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Derek Haselden - Astronomical Glossary
Category: Meteorology and astronomy > Astronomy
Date & country: 05/11/2007, UK
Words: 797


Seyfert galaxies
A kind of so-called 'active' galaxy. Seyfert galaxies have fairly small but bright nuclei and weak spiral arms. These galaxies are also strong emitters of radio wave energy.

Shajn-Schaldach
A comet in our solar system with an orbital period of 7.46years. More data in TABLE 14. NOTABLE PERIODIC COMETS

Siarnaq
Satellite of the planet Saturn. See TABLE 8. SATURN - SATELLITE DATA

Sidereal
With respect of the stars.

Sidereal period
The revolution period of a planet round the Sun. Also the revolution period of a moon around a planet.

Sidereal time
The local time measured according to the apparent rotation of the celestial sphere. When the Vernal Equinox crosses the observer's meridian the sidereal time is 0 hours.

Sinope
Satellite of the planet Jupiter. See TABLE 7. JUPITER - SATELLITE DATA

Skadi
Satellite of the planet Saturn. See TABLE 8. SATURN - SATELLITE DATA

Skiff-Kosai
A comet in our solar system with an orbital period of 7.54years. More data in TABLE 14. NOTABLE PERIODIC COMETS

Slaughter-Burnham
A comet in our solar system with an orbital period of 11.6years. More data in TABLE 14. NOTABLE PERIODIC COMETS

Smirnova-Chernykh
A comet in our solar system with an orbital period of 8.57years. More data in TABLE 14. NOTABLE PERIODIC COMETS

Solar wind
The flow of particles from the Sun in every direction. The 'wind' is an ever present feature of the Sun but the intensity of the wind is dependant on Solar activity.

Solstices
The time when the Sun is at its maximum declination either north or south of the celestial equator. There are two solstices; summer solstice (around 22nd June each year) when the Sun is 23 and a half degrees north of the celestial equator. At this point the Earth's northern hemisphere will have its longest day and the Sun's noon altitude will be at its highest; and winter solstice (around 22nd December each year) when the Sun is 23 and a half degrees south of the celestial equator. At this point the Earth's southern hemisphere will have its longest day and the Sun's noon altitude will be at its highest.

Specific gravity
The density of a substance taking water to equal 1. For example, Saturn has a specify gravity, or density, of 0.71. Therefore an equal volume of water would weigh more than the planet - if you had a big enough bowl of water, Saturn would float in it! On the other hand, Earth has a specific gravity of 5.5, thus Earth would weigh 5.5 times as much as an equal volume of water.

Spectroscope
A device that splits the light coming from an object. This enables the study of the properties of that light source as well as the detection of elements and molecules present.

Spectroscopic binary
A binary star system where the two (or more) components are too close to be separated visually. Observation by spectroscopic means however can reveal the presence of other components of the binary system that normal optical means cannot.

Spherical abberation
An optical defect caused when the inner and outer parts of a lens or mirror have different focal lengths and results in blurred images.

Spitaler
A comet in our solar system with an orbital period of 6.37years. More data in TABLE 14. NOTABLE PERIODIC COMETS

Sponde
Satellite of the planet Jupiter. See TABLE 7. JUPITER - SATELLITE DATA

Stepham-Oterma
A comet in our solar system with an orbital period of 37.7years. More data in TABLE 14. NOTABLE PERIODIC COMETS

Stephano
Satellite of the planet Uranus. See TABLE 9. URANUS - SATELLITE DATA

Stratosphere
The layer of the Earth's atmosphere that lies 10km to 40km (6 to 25 miles) above the surface of the Earth. Within the layer the temperature is almost constant at -55°C (-67°F). The stratosphere lies above the troposphere, the lowest layer of Earth's atmosphere.

Superior planets
The planets that lie at a greater distance from the Sun than that of Earth.

Supernova
The outburst of a star on a tremendous scale. There are broadly 2 types of supernova. (1). Where a white dwarf member of a binary system explodes, or matter falls onto the white dwarf and explodes. (2). The collapse and then chaotic explosion of a single massive star.

