Adams: Calculated where an undiscovered planet (Neptune) would be based on where Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus were. Although he was wrong, Galle and d'Arrest found Neptune based on his work and the independent work of LeVerrier.
Airplanes: The airplane was modeled after kites and gliders and it took many changes to make them how we find them today. The Wright Brothers, Orville and Wilbur, were the first to fly a manned airplane when Wilbur flew their Flyer at Kitty Hawk in 1903.
Anti-particle: An elementary particle with the same properties as another particle except with the opposite electrical or magnetic charge
Aphelion: The point in the orbit of a planet, comet, or artificial satellite in solar orbit that is farthest from the sun.
Apollo 1: This attempt to fly to the Moon ended before lift-off. During a preflight test, the ship caught fire and the three men inside perished. We learned from our mistakes, but only at the expense of astronauts Grissom, White, and Chaffee, and their families.
Apollo 7-10: Before we landed on the Moon, it was necessary to do tests, experiments, and actually orbit the Moon first. Apollo missions 7-10 were very important in accomplishing this. What we learned from these missions was extremely valuable for actually landing on the Moon.
Apollo 11: We finally landed on the Moon! Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins set off on a mission the world will never forget.
Apollo 13: Tragedy nearly struck twice, and when we were getting so sure of ourselves. Apollo 13 was salvaged by the hard work of the astronauts and Mission Control.
Apollo-Soyuz Friendship Mission: The first international manned space flight, finally agreed to in 1972 and achieved by the United States and the Soviet Union in 1975. Apollo 18 and Soyuz 19 were launched into earth orbit on July 15, and rendezvoused on July 17th and were successfully docked. The crews visited each other's craft and conducted joint experiments and surveys. The mission involved major design modifications in both spacecraft.
Arabs: After Ptolemy died in 180 AD, there was not very much going on in terms of astronomy, but these people revived the science of astronomy through observation. In 813, Al-Ma'mun founded the Baghdad school, which made some new star catalogues. This school ended about when Ulugh Beigh, considered its last great scholar, died in 1449. After that, astronomy was in the hands of the Europeans.
Aristarchus: Living from 310-250 B.C., this Greek astronomer believed the Earth was in motion around the Sun, but didn't have any proof. So, the later Greeks kept the idea of the Earth being the center of the universe.
Aristotle: Proved that the Earth is a globe, among other things. Lived from 384-325 BC.
Assyrians: Recorded astronomical data and stored it in the Library of Ashurbanipal.
Atmosphere:The gaseous envelope that surrounds a star, planet, or some other celestial body.
Babylonians: Early attempts at drawing up tables of the movements of the Sun, Moon, and planets may have been made by the Babylonians, but we don't know much about them.
Barred Spiral Galaxies: Flat and disk-shaped galaxies. Have a bulge in the middle, known as its nucleus. Has a wide band of bright stars through the center with arms emanating from each end. Designated by type SB and are sub-categorized by types a, b, and c
Bertaux, J.L.: Led the French team in 1991 which got a short exposure spectrum of the atmosphere on Mars.
Brahe, Tycho: Brahe had his own idea of the universe, but was important because of his observations. Between 1575 and 1595 he compiled a star catalogue and measured the movements of the planets. Although he didn't have the math skills to put these findings to use, his observations considerably helped his assistant Johannes Kepler with his work.
Braun, Wernher von: First, led the team in Germany that developed the V-2 missiles, then came to the U.S. after the war and led the team that launched the first successful American artificial satellite.
Brown Dwarf: An object that never quite became a star.
Cassini: This spacecraft is on its way to Saturn right now and is expected to go into orbit in 2004. It is meant to survey Saturn and its major moons, and will also send a probe (Huygens) onto the surface of the satellite Titan.
Celestial Object: An object in space that appears in Earth's sky.
Centrifugal Force: A force that occurs to objects that are traveling around a center that causes them to fly out off of their circular path
Computers:For finding information about the universe and everything in it, computers have been very instrumental. Keeping track of things, organizing, photographing. Almost everything can be done on a computer now!
Congreve, William: Published his Concise Account on the Origin and Progress of the Rocket System in 1804, and also developed a rocket which was used during the Napoleonic Wars and the Anglo-American War.
