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celestial equator

Overview page. Subjects: Environmental Science — Astronomy and Astrophysics.

The great circle on the celestial sphere that lies directly above the equator of the Earth. Any point on the celestial equator is equidistant from the north and south celestial poles....

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celestial pole

Overview page. Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics — Environmental Science.

Either of the two points about which the celestial sphere appears to rotate each day. The celestial poles lie on the celestial sphere directly above the Earth's geographical poles, and are...

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circumpolar

Overview page. Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics — Environmental Science.

A celestial object that does not rise or set as seen from a given location, but circles around the celestial pole. To be circumpolar, an object must have a polar distance that is less than...

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combustion chamber

Overview page. Subjects: Environmental Science — Astronomy and Astrophysics.

A place where combustion takes place, for example in an incinerator or an internal combustion engine. See also furnace.

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gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer

Overview page. Subjects: Environmental Science — Astronomy and Astrophysics.

An analytical technique for measuring the concentrations of various chemicals in samples of soil or water, by first separating them using gas chromatography and then analysing them by mass...

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hydrostatic equilibrium

Overview page. Subjects: Environmental Science — Astronomy and Astrophysics.

The balance in a star between its gravitational force, which is directed inwards, and the outward forces of radiation pressure and gas pressure. Because these forces balance, the star...

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outgassing

Overview page. Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics — Environmental Science.

1 The removal of gas, usually by heating.

2 The release of gases by volcanic activity that resulted in the formation of the Earth's atmosphere and...

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radiative transfer

Overview page. Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics — Environmental Science.

The transport of energy by electromagnetic waves through a gas. It depends on factors such as the gas temperature, the abundances of the elements present, and their degree of ionization.

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solar year

Overview page. Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics — Environmental Science.

The time it takes the Earth to make one orbit around the Sun, which is roughly 365.24 days.

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sunrise

Overview page. Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics — Environmental Science.

The instant when the upper limb of the Sun first appears above the horizon. At this instant the true zenith distance of the centre of the Sun's disk is about 90° 50′, since the centre of...

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