Suttung
Satellite of the planet Saturn. See TABLE 8. SATURN - SATELLITE DATA

Sycorax
Satellite of the planet Uranus. See TABLE 9. URANUS - SATELLITE DATA

Synodic
With respect of the Earth.

Synodic period
The interval between successive oppositions of a superior planet.

Syzygy
The position of the Moon in its orbit when it is either Full or New.

Tarvos
Satellite of the planet Saturn. See TABLE 8. SATURN - SATELLITE DATA

Tauri
The constellation Taurus. English name: The Bull. Visibility: Visible from the UK See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

Taurids
Meteor shower. Most active day is Nov.3. 2 radiants. Slow, often bright meteors.

Taurus
English name: The Bull. Genitive name: Tauri. Visibility: Visible from the UK See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

Taygete
Satellite of the planet Jupiter. See TABLE 7. JUPITER - SATELLITE DATA

Taylor
A comet in our solar system with an orbital period of 6.99years. More data in TABLE 14. NOTABLE PERIODIC COMETS

Telescopii
The constellation Telescopium. English name: The Telescope. Visibility: Never visible from the UK. See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

Telescopium
English name: The Telescope. Genitive name: Telescopii. Visibility: Never visible from the UK. See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

Telesto
Satellite of the planet Saturn. See TABLE 8. SATURN - SATELLITE DATA

Tempel 1
A comet in our solar system with an orbital period of 5.49years. More data in TABLE 14. NOTABLE PERIODIC COMETS

Tempel 2
A comet in our solar system with an orbital period of 5.29years. More data in TABLE 14. NOTABLE PERIODIC COMETS

Tempel-Swift
A comet in our solar system with an orbital period of 5.68years. More data in TABLE 14. NOTABLE PERIODIC COMETS

Terminator
The dividing line between light and dark on a moon or planet.

Tethys
Satellite of the planet Saturn. See TABLE 8. SATURN - SATELLITE DATA

Thalassa
Satellite of the planet Neptune. See TABLE 10. NEPTUNE - SATELLITE DATA

Thalia
One of the `minor planets` of our solar system. Discovered by Hind on 15 Dec 1852. Diameter in km: 116. More data in TABLE 13. THE MINOR PLANETS

