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Glossary

This page is meant to make it easier for you to understand the content of this web site. The glossary contains both astronomical and art terms.


B

Barred spiral galaxy: A galaxy with a bar of interstellar material passing through the central bulge. Spiral arms of stars and interstellar material originate from the ends of the bars.

Big Bang: The explosion which astronomers believe created the universe.

Binary star system: A system of two stars orbiting around a gravitational centre.

Black dwarf: A body which is not hot enough to sustain fusion in its core. When a white dwarf cools it no longer emits any substantial light and becomes a black dwarf, a stellar remnant.

Brown dwarf: Sometimes considered a 'failed star'. It has a mass of less than 0.08 solar masses and cannot fuse hydrogen to helium and produce energy. Brown dwarfs are thought to be very common, but they are not easy to detect since they emit little light.

Black hole: A body which has such a great escape velocity which is greater than the speed of light. This means that it absorbs light and becomes 'black'. The gravitational field around a black hole is incredibly strong. Not all black holes are easy to detect.

Bonestell, Chesley: Considered by many as the father of modern space art. Among his famous artwork is Saturn as seen from Titan, which "launched a thousand careers".






 




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