Copernicus: Opposed the geocentric (Earth-centered) theory of the universe, mainly because it was so clumsy. Published a book in 1543, putting the Sun at the center of the Universe with his heliocentric theory. Well aware of the heretic concepts he was presenting and the punishments that would follow, Copernicus waited until he was dying to publish his book.
Cosmic Rays: Highly energetic particles that move through space at close to the speed of light and that continuously bombard the earth's atmosphere from all directions.
D'Arrest: With his partner Galle, he was the first to observe Neptune. The two spotted the planet in1846, in about the spot where Adams and LeVerrier had predicted it to be. These other two men had independently predicted where the planet would be based on where everything else was. Although Adams and LeVerrier were wrong about the orbit of Neptune, this one point that was accurate helped Galle and d'Arrest find the planet.
Dark Matter: Invisible "cosmic glue" that holds together rapidly spinning galaxies and controls the rate at which the universe expands. It is observed by watching its gravitational affect on other objects.
Deuterium: an isotope of hydrogen that contains one proton and one neutron in its atomic nucleus
Earth is Round: Aristotle was a major influence in proving the Earth is round. While he was alive, 384-325 BC, he provided many proofs that helped this. Although Europeans hundreds of years later had to rediscover this, Aristotle influenced the world.
Earth From Space: When we finally took off into that other world, the astronauts looked back on what they called home. The first pictures of Earth from space where taken, obviously, in the 1960s. These pictures have been extremely valuable: weather prediction, more information about our Earth, . . . Plus, they look very nice.
Eccentricity: A measure of the extent to which an elliptical orbit departs from circularity.
Eclipse: A blocking of light from one heavenly body to another.
Einstein, Albert: The genius who wrote many papers on theoretical physics, proposed the theory of relativity, and took in a Nobel Prize in Physics.
Eisenhower: President Eisenhower was very influential in space exploration. Along with his scientific adviser James Killian, Eisenhower set up NASA in order to keep the exploration of space in civilian hands and away from the military.
Electromagnetic: Having both electrical and magnetic properties
Electron: Particle of matter with a negative electric charge.
Elliptical Galaxies: Type of galaxy, no arms, made of old stars. Designated by type E and are sub-categorized by types 0 through 7
Eratosthenes: Measured the size of the Earth with pretty close accuracy. His calculation was much closer than what Columbus was going by in 1492.
ERS-1:European Remote Sensing satellite.
Event horizon: Divider on a black hole between areas where things can escape and where things can't escape. below the event horizon, not even light can escape.
Extrinsic Variable: A binary star in which one star passes in front of another and blocks some of the light reaching earth.
Flamesteed, John: Saw Uranus in 1690, but only recorded it as a star, 34 Tauri. The planet was later recognized as such by Herschel in 1781.
Gagarin, Yuri: First man in space, launched by the Vostok 1 and making a complete circle around the Earth. His flight time was only 1 hour 48 minutes, but the mission was very significant and opened up the possibilities. This was his only mission because he died in an ordinary aircraft accident.
Galaxy: The largest assemblage in the universe. galaxies contain hundreds of billions of stars, as well as many other objects.
Galilei, Galileo: The first great observer with the aid of a telescope, Galileo discovered the four moons of Jupiter, the spots on the Sun, and many more important facts about the universe. A strong believer in Copernicanism and the heliocentric universe, Galileo was charged with being a heretic.
Galileo: A NASA mission to Jupiter, launched in October 1989 from the space shuttle.
Galle: Based on what LeVerrier and Adams had separately calculated, Galle was able to find the planet Neptune. He and d'Arrest spotted the planet in 1846. Although LeVerrier and Adams actually calculated wrong, they were right at the one point where the planet was when Galle and d'Arrest tried to find it. People thought it was there, and Galle and d'Arrest found it.
Geocentric Theory: This was the accepted theory until Copernicus, Galileo, and others proved it long. This theory places the Earth at the center of the universe, with the Sun, planets, and stars circling around it.
Gemini Missions: A series of United States space missions that extended the knowlage gained from the Mercury project and preceded the Apollo program. The project demonstrated that man could function effectively over long periods of weightlessness, both inside and outside a spacecraft, and that two spacecraft could be made to rendezvous and dock while in orbit.