The Air Pump
The constellation Antlia. Genitive name: Antliae. Visibility: Parts visible from the UK. See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Altar
The constellation Ara. Genitive name: Arae. Visibility: Never visible from the UK. See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Archer
The constellation Sagittarius. Genitive name: Sagittarii. Visibility: Parts visible from the UK. See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Arrow
The constellation Sagitta. Genitive name: Sagittae. Visibility: Visible from the UK See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Bird of Paradise
The constellation Apus. Genitive name: Apodis. Visibility: Never visible from the UK. See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Bull
The constellation Taurus. Genitive name: Tauri. Visibility: Visible from the UK See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Centaur
The constellation Centaurus. Genitive name: Centauri. Visibility: Parts visible from the UK. See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Chamaeleon
The constellation Chamaeleon. Genitive name: Chamaeleontis. Visibility: Never visible from the UK. See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Charioteer
The constellation Auriga. Genitive name: Aurigae. Visibility: Visible from the UK See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Compasses
The constellation Circinus. Genitive name: Circini. Visibility: Never visible from the UK. See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Crab
The constellation Cancer. Genitive name: Cancri. Visibility: Visible from the UK See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Crane
The constellation Grus. Genitive name: Gruis. Visibility: Parts visible from the UK. See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Cross
The constellation Crux. Genitive name: Crucis. Visibility: Never visible from the UK. See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Crow
The constellation Corvus. Genitive name: Corvi. Visibility: Visible from the UK See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Cup
The constellation Crater. Genitive name: Crateris. Visibility: Visible from the UK See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Dolphin
The constellation Delphinus. Genitive name: Delphini. Visibility: Visible from the UK See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Dove
The constellation Columba. Genitive name: Columbae. Visibility: Parts visible from the UK. See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Dragon
The constellation Draco. Genitive name: Draconis. Visibility: Visible from the UK See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Eagle
The constellation Aquila. Genitive name: Aquilae. Visibility: Visible from the UK See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Fish
The constellation Pisces. Genitive name: Piscium. Visibility: Visible from the UK See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Fly
The constellation Musca. Genitive name: Muscae. Visibility: Never visible from the UK. See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Flying Fish
The constellation Volans. Genitive name: Volantis. Visibility: Never visible from the UK. See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Fox
The constellation Vulpecula. Genitive name: Vulpeculae. Visibility: Visible from the UK See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Furnace
The constellation Fornax. Genitive name: Fornacis. Visibility: Parts visible from the UK. See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Giraffe
The constellation Camelopardalis. Genitive name: Camelopardalis. Visibility: Visible from the UK See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Goldfish
The constellation Dorado. Genitive name: Doradus. Visibility: Never visible from the UK. See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Graving Tool
The constellation Caelum. Genitive name: Caeli. Visibility: Parts visible from the UK. See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Great Bear
The constellation Ursa Major. Genitive name: Ursae Majoris. Visibility: Visible from the UK See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Greater Dog
The constellation Canis Major. Genitive name: Canis Majoris. Visibility: Visible from the UK See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Hare
The constellation Lepus. Genitive name: Leporis. Visibility: Visible from the UK See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Herdsman
The constellation Bootes. Genitive name: Bootis. Visibility: Visible from the UK See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Hunting Dogs
The constellation Canes Venatici. Genitive name: Canum Venaticorum. Visibility: Visible from the UK See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Indian
The constellation Indus. Genitive name: Indi. Visibility: Never visible from the UK. See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Keel
The constellation Carina. Genitive name: Carinae. Visibility: Never visible from the UK. See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Lesser Dog
The constellation Canis Minor. Genitive name: Canis Minoris. Visibility: Visible from the UK See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Level
The constellation Norma. Genitive name: Normae. Visibility: Never visible from the UK. See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Lion
The constellation Leo. Genitive name: Leonis. Visibility: Visible from the UK See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Little Bear
The constellation Ursa Minor. Genitive name: Ursae Minoris. Visibility: Visible from the UK See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Little Horse
The constellation Equuleus. Genitive name: Equulei. Visibility: Visible from the UK See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Lizard
The constellation Lacerta. Genitive name: Lacertae. Visibility: Visible from the UK See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Lynx
The constellation Lynx. Genitive name: Lyncis. Visibility: Visible from the UK See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Lyre
The constellation Lyra. Genitive name: Lyrae. Visibility: Visible from the UK See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Mariner's Compass
The constellation Pyxis. Genitive name: Pyxidis. Visibility: Parts visible from the UK. See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Microscope
The constellation Microscopium. Genitive name: Microscopii. Visibility: Parts visible from the UK. See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Net
The constellation Reticulum. Genitive name: Reticuli. Visibility: Never visible from the UK. See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Northern Crown
The constellation Corona Borealis. Genitive name: Coronae Borealis. Visibility: Visible from the UK See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Octant
The constellation Octans. Genitive name: Octanis. Visibility: Never visible from the UK. See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Painter
The constellation Pictor. Genitive name: Pictoris. Visibility: Never visible from the UK. See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Peacock
The constellation Pavo. Genitive name: Pavonis. Visibility: Never visible from the UK. See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Pendulum Clock
The constellation Horologium. Genitive name: Horologii. Visibility: Never visible from the UK. See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Pheonix
The constellation Pheonix. Genitive name: Pheonicis. Visibility: Never visible from the UK. See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Ram
The constellation Aries. Genitive name: Arietis. Visibility: Visible from the UK See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The River Eridanus
The constellation Eridanus. Genitive name: Eridani. Visibility: Parts visible from the UK. See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Sails
The constellation Vela. Genitive name: Velorum. Visibility: Never visible from the UK. See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.

The Scales
The constellation Libra. Genitive name: Librae. Visibility: Visible from the UK See TABLE 20: THE CONSTELLATIONS.