Astronomy Word Lists

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An astronaut (or cosmonaut) is a person trained by a human spaceflight program to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a spacecraft.

Although generally reserved for professional space travelers, the terms are sometimes applied to anyone who travels into space, including scientists, politicia…

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An astronomer is a scientist in the field of astronomy who studies stars, planets, moons, comets, and galaxies, as well as many other celestial objects.

A related but distinct subject, cosmology, is concerned with studying the universe as a whole. An astronomer researches the world beyond Earth.

Sou…

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The Solar System formed 4.6 billion years ago from the gravitational collapse of a giant interstellar molecular cloud.

The Solar System comprises the Sun and the planetary system that orbits it, either directly or indirectly. Of those objects that orbit the Sun directly, the largest eight are the pl…

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Spaceflight (also written space flight) is ballistic flight into or through outer space.

Spaceflight can occur with spacecraft with or without humans on board. Examples of human spaceflight include the U.S. Apollo Moon landing and Space Shuttle programs and the Russian Soyuz program, as well as the…

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There are eight planets in the Solar System, which are in increasing distance from the Sun.

A planet is an astronomical object orbiting a star, brown dwarf, or stellar remnant that is massive enough to be rounded by its own gravity, is not massive enough to cause thermonuclear fusion, and has cleare…

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