air pressure the weight of a column of air on a unit surface area
ALARA as low as reasonably achievable, guidelines for people who work with radiation
alpha particle particles emitted during radioactive decay: the nucleus of a helium atom
altitude distance above the earth
alveolar membrane the lining of any one of millions of air sacks in the lung where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place during respiration
angstrom (Å): a unit of length equal to 10 to the minus 10th meters. (see “X-rays)
anoxia a deficiency of oxygen, especially hypoxia
argon the element with atomic number 18: the most common inert gas in the earth’s atmosphere
atmosphere the layer of gases surrounding a planet
Armstrong, Neil Alden first Astronaut to land on the moon
astronaut title used to describe NASA personnel selected for space exploration
astronomy the study of the universe and its contents beyond the earth’s atmosphere
astrophysicist scientists who study the physical theories of astronomical objects and phenomena
atmosphere the layer of gases around a planet
atmospheric pressure the weight of a column of atmospheric gases on a unit surface area
atomic mass unit the unit in which masses of atoms are measured: 1 a.m.u = 1/12 of the atom of isotope carbon-12
atomic number refers to the number of protons in an atoms nucleus
aurora australis see “Southern Lights”
aurora borealis see “Northern Lights”
barometer instrument that measures the weight of the atmosphere
beta particle old name for an electron, sometimes extended to include positrons
Bohr, Neils (1885-1962) Danish physicist awarded Nobel Prize for his theoretical model of the atom
bone marrow in vertebrates, the soft material in the center of the bones that produces blood cells
Brookhaven National Laboratory American particle accelerator center on Long Island, NY: built in 1953
capillaries the smallest blood vessel in animals
carbon dioxide a colorless gas: produced by respiration and taken up in photosynthesis: CO2
carbon monoxide a colorless gas: toxic, replaces oxygen in haemoglobin in the blood: CO
CAT-scan an advanced method of X-ray imaging: used for medical diagnosis
cell nucleus a central, dense body within a cell surrounded by a nuclear membrane or envelope: found in all human cells except blood cells: contains human DNA: controls cell functions
cell the smallest mass of self-contained living matter of an animal or plant
cellular division the process that results in the division of a living cell
Celsius a temperature scale in which the freezing point of water is defined as 0?
chemistry the science of the elements and the ways in which they interact with one another
choronagraph a telescope used to photograph the chromosphere and corona
chromosomes a structure in the cell nucleus that carries the genetic material DNA as well as proteins
chromosphere layer of sun lying just above the photosphere: seen only during eclipse: heat of chromosphere is hotter than photosphere, an unexplained phenomena
compass a device that responds to the earth’s magnetic field: used to determine geographical direction and position
condensation a change from vapor (gaseous state) to liquid: opposite of evaporation
conjunctivitis inflammation of the outer membrane (conjuctiva) of the eye(s): highly contagious
convection the heating, rising, cooling, sinking of matter in the states of liquid, gas, or plasma
convection zone layer of sun lying just below the photosphere: where plasma heats, rises, cools, sinks
Copernicus, Nicholas (1473-1543) Polish churchman and astronomer who proposed that the planets revolved around a fixed sun
core center of sun
corona outermost region of the solar atmosphere: inner corona and outer corona: above the chromosphere
coronal holes dark regions in the sun’s corona detected by X-ray photography: an open solar magnetic field that allows hot material to escape
coronal mass ejection an ejection into interplanetary space of plasma and magnetic fields
Democritus (470-370 BC) Greek philosopher best known for his development of the atomic theory
Destiny U.S. Laboratory module of International Space Station (Space Station Alpha)
digital system a technological system based upon computer and software technology
DNA deoxyribonucleic acid: a complex, large molecule that contains all of the information for building and controlling a living organism
Dose an amount of…: a quantity of…
E=mc2 Einstein’s famous formula which equates energy with mass
Eagle first U.S. space craft to be flown to and landed on moon by Commander N.Armstrong
earth’s magnetic field magnetic field that surrounds the earth and is most intense at the North and South magnetic poles
Einstein, Albert (1879-1955) German born physicist and Nobel Prize recipient: noted for his development of two theories of relativity and contributions to quantum theory
electric field a region in which a force would be exerted on an electric charge
electrical energy energy resulting from the position of an electric charge in an electric field
electrical power grid the high-power lines connected to an electrical power plant
electricity the nature and effects of moving or stationary electric charges, ie. electrons, plasma, etc.