Germans to U.S.: To help catch the U.S. with technology, many Germans were brought to the U.S. during World War II.
Glenn, John: First American to orbit Earth, staying there for almost five hours on February 20, 1962 and orbiting the Earth three times.
Goddard, Robert: Researched rockets and fired the first liquid-propellant rocket in Massachusetts in 1926.
Grand Unified Theory (GUT): Theory that electromagnetism, the strong nuclear force, and the weak nuclear force were at one time all part of one force
Gravity: The attraction of one mass to another.
Grisson, Virgil: Went on a sub-orbital mission after Alan Shephard to test the previous results and prepare for the next step. Took place on July 21, 1961. He later died on January 27, 1967 in a tragic Apollo mission when the hatches wouldn't open.
Hale, William: An Englishman who developed a spin-stabilized rocket in 1844.
Ham the chimpanzee: This chimpanzee was launched into space on January 31, 1961 to test the capability of living in space. While on his sub-orbital trip, Ham worked through all different types of tasks and proved that it was possible to put a man in such an orbit.
Heat Death: death of a universe by the equalization of heat within it
Heliocentric Theory: This theory was first published by Copernicus and states that the Sun is actually the center of the universe with all planets (including the Earth) circling around it. Because this contradicted what the Catholic Church had been teaching, those who supported this idea (such as Galileo) were considered heretics and harshly punished.
Herschel: Discovered Uranus and recognized it as a planet. Called it "The Georgian Planet" after his supporter, but the name Uranus was soon chosen to keep in the mythology theme.
Hipparchus: Charted the stars in 200 B.C. and also calculated the size of the Moon and its distance from the Earth rather accurately.
Hubble Space Telescope (HST): The fist of NASA's great observatories, named after Edwin Hubble. It was launched from the space shuttle in April 1990 into a 600 kilometer low-earth orbit and is providing extensive imaging and spectroscopic observations over ultraviolet, optical, and near infrared wavelengths.
Huygens, Christiaan: Showed that Saturn is surrounded by a ring (in 1656), which we later found out was actually a system of rings.
Inferior Planet:The planets Mercury and Venus, which lie closer to the sun that the earth.
Interstellar: In-between stars
Interstellar Medium: Space between stars
Intrinsic Variable: A variable star in which the light output actually changes because of the star's own internal and surface changes
Irregular Galaxies: Type of galaxy with no particular shape that contain mostly old stars.
Isidorus: This bishop of Seville made a distinction between astronomy and astrology; only major contribution for a few centuries after Ptolemy.
Isotope: One or more forms of a chemical element with a different atomic weight and different nuclear properties but the same chemical properties.
Jupiter's Satellites: Galileo discovered Jupiter's four largest moons in 1620, with the aid of his telescope. Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto, called Galilean satellites, soon led to the findings of many more satellites. Now, Jupiter is known to have sixteen satellites orbiting the planet. The discovery that Galileo made was strong evidence for the Copernican theory of the universe, since there was something rotating around another planet.
Kennedy, John F.: President JFK of the United States was influential in the Space Race beginning from when he was sworn in as President in 1961. He realized that the USSR had gotten too far ahead of the U.S. and it was time to catch up.
Kepler, Johannes: German mathematician who published three laws on planetary motion, using the observations of Tycho Brahe to help him out. Among other things, Kepler discovered that the planets move in elliptical orbits.
Killian, James: The scientific adviser for President Eisenhower and the president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He worked with Eisenhower to set up NASA, among other things.
Korolev, Sergei: Member of the Group for the Study of Reaction Motion which was formed in Moscow in 1931. At first, Korolev focused on the development of the rocket aircraft. Then after the first Soviet liquid-fueled rocket was launched in 1933, he was made a divisional engineer for the new Scientific Research Institute of Jet Propulsion. This institute was soon abolished in 1938, and Korolev went on to oversee the production of V-2 rockets in the Soviet Union. Korolev continued having an influence in the development of rockets and other technology and was involved in developing the Sputnik 1 satellite, which was the first in space. He also suggested sending a man into space in 1956, even though he abandoned the idea because of lack of time. Two years later, Korolev picked up the idea again and made it a reality. Later (in 1965), Korolev gained control of the entire Soyuz program and started getting it back into shape. However, he died on January 14, 1966.
