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The Earth: Glossary

A

asteroids
Smaller bodies in the solar system - planetoids
atmosphere
The layers of gases that surround the earth
Aurora Australis
Southern lights - caused by charged particles in the earth's atmosphere
Aurora Borealis
Northern lights - caused by charged particles in the earth's atmosphere
axis
An imaginary pole that runs through the earth from the north pole to the south pole - earth orbits around it

C

carbon dioxide
Poisonous gas that exists in the atmosphere
comets
A frozen body that orbits the sun
compass
A tool for finding north - uses a magnet
cones
Remnant of a volcano that has a pointed formation
convection
Transfer of heat through the circulation of heated matter
currents
Flow of water in the ocean - river like

D

domes
Remnant of a volcano that has a bowl shape formation

E

Earth Day
April 22 - celebration of the earth
earthquakes
Shifting of tectonic plates causes disturbances in the crust of the earth
electrons
Small particles of an atom
ellipse
Shaped like a flattened circle
evaporate
To change from a liquid into a vapor

G

geographic pole
The geographic location recognized as the north or south pole - never changes - 90 degrees from the equator

I

inner core
The center most portion of the earth

M

magnetic field
An invisible force that reacts with other matter
magnetic pole
The location on the earth that reacts with magnets - attracts a magnet
mantle
Layer of the earth which is molten - lies just below the crust

N

navigate
travel
Northern hemisphere
Northern half of the earth between the equator and the north pole

O

outer core
Layer of the earth between the mantle and the inner core
oval
Shaped like a flattened circle

P

Pangaea
Ancient continent made up of all of the current continents into one large and mass
perpendicular
At right angles to the horizon or
photosynthesis
the process plants use to turn sunlight and carbon dioxide into sugar energy
precipitation
Rain, snow, sleet, or hail
protons
Small particles of an atom

R

radiation
Energy transferred by the sun or other bodies

S

solar wind
A flow of charged particles from the sun
Southern hemisphere
Southern half of the earth between the equator and the south pole
sphere
A geometric shape like a ball - 3 dimensional circle

T

tectonic plates
Plates of the crust which float on the mantle

V

volcano
An opening in the earth's crust from which lava can flow

W

water cycle
The hydrologic cycle in which water goes through evaporation, condensation, and precipitation
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