electromagnetic emissions the propagation of vibrating electric and magnetic fields in the form of waves
electromagnetic energy the energy transmitted by the propagation of electric and magnetic fields in the form of waves
electron an elementary particle of negative (electrical) charge
electron cloud an early description of the configuration of electrons around the nucleus of an atom
electron orbit an early description of the configuration of electrons around the nucleus of an atom: the Bohr model of the atom
electron shell a group of electrons around the nucleus of an atom that have the same energy level, spin, ie. quantum number
energy a property of a system: its ability to do work: some forms of energy are electrical, chemical, mechanical, nuclear: a system can be a machine or an atom or a living thing
engineer a person who is trained in or follows as a profession a branch of engineering
engineering the science of laying out, constructing, or managing as an engineer
evaporation the process by which a liquid turns into a gas at a temperature below the boiling point of the liquid
extra-vehicular activity (EVA) activity conducted outside of the space station
fiber-optic cable cable made of glass fibers used for high-speed transmission of information by light
fission the process by which an atom splits into two or more parts, releasing energy and free neutrons
force four forces have been identified in nature, gravity and electromagnetism (universal forces), the weak force and the strong force (sub-atomic forces)
Freon man-made gas used as refrigerant and as propellants for aerosols
Frequency the number of oscillations in a wave in a unit period of time, usually 1 second
fusion the process whereby nuclei fuse together to make one heavier nucleus and to release energy
Galileo, Galilei (1564-1642) Italian physicist, astronomer, and mathematician: one of first to use telescope
gamma rays streams of gamma radiation: highest frequency waves on electromagnetic spectrum (length 10-14 to 10-10 meter, photons 10 MeV to 10 KeV)
gas the state (phase) of matter in which a substance will expand to fill its container
gastrointestinal tract the part of the digestive system consisting of stomach and intestines
gene the basic unit of inheritance encoded by a specific length of DNA controlling one particular function or characteristic, for example hair color
geodesic dome a structure noted for its strength achieved through the linking of triangular units: invented by Buckminster Fuller
geomagnetic storm large-scale disturbance of earth’s magnetosphere caused by the arrival of significant amounts of solar plasma
gluons the carriers of the force that holds quarks together
GOES 8 satellite that takes visible, infrared, and water vapor satellite pictures and movies of North America and the western hemisphere
granules a cellular pattern on the sun’s surface that is visible on high definition photographs of the sun’s photosphere
haemoglobin a pigment found in red blood cells and used by the body to transport oxygen from the lungs to the body tissues
helium the element with the atomic number 2 (He)
high-frequency communications communications that uses high-frequency electromagnetic radiation: light and infrared energies
hydrocarbon gas gas consisting of molecules made of hydrogen and carbon atoms only
hydrogen ions hydrogen atom without an electron (a proton, solar plasma) or with two or more electrons (hydrogen isotope)
hyperventilation excessive breathing due to anxiety or physical distress
hypoxia condition produced by a lack of oxygen in the body
insulator a substance that does not readily conduct an electrical charge
interference the way in which two (or more) sets of waves (electromagnetic, water) interact with each other to produce a pattern in which there are regions of high or low intensity
International Space Station (ISS) the space station managed by NASA and a team of 16 foreign nations
internet node a technological link in the Internet that receives and passes on messages
ion a charged particle consisting of an atom or group of atoms that has either lost or gained electrons
ionization the process of producing ions
ionize to strip or add an extra electron to an atom
ionizing radiation radiation such that the individual particle (photon) has sufficient energy to ionize substances
ionosphere region in the earth’s atmosphere that extends from an altitude of about 60 to 500 kilometers: ISS orbits through ionosphere
isotope two or more species of the same element
jet stream narrow belt of high speed wind in a planet’s atmosphere
Kelvin -273.16? Celsius: 0? Kelvin is defined as absolute 0 (see “Celsius”)
krypton the element with atomic number 36: normally found in a gaseous state (Kr)
latitude measured in degrees north or south of the earth’s equator
Leucippus (about 500 – 450 BC) Greek philosopher who was teacher of Democritus
light (visible radiation) a form of electromagnetic radiation able to be detected by the human eye: wavelength 400nm (red) – 700 nm (violet)
liquid the state (phase) of matter in which a material is able to flow freely and take up the shape of its container
magnet any object that is surrounded by a magnetic field and attracts or repels other magnets
magnetic field a region in which a magnetic force can be observed: surrounds a magnet or wire conducting electricity: magnetic fields around planetary objects can be 1012 times stronger than the magnetic field around the earth
magnetic field lines see magnetic flux
magnetic flux the strength of a magnetic field through an area based upon the idea of the number of lines of force passing through the area