Law of Planetary Motion: Kepler came up with three laws. (1) A planet moves around the Sun in an ellipse; (2) The radius vector, or the line joining the center of the Sun to the center of the planet, sweeps through a set amount of area in a set amount of time; (3) The square of the revolution period of any planet is directly proportional to the cube of the planet's mean distance from the Sun, so its period can be calculated if you know the distance of the planet.
LeVerrier: Calculated where the unknown planet (now called Neptune) would be, based on where everything else was. Despite being wrong, his work (and the independent work of Adams), helped Galle and d'Arrest spot the planet.
Light-year: Distance light travels in a year. A light-year is equal to about 6 trillion (6,000,000,000,000) miles. (In actuality, there are five trillion, eight hundred sixty-five billion, six hundred ninety-six million (5,865,696,000,000) miles in a light-year). This answer is reached by a simple calculation.
Local Group: Group of galaxies that our galaxy is included in
Long-period Variables: Red supergiants with very long periods of pulsation and extreme magnitudes
Lowell, Percival: Conducted a systematic search for the planet that was thought to lie beyond Neptune. He searched for two years (1905-1907), but didn't find it. Clyde Tombaugh took up the search, and found Pluto in 1930.
Luna 1-3: A series of Soviet lunar probes that included the first craft to reach the vicinity of the moon.
Lunar Exploration: Exploration of the moon.
Mariner 2: The first successful probe to visit Venus, as well as the first successful planetary mission, it passed by in 1962. It proved that the surface temperature was very hot (about 500° C). After this probe, more than twenty have followed in its path since then. The last to visit was the Magellan. More on Venus.
Mariner 4: The first spacecraft to visit Mars, arriving in 1965. Mars 2 followed as the first to land on Mars, then came the Viking landers and finally the Mars Pathfinder.
Menzel, D.H.: With Whipple, this man developed the idea that Venus had seas and maybe even primitive life-forms. This was one of the many theories about what would be found on Venus.
Mercury Seven: The first American astronauts, these seven were the first to be trained and the first in a lot of things. The team was made up of Alan Shepard, Virgil Grissom, John Glenn, Gordon Cooper, Malcom Scott Carpenter, Walter Schirra, and Donald "Deke" Slayton. The cycle of training and learning set a pattern for those who would follow them. There were lectures on different topics, such as space flight theory and astronomy; also, they went into the simulator many times before they headed out to space.
Micolaev, Andrian: On August 11, 1962, this Russian set a new record with his space mission which lasted four days. The next day, Pavel Popovich went up into orbit as well, and the two returned together: something which had never been done before.
Millibars: The millibar is a symbol: mbar or mb that is often used for planetary atmospheric pressures; the earth's atmospheric pressure is about 1000 millibars.
NASA: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration was started on July 1958 when an Act was signed which established it. Prior to being NASA, it was called the National Advisory Council of Aeronautics, but was renamed by Eisenhower and Killian. NASA has been influential all throughout history, sponsoring all types of projects in and around space.
Nebula: (plural: nebulae) A cloud of gas and dust, usually found in the spiral arms of a galaxy.
Neptune Discovered: After Uranus was discovered, it was suspected that another planet was there because Uranus wasn't acting like it should. So, two men decided to take up the search. Adams and LeVerrier each, separately, calculated where that planet would be, based on the positions of everything else. Although neither one found the planet, Galle and d'Arrest discovered it in 1846, at a place very close to where it was supposed to be. Actually, Adams and LeVerrier were wrong, except at that one point.
Neutrino: A particle with no electric charge and probably no mass
Newton, Isaac: In 1687, Newton published the Principia, which states the laws of gravitation. Newton is the beginning of the modern phase of astronomy.
Nova: (plural: novae) An explosion on the surface of a binary star because of a chain reaction.
Nuclear Fusion: The process in which atoms combine to create larger atoms and massive amounts of energy.
Perihelion: the point in the orbit of a planet, comet, or artificial satellite in solar orbit that is nearest the sun.
Photography: Developed in the second half of the 19th century, this development was very important in astronomy. The first pictures of space were taken around 1840, but the methods of photography weren't important in astronomy until about twenty years later. But when they were used, they told us things we couldn't see before. Photographs of the Moon were used to draw atlases, sunspots were more easily recorded, details of nebulae and stars were found. In 1882, Sir David Gill photographed a comet and discovered that the picture showed tons of stars . . . a great way to map the sky.
