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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.


M

Magellanic clouds: The large and the small magellanic clouds (LMC and SMC for short) are satellite galaxies which orbit the milky way galaxy. They can be seen from the southern hemisphere. They were named after seafarer Fernando Magellan.

Magnitude: The apparent brightness of an object in our sky. It is a logarithmic scale with negative numbers being the brightest. Each step in this scale is approximately 2.5 times greater than the next step.

Main Sequence: This is a prominant "band" of stars plotted on the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram (H-R diagram). When a star is on this sequence, the star burns hydrogen into helium in it's core.

Messier, Charles (1730 - 1817): A french astronomer who catalogued a list of about 100 fuzzy objects in the sky. Messier was a comet hunter and made this list in order to prevent any future misunderstandings. His catalogue is used even today by amateur astronomers.

Meteor: A bright streak of light in the sky caused by a dust particle or small meteorite as it enters our upper atmosphere.

Meteoroid: A small rocky object in orbit around the Sun.

Milky way: The milky way is a spiral galaxy in which the sun and the earth are. The sun orbits the milky way's center in about 250 million years.







 




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