magnetic pole the region of a magnetic field where the forces appear strongest
magnetite a mineral form of iron oxide (Fe3O4)
mass a measure of the quantity of matter in an object: two ways to define—an object’s gravitational pull, an object’s resistance to being pushed: see “atomic mass unit”
matter formerly regarded as synonomous with substance
mercury the element with atomic number 80: a metal (Hg)
methane a colorless, odorless gas: extremely flammable when mixed with air (CH4)
MeV one one-thousandth of an electron volt: used to measure a very small electrical charge
microwatt one one-thousandth of one one-thousandth of a watt
microwaves a form of electromagnetic radiation: ranging in wavelengths from 1 mm (infrared) to 120 mm (radio waves)
millirem one one-thousandth of a rem
mission patch a colorful emblem created to celibrate a space mission or project
module a segment of the International Space Station
molecule the smallest part of a chemical compound that can exist without its losing its chemical identity
moon earth’s only natural satellite
mutation an alteration of a gene caused by the alteration of the genetic material (DNA): usually occurs when DNA is replicated and mistakes are made
National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements a leading organization in the study of radiation and the establishment of guidelines for working with, handling, and using radiation
National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) US Government organization dedicated to studying a wide range of atmospheric and atomic phenomena
navigation the process of finding ones position and ones desired direction of travel
negative charge one of two types of basic property of some elementary particles of matter: the charge on a body arises from an excess or deficit of negative electrons with respect to positive protons
neon element with atomic number 10: an inert gas that occurs in a small amount in air (Ne)
nerve cells a major cell type of the nervous system
network objects, human or technological, that are linked together to perform a task or set of tasks and/or to achieve a goal
neutron an elementary particle with zero charge: found in all nuclei except Hydrogen
nitrogen the element with atomic number 7: a gas: makes up 78% of the air: (H)
non-ionizing radiation such that the individual particle (photon) has insufficient energy to ionize substances
Northern Lights atmospheric phenomena marked by dancing patterns of light occurring at high altitudes above the earth’s northern latitudes
nuclear physics the branch of physics concerned with nuclear structure, properties, and reactions and their application (nuclear power, using radioisotopes)
nuclear scientist a scientist who specializes in the study of the atom and in nuclear energies
nucleotide the constituent unit of the nucleic acids DNA and RNA which consist of an organic base, a sugar, and a phosphate group
orbit path of a celestial body in a gravitational field generated by other bodies
outer corona that part of the sun’s corona that reaches far out into the solar system
oxygen the element with atomic number 8: makes up about 21% of the air: (O)
ozone a colorless gas with a distinctive odor: produced in earth’s upper atmosphere (O3)
ozone layer a layer of the earth’s atmosphere found at an altitude of 15 to 40 kilometers
P6 Solar Array the name used to designate a solar module on the International Space Station
partial pressure (pp) in a mixture of gases, that part of overall pressure that can be attributed to one specified gas: the pressure that the gas would exert if it were alone
philosopher a person who seeks wisdom or enlightenment
photon wave-particle duality: the concept that some entities show both wave and particle (photon) properties: explored in both electromagnetic radiation (Einstein) and particle waves (deBroglie)
photosphere that layer of the sun that can be seen by the naked eye: its brightness obscures all other phenomena in the outer layers of the sun
photovoltaic arrays on the space station, the total collection of solar cells
physiological effects the functional processes and activities that occur within living organisms as a result of exposure to the environment
Pierce, John R. a scientist at AT&T’s Bell Laboratories that envisioned the future of satellite telecommunications
Planck, Max (1858-1947) German physicist and pioneer in the field of quantum physics and the study of electromagnetic radiation: created the term “quanta”
plasma a mixture of free electrons and ions or atomic nuclei: occur in the sun: a blood bi-product
platelet in vertebrates, a small cell-like fragment that buds from larger cells in the bone marrow and is involved in blood clotting following injury
polar region a region of the earth located at either the North Pole or the South Pole
positive charge one of two types of basic property of some elementary particles of matter: the charge on a body arises from an excess or deficit of negative electrons with respect to positive protons
propagation the sending forth: the creation
proton an elementary particle with a positive charge
quarks an elementary particle: form a level of matter one level below neutrons
rad a unit of absorbed dose of ionizing radiation
radiation any particles or waves emitted by a source
radiation shielding materials used to protect human beings from exposure to damaging radiation
radiative zone the layer of the sun that surrounds and effectively contains the sun’s core
radio waves a form of electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths greater than a few millimeters: main application is to carry information
radioactive describing an element or nuclide that exhibits natural radioactivity
