Bakersfield College

William M Thomas Planetarium at Bakersfield College

Vocabulary

Here you will find vocabulary used in the Planetarium’s Field Trip shows.

Please select from the following:

The Secret of the Cardboard Rocket

You can open a pdf of this list by clicking here.

Asteroid
Boulder to mountain-sized piece of rock remaining from the early solar system. The largest asteroid is only 1000 kilometers across but most are much smaller.
Craters
A hole in the ground made by the impact of a meteorite.
Earth
The third planet from the Sun.
Great Red Spot
A giant hurricane like storm that is about 2 times bigger than the size of Earth.
Greenhouse Effect
The trapping of heat energy close to a planet's surface by certain types of gases in the atmosphere (e.g., water, methane, and carbon dioxide). These gases allow visible light from the Sun to reach the surface but prevent the infrared light from the heated surface to radiate back to space.
Jupiter
The fifth planet from the Sun.
Mercury
The closest planet to the Sun.
Moon
A rocky sphere that orbits the Earth.
Neptune
The eighth planet from the Sun.
Observatory
A place or building that uses large telescopes for observing outer space.
Olympus Mons
The largest mountain in the solar system. This mountain is a volcano and found on Mars.
Orbit
The path one object takes around another object.
Planetarium
A domed room in which shows the night sky from any locations at any time far in the past to far in the future. Some planetariums are able to show all dome films surrounding the audience with the action.
Revolve
When an object moves in a circular-like pattern (orbits) another object.
Rotate
When an object spins
Saturn
The sixth planet from the Sun.
Sun
The star at the center of our solar system.
Uranus
The seventh planet from the Sun.
Valles Marineris
A huge canyon. It is found on Mars
Venus
The second planet from the Sun.

Oasis in Space and Solar System Tour

You can open a pdf of this list by clicking here.

Asteroid
Boulder to mountain-sized piece of rock remaining from the early solar system. The largest asteroid is only 1000 kilometers across but most are much smaller.
Craters
A hole in the ground made by the impact of a meteorite.
Earth
The third planet from the Sun.
Galaxy
A very large cluster of stars (tens of millions to trillions of stars) gravitationally bound together.
Great Red Spot
A giant hurricane like storm that is about 2 times bigger than the size of Earth.
Greenhouse Effect
The trapping of heat energy close to a planet's surface by certain types of gases in the atmosphere (e.g., water, methane, and carbon dioxide). These gases allow visible light from the Sun to reach the surface but prevent the infrared light from the heated surface to radiate back to space.
Jupiter
The fifth planet from the Sun.
Mercury
The closest planet to the Sun.
Milky Way Galaxy
The large spiral galaxy in which our Sun and planets reside. Our Sun is one star of several hundred billion in the Milky Way.
Moon
A rocky sphere that orbits the Earth.
Nebula
An enormous cloud of gas and dust.
Neptune
The eighth planet from the Sun.
Observatory
A place or building that uses large telescopes for observing outer space.
Olympus Mons
The largest mountain in the solar system. This mountain is a volcano and found on Mars.
Orbit
The path one object takes around another object.
Planetarium
A domed room in which shows the night sky from any locations at any time far in the past to far in the future. Some planetariums are able to show all dome films surrounding the audience with the action.
Revolve
When an object moves in a circular-like pattern (orbits) another object.
Rotate
When an object spins
Saturn
The sixth planet from the Sun.
Sun
The star at the center of our solar system.
Uranus
The seventh planet from the Sun.
Valles Marineris
A huge canyon. It is found on Mars
Venus
The second planet from the Sun.

Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity

You can open a pdf of this list by clicking here.

Big Bang
A theory of the creation of the universe from an ultra-compact volume with very high temperatures about 14 billion years ago. The ultra-compact volume began expanding and is responsible for the expanding motion we see today.
Black Hole
The collapsed core for the most massive stars. Formed from the total collapse of a core greater than 3 solar masses to an infinitesimal point of infinite density. Gravity in the region surrounding the collapsed core is so strong that the escape velocity is greater than the speed of light.
Event Horizon
The very edge of a black hole where there is no escape for even a beam of light.
Galaxy
A very large cluster of stars (tens of millions to trillions of stars) gravitationally bound together.
Gravity
A physical force that pulls objects together, the larger the mass of the object, the greater the force but the larger the distance between the objects, the weaker the gravity.
Milky Way Galaxy
The large spiral galaxy in which our Sun and planets reside. Our Sun is one star of several hundred billion in the Milky Way.
Red Giant
A dying star that has become large in diameter and cool on the surface while the core has shrunk and increased in temperature.
Supernova
Final huge mass-loss stage for a dying high-mass star where the outer layers are ejected during the core's collapse to form a neutron star.
Kern Community College District