Pioneer 11: Visited Jupiter first in 1979, and then headed to Saturn the same year as the first spacecraft to visit that planet. Other spacecraft to visit Saturn include the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, and the Cassini is now on its way there.
Planetary Nebula: A shell of gas thrown off by a star similar to our own in late development.
Planet X: The planet that was thought to exist. Calculations showed that there should be another planet that was affecting Neptune, but when Pluto was found scientists decided that it wasn't big enough to have the effect that they detected. So, the search for Planet X was on. However, based on information from the Voyager 2, there is nothing affecting Neptune like scientists once thought. Thus, there is no Planet X.
Pluto discovered: Neptune was acting weird, based on the information that we had at the time, and so the search continued for the next planet in the Solar System. Percival Lowell did a systematic search for the planet from 1905 to 1907, but didn't find it. In 1930, after a year of searching, Clyde Tombaugh found the planet close to where Lowell predicted it would be. So, Pluto had been found. Since Pluto wasn't big enough to make Neptune act like it was, the search continued for Planet X. However, new information showed us that Neptune was acting how it was supposed to, and we now know that there cannot be a Planet X.
Popovich, Pavel: Following Andrian Micolaev into space, Popovich only left a day later. Russia had put two spacecraft up at the same time, with them returning at about the same time.
Precession: The wobble of earth on its axis.
Principia: Isaac Newton published this book in 1687. With the laws of gravitation written down for the first time, this book was monumental and is still considered a great work.
Proton: Particle of matter with a positive electric charge
Protostar: Embryonic star
Ptolemy: Claudius Ptolemaeus, the "Prince of Astronomers," was a great Greek astronomer. Among other things, he listed 48 constellations and set the stage for space exploration.
Pulsar: "Pulsating Radio Source"
Quadrant: An instrument dating back to antiquity and used for measuring altitudes and angular separations of stars.
Radar Astronomy: The study of celestial bodies within the solar system by means of the faint reflections from them of powerful high-frequency radio transmissions aimed in their directions from the earth.
Radio Astronomy: In 1931, radio waves from the Milky Way were accidentally detected by K. Jansky. Then in 1955, the 250-foot dish was completed in Jodrell Bank, the first radio telescope. Many others, with various designs, have followed since then. Radio signals come from the Sun, Jupiter, supernova remnants, independent galaxies, pulsars, and quasars. The clouds of hydrogen in the Galaxy also emit radio waves. Today, radio astronomy is an important branch of science and provides us with unique information.
Red Giant: A red star that has become bigger and brighter in the last stages of its life.
Retrograde Motion: The apparent motion from east to west.
Rockets: Goddard developed the first liquid-fueled rocket, and since then things have *rocketed,* pardon the pun. Actually, his rockets were first used by the Germans in war, but the United States later got their act together and started developing them for space travel. Without rockets, there would be no space travel at all and we would not know as much about the universe as we do today.
Salyut Space Station: A series of Soviet space stations launched into earth orbit and visited and operated by crews of cosmonauts from the USSR and other Communist countries. The first station was launched din April 1971. Others followed, Salyut-4 (1974-75), Salyut-6 (September 1977), and Sallyut-7 (April 1982) being predominantly civilian in nature: in addition to medical, biological, and technological purposes, the stations have served as platforms for terrestrial and astrophysical observations.
Satellites: Natural satellites orbit the planet they "belong" to, so our artificial satellites share the same name. Satellites orbiting Earth provide us today with vital information and also send signals back and forth around the world.
Saturn's Rings: In 1656, Christiaan Huygens found that Saturn is surrounded by a ring. Since then, we've discovered that there is a system of rings around the planet.
Saturn's Satellites: The first of Saturn's satellites, Titan, was found in 1655 by Huygens. Since then, many more have been found. With the eighteen named satellites, and about twelve more unnamed, Saturn is by far the planet with the most satellites in our Solar System.
Schiaparelli, G.V.: In 1887, this man made maps of Mars that showed a network of lines, which were thought to be canals constructed by Martians for irrigation.
