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Exoplanets: Glossary

A

analyze
study or investigate
astronomers
a scientist who studies planets, comets and other space bodies
atmosphere
the air or gases that surround a planet

B

bacteria
a one celled living organism

C

carbon dioxide
a gas given off by animals and taken in by plant
compressed
to squeeze together

D

decompression
to separate out from a compressed version - spread apart
demoted
to categorize something on a lower level
detected
to find or see
determine
to find or see or understand
Doppler shift
change in the frequency of a wave
dwarf planets
a space body too small to be called a planet

E

enhance
make better
exoplanets
planets that exist orbiting stars other than our own sun
extrasolar planets
planets that exist orbiting stars other than our own sun

G

galaxy
a large system of stars
gaseous
to contain or be made of gas
gravitational
related to gravity

H

habitable zone
the distance from a star most likely to have conditions right for life on a planet

I

inaccurate
not quite true

L

light-year
distance light travels in one Earth year or 9,500,000,000,000 kilometers (about 93 million miles)

O

orbiting
the curved path of a planet around its sun

P

phenomenon
unusual wonders of space

R

radial velocity
the speed of an object as it moves toward or away from an observer
repurpose
use for a different purpose than originally intended
rogue
a lonely, nonconforming planet

S

satellite
a body that orbits another body
spectroscopy
the study of light passing through matter

T

technology
the science of useful tools
transiting
the passage of a planet across its sun

U

universe
all of time, space and its contents

V

venture
project
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