Questions regarding specific terms, names, or naming conventions.

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1answer
29 views

What does the filter name I+z' mean

On the TRAPPIST telescope, the filter wheels are described to have a filter with the following description: NIR Luminance I+z' (>700nm) After a bit of googling, I wasn't able to find what the ...
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2answers
139 views

What's the name for [the other kind of planet] in a binary star system?

This XKCD what-if talks about rainbows on planets in a binary star system. It points out that there are two types: circumbinary planets, where the planet orbits far from and around both stars [...
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2answers
63 views

Is it possible for the year to have 11 full moons (i.e. the opposite of a blue moon)

A blue moon is so called for when we have 13 full moons in a year. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_moon Is it possible to have 11 fun moons in a year? (Maybe if we included calendar changes, for ...
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2answers
87 views

Direction Names Within a Galaxy

Are there commonly used names for objective directions within a spiral galaxy? Central and peripheral describe objective directions, because the observer's frame of reference doesn't affect whether ...
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3answers
99 views

Is a planetary system star's referred to as their sun?

It's my understanding that the Sun (uppercase) is used to refer to our sun/star, because it is The Sun. Latin name is Sol, hence the Solar System. Even the tag (lowercase sun) on this post has the ...
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1answer
108 views

Term for altitude of the sun?

The sun travels in an arc across the sky. Where I live, during the summer the arc rises higher, but in the winter the arc is lower. Once might speak of highest altitude or elevation the sun reaches ...
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2answers
31 views

What's the proper terminology for nebula clouds?

I'm writing a research paper over outer space (yeah, yeah, broad topic) and I'm wondering what the proper terminology for nebula clouds is. This is an excerpt from my paper showing how I'm going to ...
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2answers
42 views

Terminology: Is there a name for the points on the surfaces of tidally locked parent/satellite bodies that always face each other?

This is purely a question about terminology, one that has eluded my googling efforts. When a satellite and its parent body are tidally locked to each other, there is (in an ideal case) a single ...
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1answer
34 views

Are meteors and meteorites considered “Small Solar System Bodies”?

The difference between meteorites, meteors, and meteoroids is one of altitude relative to a celestial surface: in space, it's a meteoroid; in the atmosphere, it's a meteor; and on the surface, it's a ...
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1answer
55 views

Questions about terminology used for Mars and its moons

I am having difficulty with some terminology: sub-Martian hemisphere of Deimos ... what place on Deimos does it refer to? leading/trailing apex of Phobos ... what place are those? Apex ... in ...
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1answer
2k views

How many constellations in the Zodiac?

The astronomical zodiac contains a bunch of constellations along the ecliptic. Some sources say there are 13 constellations in the astronomical zodiac. Other sources claim there are 12. According ...
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3answers
129 views

Is there a difference between the terms 'elliptical' and 'elongated' for galaxies?

While studying the Solar System, I found that some galaxies are either elliptical or elongated. What's the difference?
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94 views

What is the term for astronomical objects outside the solar system that are smaller than dwarf planets?

Asteroids and comets only seem to refer to masses within the solar system, and it seems unclear whether planetesimal does.
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2answers
156 views

The defintion of star/planetary/solar system

In many science fiction stories, we hear the term star system that mostly refers to a star and its planets. This is often used interchangeably with the term solar system. But after some research I ...
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1answer
93 views

Time period in which a planet rotates

I notice that Wikipedia give two contradictory terms for the time period in which a planet rotates in relation to an infinitely-distant object. In one place this is called a "sidereal day" and in ...
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1answer
312 views

Name of area close to Local Bubble?

The following image is a map of the area surrounding the Local Bubble. One side of the image is 1700 lightyears. From the Sun to the Hyades (immediately below the sun) it is 150 lightyears. The local ...
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1answer
23 views

Term for a momentary geometric pattern formed by astronomical objects

Few days back, the Pleiades, the Sun and the Moon were forming an almost perfect equilateral triangle. Is there a term that describes such momentary geometrical patterns? ...
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2answers
317 views

What is meant by “Radial Direction” of a galaxy?

There is a scientific journal article having a line: "In order to study the star formation scenario in the radial direction of the LMC...." What is meant by 'radial direction' of a galaxy ?
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2answers
153 views

What is the term for a star swallowing another star?

A star A goes through the body of another star B, or is swallowed by B. There is no tidal disruption. It sounds like kerzan. Does anybody recognise this pronunciation?
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2answers
798 views

What is the name of that which exists beyond the Universe?

"The Universe is commonly defined as the totality of existence" but that is more of a philosophical position. Empirically we know (or believe) that it is of finite size some believe it is expanding ...
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2answers
142 views

What's the origin and culture of funny astronomical terminology?

I'm not in the industry myself, but as an interested member of the public the terminology of astronomy seems a bit funny. Astronomers who today talk publicly about the interstellar medium say that the ...