GLOSSARY

Apogee:The most distant point from Earth reached by a body in an elliptical orbit with Earth at the primary focus.

Attitude of a spacecraft: The orientation of the spacecraft in space, with respect to some chosen coordinate system.

Celestial equator: The projection of the equatorial plane of Earth on the celestial sphere.

Celestial sphere: An imaginary sphere of infinite radius on which celestial objects appear projected.

Center of mass: The point within a body at which all the mass could be located without changing its dynamical behavior.

Conjunction of planets: The position of the planets when they are on the same right ascension circle on the celestial sphere (in other words, when they appear closest together in the sky).

Cosmology: The study of the evolution of the cosmos or universe.

Declination: The analog, on the celestial sphere, of latitude circles on Earth.

Direction cosines:The cosines of the angles made by a vector in space with each of the three positive coordinate axes.

Ecliptic:The path described by the center of the Sun on the geocentric celestial sphere during the course of a year.

Electromagnetic spectrum: Radiation of various wavelengths emitted in the form of waves carrying rapidly varying electric and magnetic fields (light is an example of a portion of the spectrum).

Ephemeris:A list of the successive positions of a celestial object on the geocentric celestial sphere for a series of equally spaced times.

Geocentric:Concentric with Earth.

Iteration:A repetitive mathematical procedure, on an initially chosen trial value, which can produce improved values of a desired quantity.

Jovian: Relating to the planet Jupiter.

Julian day: The number of days, and fraction of a day, measured from noon on 1 January of the year 4713 B.C.

Orbital period:The time it takes for an object to complete one orbit.

Perigee:The closest point to Earth reached by a body in an elliptical orbit with Earth at the primary focus.

Photon:The smallest unit (or "particle") of electromagnetic radiation, carrying one quantum of energy.

Pitch:An angular rotation of an aircraft or spacecraft around an axis through the wings (which has the effect of moving the nose up or down).

Right ascension: The analog, on the celestial sphere, of the longitude circles on Earth.

Right-handed three-dimensional coordinate system:

A convention of three basis vectors most simply represented by the thumb, index, and middle fingers of the right hand when extended at right angles to each other; the x-axis is along the thumb, the y-axis along the index finger, and the z-axis along the middle finger.

Roll: An angular rotation of an aircraft or spacecraft around an axis along its length (which has the effect of tipping its wings).

Watt: A unit of power. (In the mks system of units, 1 watt = 1 joule per second.)

Yaw: An angular rotation of an aircraft or spacecraft around an axis perpendicular to its body (which has the effect of moving the nose from side to side).

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