7.1 Vocab Important Terms from Chapter 7.1

Term Definition
Accretion The process in which particles of dust and rock slowly come together due to gravity to form a larger object.
Binary star system Two stars that orbit a common centre of mass
Black Hole Also known as a singularity, a collapsed star so massive that not even light can escape from its gravitational field
Galaxy A large group of stars attracted to one another by gravity
Gravitational lensing The bending of light rays due to the distortion o space caused by a massive object such as a black hole
Gravity The force that causes all matter to collect together
Light-year (l.y.) The distance light travels in a year, approximately a 9,500,000,000,000 km
Milky Way The galaxy in which the solar system is located
Nebula A cloud of gas found in the empty space between stars; birthday of new star
Nuclear Fusion The process in which hydrogen is converted into helium to produce light and heat
Parallax A technique used to measure the distance to other stars
Parsec An astronomical unit of length equal to 3.26 light-years
Protoplanetary disk Disk of gas surrounding a prostar that will form into planets
prostar A collapsing cloud of gas that will eventually become a star
Radiation Pressure The force produced by radiation from pressure caused by heat
Stellar Parallax The apparent change in the position of a star throughout the year due to the Earth's motion around the Sun
Supermassive Black Hole A black hole millions or billions of times the mass of our Sun found at the centre of a galaxy

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