depression around the opening of a volcano

D

debris
the remains of anything broken down or destroyed
diameter
the distance through a circle or sphere from one side to the other

E

eclipse
the hiding or dimming of one celestial object by another object

G

gibbous
what the moon is called when the majority of the nearside is illuminated and only a diminishing crescent remains in darkness, culminating in the "full moon" when the Moon and the Sun are on opposite sides of the Earth.
gravity
a mutual physical force attracting two bodies, influenced by the mass of the two objects and the distance between the two objects.

L

lunar
of, involving, caused by or affecting the moon; from the Latin word "luna", which means moon.
lunar eclipse
occurs when the Earth passes between the Moon and the Sun
lunar module
the section of the Apollo spacecraft designed to land on the Moon

M

mass
the measure of the amount of matter in an object
meteor
A shooting star or actually space debris that enters and burns up in earth's atmosphere
moon
a small natural body which orbits a larger one. A natural satellite.
moonrise
the moon coming up over the horizon

N

NASA
the National Aeronautics and Space Administration which is in charge of all space programs for the United States
new moon
the phase of the Moon when the Moon is lined up between the Earth and the Sun. We see the side of the Moon that is not being lit by the Sun.

O

orbit
the path followed by an object in space as it goes around another object; to travel around another object in a single path

P

phase
the particular appearance of a body's state of illumination, such as the new, full or crescent phases of the Moon
phenomena
Something impressive or extraordinary

R

revolve
to move in an orbit or circle around something
rotate
to turn around a center point, or axis, like a wheel turns on a bicycle

S

satellite
a smaller body which revolves around a larger body; a natural or an artificial moon. Earth-orbiting spacecraft are called satellites
solar eclipse
a shadow which falls on an area of Earth when the Moon moves between the Sun and Earth

T

telescope
a device which makes a larger image of a faraway object

U

universe
the huge space which contains all matter and energy

W

wane
to decrease in size
wax
to increase in size

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