Seyfert galaxies: Violent and fast moving spiral galaxies
Shephard, Alan: First U.S. man in space on May 5, 1961, his flight was sub-orbital.
Shuttle Missions: A recoverable manned space transportation system developed and tested by NASA and operational in April 1982. The shuttles Challenger, Discovery, and Atlantis were brought into service in 1983, 1984, and 1985. Challenger was destroyed, and its crew killed, in an explosion on January 28, 1986, shortly after liftoff. A shuttle consists of an Orbiter with the appearance of a delta-wing aircraft, a huge expendable external propellant tank, on which the Orbiter is mounted at launching, and two solid-fuel rocket boosters. The whole system weighs about 2000 tons at launch and has an overall length of about 56 meters. It is launched in a vertical position by the simultaneous firing of it's two rocket boosters and three liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen main engines. Two minutes into the flight the empty rocket boosters are detached, and parachute into the ocean, and are recovered for further use. Just before the craft reaches it's orbit, the propellant tank is discarded. The Orbiter then maneuvers by means of two on board engines. The shuttles are used for medical, scientific, and technological experiments conducted by the astronauts. Once the mission is complete, the Orbiter uses its rocket motors to put it into a re-entry path and enters the atmosphere in a shallow glide, and finally makes an un-powered landing.
Sidereal time Time based on the rotation of the earth with respect to the stars.
Size of Earth: Eratosthenes of Cyrene, a Greek mathematician, calculated the size of the Earth in 270 BC. With his precise calculations, Eratosthenes was actually much closer than Columbus was in 1492 AD.
Skylab Missions: A large manned US space station launched on May 14, 1973 into earth orbit. The Skylab provided an environment in which people could live and work under controlled weightless conditions. Physiological and psychological reactions to weightlessness were carefully monitored and studied, and ability to perform experiments were tested. NASA had assumed that Skylab would stay in orbit for ten years, with the space shuttle being used to reboost it for further use of deboost it for controlled re-entry and crash landing in the Pacific. The orbit decayed, however, and despite rescue attempts by NASA the craft made an uncontrolled but safe landing in the Indian Ocean, with fragments landing in Western Australia.
Solar Mass: A mass equal to that of the Sun -- 2 x 1030 kg or about 330,000 Earth masses.
Solar Wind: The flow of charged particles around the suns corona
Soyuz 1: A Soviet manned spacecraft which was launched in April 1967.
Spectroscopes: Italian Angelo Secchi and English Sir William Huggins systematically studied the spectra of the stars. Sir Norman Lockyer and Jules Janssen each (alone) used this information in 1868 to construct spectroscopes which would study the Sun without having to wait for a total eclipse. See lab on spectroscopes.
Sputnik: The first satellite in space, launched by the Russians on October 4, 1957. Russians had beat the U.S. to the first satellite in space was on.
Star: A large ball of gas which releases energy produced by nuclear reactions in its core.
Star Charts: There are many different types of star charts throughout the years. Ancient Chinese created their own star map, drawing the constellations that they saw. The Greek figures, which we use today, have some similarities to those maps. Not much has changed in the sky over the years. One great catalogue of the stars was compiled by Hipparchus in 140 BC.
Subatomic: smaller than an atom
Superforce: All the forces of nature combined into one (was at the begining of time)
Supernova (plural: Supernovae): An explosion in the later stages in life of a massive star.
Synchronous Rotation: The rotation of a natural satellite about it's primary in which the period of rotation of the satellite is equal to it's orbital period.
Synodic Period The average time between successive conjunctions of two planets as seen from the earth, or between successive conjunctions of a satellite with the sun as seen from the satellite's primary.
Telescopes: Telescopes have been very important to astronomy, and seem to get bigger and bigger. The end of the 19th century was the age of large refractors. The biggest was built in 1897 at Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, USA, which is 40-inches. Now, telescopes are reflectors instead. For example, Hale designed a reflector telescope which was completed in 1948 and was 200-inches and set on Mount Palomar in California, USA.
Tereshkova, Valentina: One of the four women to go into space, she was the first to go up on June 16, 1983. A twenty four year old textile worker, free fall parachutist, and active member of the Young Communist League, this Russian woman orbited the globe for just under three days.