radioactivity spontaneous disintegration of certain unstable nuclides with a mission of radiation: various types include alpha, beta, gamma decay, and fission
rem (radiation equivalent man) a former unit of dose equivalent of ionizing radiation
reproductive organs the system of organs and tubes used in sexual reproduction
respiration the human body’s process of releasing and taking in air
Rutherford, Ernest (1871-1937) New Zealand born British physicist who pioneered in the study of the atom and radioactivity
Satellites natural or manmade objects that orbit a planetary body
SOHO satellite Solar and Heliospheric Observatory used to help scientists observe and predict solar weather
solar array another name for the Photovoltaic Array on the space station
solar cell small devices that use silicon compounds to produce electricity with light
solar eruption an eruption of the sun’s chromosphere: a result of violent motion of sun’s magnetic fields
solar flare sudden violent explosion on the sun lasting from a few minutes to a few hours
solar magnetic field a magnetic field on the sun
solar maximum every 11 years or so, changes in the sun’s magnetic field bring on a period of increased number of sunspots, solar flares, and events called coronal mass ejections
solar minimum the opposite of solar maximum: the end of an 11 year solar cycle
solar particles see “plasma”
solar plasma see “plasma”
solar proton event an extreme solar flare or coronal mass ejection
solar protons see “plasma,” “hydrogen nuclei”
solar rotation the sun's period of rotation at the surface varies from approximately 25 days at the equator to 36 days at the poles: below the convective zone, everything appears to rotate within a period of 27 days: uneven rotational periods causes stress to solar magnetic field
solar storm an eruption of the sun’s chromosphere: see “solar flare”
solar weather solar activity that takes place over a period of time
solar wind solar material flowing into interplanetary space: sun’s atmosphere expanding at supersonic speeds
solid the state (phase) of matter in which substance retains its shape
Southern Lights atmospheric phenomena marked by dancing patterns of light occurring normally above the earth’s southern latitudes
Space Environment Center (NOAA/SEC) U.S. Government organization that studies solar weather and other space phenomena
space shuttle NASA space vehicles used to conduct experiments in space and to transport astronauts to the International Space Station
Space Station Alpha space station adapted from International Space Station for Challenger Learning Center’s e-Mission: Space Station Alpha educational program
speed of light the speed at which electromagnetic energy travels: speed of all forms of electromagnetic energy traveling through a vacuum is 186,000 miles per second: used commonly to define interplanetary distances in terms of the distance light can travel in one year, a light year
standard temperature and pressure (STP) atmospheric temperature of 59? Fahrenheit and pressure of 760 mmHg: used to compare other atmospheric conditions
star a gaseous body that emits radiation generated within itself by thermonuclear processes
storage batteries batteries in which electrical energy can be stored
storm front the outer edges of atmospheric turbulence: hurricanes, typhoons, etc.
subatomic particle fundamental component of the atom
sun the star at the center of our solar system
sunspots a dark region on the sun where temperatures are lower and there is a concentration of magnetic field activity
technician a person highly skilled in one or more aspects of technology
telecommunications the use of hig-frequency electromagnetic energies to transmit information
thermonuclear fission or fusion
Tissue Exposure Proportional Counter (TEPC) a device used to detect radiation: report radiation in millirems
Torr one millimeter of Hg in air pressure
Torricelli, Evangelista (1608–47) Italian physicist and mathematician: Galileo's secretary (1641–42) and his successor as professor of philosophy and mathematics at Florence
Toxin a poison released by plants, animals, or bacteria that can cause a disease
Ultraviolet a form of electromagnetic energy shorter than visible light: wavelengths range from 1 nm (nanometer) to 400 nm
Unity Node a connecting module on the International Space Station (Space Station Alpha)
Vacuum a perfect vacuum contains no matter at all
Van Allen belts two ring-shaped regions around the earth where there are concentrations of high-energy electrons and protons that have been trapped by the earth’s magnetic field
vapor a gas at any temperature at which it may be liquefied by pressure alone
visible light see “light”
voltage converters technology used to regulate the flow of electricity
water vapor see “vapor”
watt the standard international unit of power
wave an oscillatory disturbance propagated through a medium or, in the case of electromagnetic waves, through space
wavelength the distance between the ends of one complete cycle of a wave
X chromosome one of two chromosomes that determines gender: X chromosomes and Y chromosomes
X-rays (X-radiation) a form of electromagnetic radiation: wavelengths range from 10-10 m to 10-11 meter: X-rays occur whenever high energy electrons hit matter
Z1 Truss a module of the International Space Station that supports the Photovoltaic arrays (Space Station Alpha)
Zarya Functional Cargo Block a module of the International Space Station used for storage and experimentation (Space Station Alpha)
Zvezda Service module a module of the International Space Station used for the crew’s living quarters (Space Station Alpha)