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CEFR C2 Vocabulary - Astronomy

Here you will learn all the essential words for talking about Astronomy, collected specifically for level C2 learners.

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CEFR C2 Vocabulary
kuiper belt
[noun]
a region beyond Neptune in the solar system containing icy objects like dwarf planets, asteroids, and comets
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quasar
[noun]
a highly energetic celestial object emitting powerful radiation from the center of a galaxy, often associated with a supermassive black hole
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oort cloud
[noun]
a distant, hypothetical region surrounding the solar system, thought to harbor icy bodies and comets
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corona
[noun]
the outer layer of the Sun's atmosphere, observable as a plasma halo during a solar eclipse
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ecliptic
[noun]
the apparent path that the Sun traces in the sky over the course of a year, which is also the plane of the Earth's orbit around the Sun
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parallax
[noun]
the apparent displacement or difference in the apparent position of an object when viewed along two different lines of sight, often used in astronomy to measure the distance of nearby stars
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pulsar
[noun]
a highly magnetized, rotating neutron star that emits beams of electromagnetic radiation from its magnetic poles
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astronomical unit
[noun]
a unit of measurement equal to the average distance between the Earth and the Sun, approximately 149.6 million kilometers
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parsec
[noun]
a unit of astronomical distance equivalent to about 3.26 light-years
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cosmic ray
[noun]
a high-energy particle, mainly originating from outside the Solar System, that travels through space at nearly the speed of light
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cosmic microwave background
[noun]
(cosmology) the faint glow of radiation spreading through the universe, believed to be residual radiation from the Big Bang
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nebular hypothesis
[noun]
(cosmology) a theory proposing that the solar system formed from a rotating nebula of gas and dust about 4.6 billion years ago
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Hubble constant
[noun]
(cosmology) a measure of the rate at which the universe is expanding, determined from the observation of distant galaxies' recession velocities
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interstellar medium
[noun]
the matter and radiation that exists in the space between stars within a galaxy
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heliosphere
[noun]
the space surrounding the Sun dominated by solar wind
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cosmic dust
[noun]
very small particles originally derived from stars, serving as raw material for forming planets, and existing between galaxies, stars, and other celestial bodies
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meteoroid
[noun]
a small celestial body that becomes visible as a meteor upon entrance into the atmosphere of the earth
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inflation
[noun]
(cosmology) the rapid expansion of the universe following the Big Bang
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Kepler's law
[noun]
(astronomy) a set of three fundamental principles describing the motion of planets around the Sun, formulated by Johannes Kepler
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magnetic storm
[noun]
a disruption in earth's magnetic field caused by solar activity, resulting in variations that can impact electronic systems and communications on earth
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aurora australis
[noun]
the colored lights, mainly green and red, in the sky seen primarily near the southern magnetic pole
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aurora borealis
[noun]
the colored lights, mainly green and red, in the sky seen primarily near the northern magnetic pole
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cosmogonic
[adjective]
associated with the phenomena, processes, or theories related to the origin and formation of the universe or celestial bodies
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extragalactic astronomy
[noun]
study of celestial objects outside the Milky Way galaxy
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nebular
[adjective]
relating to or resembling a nebula, which is a cloud of gas and dust in outer space
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sidereal
[adjective]
relating to the stars or constellations, especially in terms of their positions relative to Earth
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