Theory of Relativity: Einstein worked on this theory for about ten years, and three years later it was proved by a solar eclipse. The theory states that everything is relative to where you are. For example an occurrence on a train would appear different to someone on the train and to someone standing outside the train as it passed by. Or, as you spin around on the Earth, you don't notice the movement unless you (could) see the rest of the Solar System to compare.
Titov, Herman: Russian who left on August 6, 1961 and actually lived in space by eating meals and sleeping. This was good politically for the Russians since the Berlin Wall was being built at that time.
Tombaugh, Clyde: Took up Lowell's search for the missing planet and found it a year later, in 1930, about where Lowell had predicted it would be.
Tsiolkovskii: This rocket scientist was described by some enthusiasts in Paris in 1927 as the Father of Astronautics, or the Father of "sailing among the stars," a description that fits him well. Tsiolkovskii was almost totally deaf at the age of nine because of scarlet fever and had to teach himself over the years. He studied in Moscow for three years and then became a tutor. He began research in 1881, devoted to aircraft and rockets. He wrote many scientific papers of great importance, dealing with many different aspects of the rocket. In 1903, he proposed liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen be used as propellants, as well as suggesting multistage rockets where one stage would protect the other and then send it off into space. These techniques became reality many decades later.
Uranus Discovered: Uranus was seen as a star in 1690 by John Flamesteed, but wasn't known to be a planet until Herschel discovered it in 1781. At first, Herschel wanted to call it "The Georgian Planet," but the name suggested by Bode was chosen instead to keep the planets all named after characters in mythology.
Uranus' Rings: When the rings were discovered in 1977, it was a surprise. Up until that point, since the rings of Saturn were discovered in 1656, Saturn was unique to have rings. After rings were discovered on Uranus, they turned up on Neptune and Jupiter as well.
US Air Force: A branch of the United States Military.
V-2 Rockets: Abbreviated for the Vengeance Weapon 2 and originally called the A-4, this rocket was first developed by the Germans during World War II. After the war, most of the experts went to the U.S. to aid in development, and a few went to Russia. The rocket weighed one ton, flew at a speed of more than 3,500 mph, and could hit from 200 miles away. It burned liquid oxygen mixed with ethyl alcohol. In 1943, the A-4/V-2 went into production at a slave labor camp and the Nazis built up a pile of almost 2,000 rockets. Later, the Russians and Americans wanted the technology and built production facilities under the direction of Germans.
Variable Star: A star or group of stars that change their intensity
Verne, Jules: This science fiction writer wrote From the Earth to the Moon (1865) and Round the Moon (1870). His stories were well written and had some scientific merit despite their early publishing date. In fact, his descriptions of the Moon from space are similar to descriptions from the lunar era of space flight.
Voskhod Missions: Two Soviet manned spacecraft that followed the vostok series. Voskhod 1 was launched on October 12, 1964 and was the first multi crewed spacecraft. Voskod 2 was launched on March 18, 1965 and during it's flight on of the two manned crew Alexsei Leonov, made the first space walk.
Vostok Missions: A series of six Soviet manned spacecraft that were able to carry one person into orbit. Vostok 1 was launched on April 12, 1961. It's crew member, Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space. The flight lasted 1.8 hours. In subsequent Vostok missions the flight duration was extended up to 119 hours so that the effects of prolonged weightlessness could be studied. The double launching of Vostoks 3 and 4 in August 1962 and their close approach in orbit led to an appreciation of rendezvous techniques.
Voyager 2: Visited Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus (first and only visitor), and Neptune (first and only visitor) on a trip through space from 1986-1989.
Wells, H.G.: Wrote First Men in the Moon, which was published in 1901. As a science fiction writer, this work was about a scientist who traveled to the Moon using an "antigravity device." This Moon had vegetation, breathable air, and several forms of life. Definitely not scientifically based! Wells also wrote a book about Mars, called War of the Worlds. When the Russians sent an imaging probe to the far side, they named one of the craters after Wells.
Whipple, F.I.: With Menzel, this man developed the idea that Venus had seas and maybe even primitive life forms. This was one of the many theories about what would be found on Venus.
Wright Brothers: Definitely an important contribution to the advancement of civilization, the Wright Brothers flew the first man powered aircraft when Orville steered their plane the Flyer for 12 seconds, taking it 120 ft.
Zenith: The point in the sky directly above your head