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Site: UNIVERSEH: The European Space University
Course: UNIVERSEH: The European Space University (UNIVERSEH)
Glossary: Dictionary of Space Concepts
K

Kepler’s laws

(Last edited: Tuesday, 26 September 2023, 3:06 PM)
Image/Video/Audio Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/98/Kepler_laws_diagram.svg

Image/Video/Audio Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/98/Kepler_laws_diagram.svg

Short Definition:

Kepler’s laws of planetary motion are one of the most basic concepts of astronomy. In short, these correct Copernicus heliocentric theory by replacing circular orbits with elliptical ones, and explain the motion of planets.


Detailed Definition:

There are three Kepler laws of planetary motion:

  1. Each planet's orbit about the Sun is an ellipse.

  2. Planets do not move with constant speed along their orbits.

  3. The period for a planet to orbit the Sun increases rapidly with the radius of its orbit.

These were published in the XVII century and confirmed by Isaac Newton and are known as his laws of motion and law of universal gravitation. 


Etymology:

Kepler - a surname from German

law - /lɔː/, Old English lagu, from Old Norse lag ‘something laid down or fixed’, of Germanic origin and related to lay.



Sample Sentence(s):

Kepler’s three laws of planetary motion explain how an astronomical body would orbit the heavy gravitational object. 

I forgot to use Kepler’s laws during my science test, so I failed.


Translations of Terms/Concepts into Partner Languages [Multiple fields for entering the translation of the term in each partner language, additional languages can potentially be added, e.g. Russian, Chinese, Portuguese]

French: 

lois de Kepler


German:

Keplerschen Gesetzen


Polish:

prawa Keplera


Swedish:

Keplers lagar


Links to Videos/Articles:

Kuiper Belt

(Last edited: Tuesday, 26 September 2023, 3:07 PM)

Image:

Image: Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38097918

Image: Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38097918

Short Definition:

The Kuiper Belt is a ring of rocky objects floating alongside our Solar System beyond Neptune. It extends outwards from Neptune’s orbit thousands of AU (astronomical units).


Detailed Definition:

The Kuiper Belt is similar to the asteroid belt (the one between Mars and Jupiter), but it is far larger. It consists of small rocky creatures, among which are so called dwarf planets: Pluto, Haumea, Makemake etc.

It is believed that many bodies found nowadays inside of it are as old as our Solar System. 

It was being discovered little by little during the twentieth century. Firstly, there was just an idea given by Gerard Kuiper, that Pluto cannot be alone in the outer Solar System. After many precise calculations and continuous observation of the sky, in 1992, two scientists, Dave Jewitt and Jane Luu, found a second Kuiper Belt Object (KBO), confirming the theory.



Etymology:

Kuiper (/ˈkaɪpər/) - from Dutch, meaning copper, 

Belt (/bɛlt/) - Old English, of Germanic origin, from Latin balteus ‘girdle’.



Sample Sentence(s):

One of the largest objects of the Kuiper Belt, Pluto, a dwarf planet, is the tenth-most-massive object to directly orbit the Sun.


French: 

la ceinture de Kuiper


German:

der Kuiper-Gürtel


Polish:

Pas Kuipera


Swedish:

Kuiperbältet


Links to Videos/Articles:


L

Lagrange Point

(Last edited: Saturday, 30 September 2023, 10:17 PM)
Source: NOAA Images (2016, September 21). Lagrange Points. flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/125201706@N06/29832072485

Source: NOAA Images (2016, September 21). Lagrange Points. flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/125201706@N06/29832072485

Short Definition:

A Lagrange Point is a place where the gravitation force of two large masses (for example the earth and sun) addition together, so that a small object (for example a spacecraft or a telescope) can move with the two large masses on a path.

There are 5 different Lagrange points in total for each constellation.


Detailed Definition:

In the spot of a Lagrange point, the gravitational force by two large masses equal the centripetal force (the force that makes a body follow a curved path), which is required for the small mass to move along the two large masses and can reduce the fuel usage.

The Lagrange points L1,L2 and L3 are unstable, which can lead to an unwanted movement of the small mass away from the Lagrange point if a force is properly applied to the small mass. The Lagrange points L4 and L5 are stable.

The calculation is done by solving the three-body problem, where the Lagrange points are the constant solution for.


Etymology:

The word point originated from the Latin word pungere("to prick, pierce").


Sample Sentence(s):

"The Lagrange point L2 is the position of the James Webb Space Telescope."


