The Final Frontier

Glossary

The International Space Station

Aluminum

A light silvery-grey metal.

Ammonia

A colourless gas with a characteristic pungent smell, which dissolves in water.

Argon

An inert gaseous element making up nearly one per cent of the earth's atmosphere.

Atmosphere

An atmosphere is a layer of gases surrounding the planet held in place by the planet's gravity.

Axial Tilt

The angle between an object's rotational axis and its orbital axis.

Carbon Dioxide

A colourless, odourless gas produced by burning carbon.

Composition

Composition means the elements a planet is made up of.

Density

Density means how compact an object or substance is.

Distance from the Sun

Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun and Neptune the farthest.

Planet Distance from the Sun
Mercury 36 million miles
Venus 67 million miles
Earth 93 million miles
Mars 142 million miles
Jupiter 483 million miles
Saturn 888 million miles
Uranus 1,784 million miles
Neptune 2,794 million miles

Exoplanet

A planet that is part of a solar system other than our own.

Gas Giant

A giant planet composed mainly of hydrogen and helium.

Gravitational Pull

See gravity.

Gravity

Gravity is the force by which a planet or other body draws objects toward its center. Anything that has mass also has gravity. Objects with more mass have more gravity.

Helium

A light inert (element that does not react with other elements) gas.

Hydrogen

A colourless, odourless, highly flammable gas.

Ice Giant

An ice giant is a giant planet composed mainly of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium, such as oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur.

Iron

A strong, hard magnetic silvery-grey metal.

Launch Capabilities

Full launch capabilities include the ability to launch and recover multiple satellites, deploy cryogenic rocket engines and operate extraterrestrial probes.

Length of a Day (Rotation)

One day is the time it takes a planet to spin on its axis and make one full rotation.

Magnesium

A chemical element that is a silver-white metal.

Magnetic Field

A region around a magnetic material or a moving electric charge within which the force of magnetism acts.

Mantle

The part between the core and the crust.

Mass

An object's mass means how much stuff is in an object.

Methane

A colourless, odourless flammable gas.

Nickel

A silvery-white metal.

Nitrogen

A colourless, odourless unreactive (does not react with other elements) gas.

Length of a Year (Orbit)

One year is the time it takes a planet to orbit the Sun.

Oxygen

A colourless, odourless reactive gas (undergoes a chemical reaction, either by itself or with other materials, and releases energy), and the life-supporting component of the air.

Photons

A particle representing a quantum of light or other electromagnetic radiation.

Planetary Rings

A ring system is a disc or ring orbiting an astronomical object that is composed of solid material such as dust and moonlets.

Silicates

Any of the many minerals consisting of silica combined with metal oxides, forming a major component of the rocks of the earth's crust.

Silicon

A grey chemical element that is found in rocks and sand.

Size (Diameter)

Diameter is a measurement from side to side.

Solar Nebula

A large cloud of gas and dust from which the sun, planets, and other solar system bodies formed.

Sulfur

A yellow combustible non-metal.

Temperature

The degree or intensity of heat present in a substance or object, especially as expressed according to a comparative scale and shown by a thermometer.

Type of Planet

There are three types of planets. Terrestrial planets, Gas Giant planets, and Ice Giant planets.

Type of Star

A star produces light and heat.

Yellow Dwarf

A yellow dwarf is a star and is often referred to as a G-type main sequence star. Our Sun is a perfect example of a yellow dwarf.

A yellow dwarf has a mass almost like the mass of the Sun. Its color ranges from white to a lighter yellow.