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Table of Contents Enchanted Learning
All About Astronomy
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Astronomy Dictionary
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Click on an underlined word for more information on that subject.

Q



QSO

QSO stands for Quasi-Stellar Object, and is a newer term for quasars (renamed to include the radio-quiet type of quasar).


QUADRANTID METEOR SHOWER

The Quadrantids are a meteor shower that occur each year from Dec. 8-Jan. 7, with a maximum on Jan. 3. This meteor shower occurs each year as the Earth passes through the orbit of an unknown comet, and icy remnants of the comet burn up as they enter the Earth's atmosphere. The meteors in this shower seem to emanate from the constellation Boötes (but they do not).

QUANTUM

A quantum is a discrete natural unit of charge, energy, angular momentum, or other physical properties.

QUANTUM THEORY

Quantum theory states that electromagnetic radiation is composed of discrete particles (quanta), called photons that also exhibit wave-like properties. Quantum theory also states that electrons and other particles have both particle-like and wave-like properties. To be continued...

QUAOAR

Quaoar (also known as 2002 LM60) is a newly-discovered object located in the far reaches of our Solar System, about a billion kilometers beyond Pluto (in the Kuiper Belt). Its designation is Kuiper Belt Object 2002 LM60. Quaoar is over half the diameter of Pluto (Quaoar is about 800 miles=1300 km across). It has an orbital period of about 288 years, with a nearly circular orbit. Michael Brown and Chadwick Trujillo (of Cal Tech) discovered Quaoar in June, 2002, using the Palomar 48-inch telescope. This comet-like object is made up of low-density ices mixed with rock. Quaoar was named for a Native American (Tongva) god.

QUARK

Quarks are subatomic particles that may be the fundamental constituents of baryons (like protons and neutrons) and mesons (like pions and kaons). Quarks have mass, charge (plus or minus 1/3 or 2/3), and spin. There are six types of quarks: up, down, strange, charm, top, and bottom. Baryons are made of 3 quarks each (protons and neutrons are made of up and down quarks); mesons are made of 2 quarks (a quark and an anti-quark). Murray Gell-Mann proposed the existence of quarks in 1964.

QUARTER MOON

A quarter moon looks like half a circle. This moon has completed one quarter of an orbit around the Earth from its full or new position, and one quarter of the moon's surface is visible from Earth. It is also called a half moon.


QUARTZ

Quartz is a common crystalline mineral.


QUASAR

A quasar (more recently known as a QSO, Quasi-Stellar Object) is a distant star-sized energy source in space with excess of ultraviolet. Some of these QSO's gives off large amounts of radiation, including radio waves and X-rays (but some are radio-quiet). The word quasar is short for quasi-stellar radio objects. Quasars were first detected by Maartin Schmidt and Allan R. Sandage in 1963 -1964.
Astronomy Dictionary
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Click on an underlined word for more information on that subject.
If the astronomy term you are looking for is not in the dictionary, please e-mail us.

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