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Solar System

Solar Eclipse -- A solar eclipse occurs when Sun, Moon and Earth are on a single line, the Moon being in the middle. Seen from the Earth, the Moon is in front of the Sun and thus part or all of the light of the Sun is hidden by the Moon. Thus it may se...

Solar Flare -- A solar flare is a violent eruption that explodes from a star's photosphere with energies equivalent to tens of millions of hydrogen bombs. Solar flares from the Sun send out a streams of highly energetic solar wind that can present ...

Solar Maximum -- The Sun, a roiling ball of plasma, occupies its place in space approximately 93 million miles from Earth. Though it seems simple to inhabitants of this planet -- the Sun shines, giving light and heat -- the processes occurring in t...

Solar Prominence -- Solar prominences are large arch-shaped structures observable in the solar corona. These often have a twist and occasionally become unstable, ejecting plasma and magnetic flux out from the sun. The physics of solar prominence in...

Solar Radiation -- Solar radiation is radiant energy emitted by the sun due to nuclear fusion reactions. Fusion is the process whereby stars produce huge quantities of energy from the fusion of hydrogen or helium, in one of the most efficient proce...

Solar Wind -- Solar wind, a stream of particles (mostly high-energy protons ~ 500 Kev) that is continually ejected from the surface of the Sun. The composition of this plasma is identical to the Sun's corona, 73% hydrogen and 25% helium with the re...

Van Allen Radiation Belt -- The Van Allen radiation belt is a torus of energetic charged particles around Earth, trapped by Earth's magnetic field. The presence of a radiation belt had been theorized prior to the Space Age and the belt's presence wa...

The Moon -- natural satellite of a planet, in particular, the single natural satellite of the earth. The Earth-Moon System The moon is the earth's nearest neighbor in space. In addition to its proximity, the moon is also exceptional in that i...

Mars' Moon Phobos -- in astronomy, innermost moon, or natural satellite, of Mars. Phobos orbits Mars at a distance of only 9,378 km (5,627 mi), closer to its planet than any other moon in the solar system. In fact, it is so close that the force of ...

Mars' Moon Deimos -- outermost of two small moons orbiting the planet Mars. Deimos orbits Mars at a distance of about 23,500 km (about 14,100 mi), completing an orbit once every 1.26 Earth days. The moon's orbit is almost circular and is only slightly ...

Earth -- in geology and astronomy, fifth largest planet of the solar system and the only planet definitely known to support life. Gravitational forces have molded the earth, like all celestial bodies, into a spherical shape. However, the earth is n...

The Planet Mars -- in astronomy, 4th planet from the sun, with an orbit next in order beyond that of the earth.

The Planet Mercury -- in astronomy, nearest planet to the sun, at a mean distance of 36 million mi (58 million km); its period of revolution is 88 days.

The Planet Venus -- in astronomy, 2d planet from the sun; it is often called the evening star or morning star and is brighter than any object in the sky except the sun and the moon.

The Sun -- intensely hot, self-luminous body of gases at the center of the solar system. Its gravitational attraction maintains the planets, comets, and other bodies of the solar system in their orbits.

Jupiter -- in astronomy, fifth planet from the sun and largest planet of the solar system.

Jupiter's moon Metis -- Metis [MEE-tis] is the innermost known satellite of Jupiter. It was named after a Titaness who was a consort of Zeus (Jupiter). Metis and Adrastea lie within Jupiter's main ring and may be the source of material for the ring...

Jupiter's Moon Adrastea -- Adrastea [a-DRAS-tee-uh] is the second innermost known satellite of Jupiter. Adrastea was the daughter of Jupiter and Ananke and the distributor of rewards and punishments. Adrastea and Metis lie within Jupiter's main rin...

Jupiter's Moon Amalthea -- Amalthea [am-al-THEE-uh] is one of Jupiter's smaller moons. It was named after the nymph who nursed the infant Jupiter with goats milk. It was discovered in 1892 by the American astronomer Edward Emerson Barnard while mak...

Jupiter's Moon Thebe -- Thebe [THEE-bee] is the fourth known satellite of Jupiter. Thebe was a nymph and the daughter of the river god Asopus. Thebe rotates synchronously around Jupiter. Very little is known about this moon. Discovered by Stephe...