Translations:

French: PointdeLagrange

German: Lagrange-punkt

Polish: punkt Lagrange’a, punkt libracji

Swedish: Lagrangepunkt

Italian: punto di Lagrange

Links to Videos/Articles:

https://www.chicagospace.org/the-five-lagrange-points-l1-l2-l3-l4-and-l5/

https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/resources/754/what-is-a-lagrange-point/

https://www.esa.int/Enabling_Support/Operations/What_are_Lagrange_points

https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=foyJzvpeaBE

Launch escape system

(Last edited: Tuesday, 26 September 2023, 4:59 PM)

NASA. (1965, June). Apollo Pad Abort Test #2. Retrieved from https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/17/Apollo_Pad_Abort_Test_-2.jpg

NASA. (1965, June). Apollo Pad Abort Test #2. Retrieved from https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/17/Apollo_Pad_Abort_Test_-2.jpg

Short Definition:

Launch escape system (LES) or launch abort system (LAS) is a system in rockets that will separate a capsule with crew and move it away from the rocket in case of emergency such as pending rocket explosion. This is a safety measure necessary to evacuate the crew when their presence in the rocket is life-threatening.

Detailed Definition:

LES is attached to the capsule and usually has thrusters and a little fuel. It is just enough to propel it for a short time and send the capsule away from the rocket. It can be placed above capsule as a tower (as in Apollo) or be a part of capsule (as in Crew Dragon). LES doesn't have to be detachable from the capsule with crew, but if it is (as towers), it will be separated as soon as it runs out of fuel or when it is no longer needed. When LES finished working, capsule can land or splash with its own parachutes. Nowadays all crewed missions are equipped with some kind of launch escape system.

Etymology:

Launch – from Old French lancier– to fling, hurl, throw, castEscape – Old French eschaper– free oneself from confinementSystem – from Late Latin or Greek systema– an arrangement, organized whole, a whole compounded of parts

Sample Sentences:

The launch escape system provided a critical safety measure for astronauts in case of a rocket malfunction.

Translations:

French: Tour de sauvetage

German: Rettungsrakete

Italian: Sistema di fuga di lancio

Polish: Rakietowy System Ratunkowy

Swedish: Starta utrymningssystem

Russian: Система аварийного спасения

Ukrainian: Система аварійного порятунĸу

References:

McHale, S. (2014, February). Soyuz launch escape system. Retrieved from https://web.archive.org/web/20140221212224/http://suzymchale.com/ruspace/soyescape.html

Clark, S. (2010, February). Orbital sees bright future for Orion launch abort system. Retrieved from https://spaceflightnow.com/news/n1002/18orionlas/


Lenticular Galaxy

(Last edited: Friday, 28 April 2023, 6:09 PM)


Source:


Short Definition:

A lenticular galaxy is a type of galaxy which contains a large-scale disc but does not have large-scale spiral arms.

Detailed Definition:

Galaxies can be divided into various types - spiral, elliptical, lenticular and irregular. A lenticular galaxy exhibits characteristics of both an elliptical and a spiral galaxy. It is determined by a central bulge and disks (as in the case of an ellipcital galaxy) combined with the absence of arms, which can be found in spiral galaxies just as the Milky Way. The name refers to the shape of the galaxy, which is very similar to a lens.

Etymology:

lenticular (lĕn-tĭk′yə-lər) - Latin lenticularis - having the shape of a double-convex lens

Sample Sentence(s):

"Lenticular galaxies tend to be old galaxies that have used up most of their gas and dust and are just living the twilight years."

Translations of Terms/Concepts into Partner Languages

French: Galaxie lenticulaire

German: Linsenförmige Galaxie

Polish:  Galaktyka soczewkowata

Swedish:  Linsformad galax


Links to Videos/Articles:

https://scitechdaily.com/hubble-image-of-the-week-lenticular-galaxy-ngc-2655/

https://www.universeguide.com/fact/lenticulargalaxy

https://www.thoughtco.com/lenticular-galaxies-structure-formation-3072047


Light Pollution

(Last edited: Tuesday, 26 September 2023, 5:17 PM)
Source: Law, L. (2015, February 25). Night sky with light pollution from Coachella Valley. flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/115357548@N08/16026201013

Source: Law, L. (2015, February 25). Night sky with light pollution from Coachella Valley. flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/115357548@N08/16026201013

Short Definition:

Light pollution is the effect of excessive or poor use of artificial outdoor light sources. There are several negative impacts from it: it disrupts both the human sleep and natural patterns of wildlife, it is a factor in the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and obscures the celestial bodies in the night sky.

Detailed Definition:

Light pollution, also referred to as luminous pollution, is the negative consequence of excess of artificial light and its misuse. There are several major repercussions to the increasing amounts of light in the night sky, such as sky glow, disruption of natural body rhythms in both human and animals, and the obscured ability of celestial object observation. The sky glow is the over presence of artificial light in densely populated areas after sunset, which results in disruptions of melatonin hormone in humans, causing sleep deprivation, fatigue, headaches, stress, and anxiety. Studies indicate a connection between the low melatonin levels and cancer. Light pollution also impacts the behaviour of animals, such as migration patterns, wake-sleep habits and habitat formation. Sky glow impairs the research of the night sky, obscuring stars and other celestial bodies.

Etymology:

"light" - Old English leht, West Saxon leoht, German Licht - brightness, radiant energy, that which makes things visible

"pollution" - Late Latin pollutionem, Latin polluere - defilement, to soil, defile, contaminate

Sample Sentence(s):

"Light pollution disrupts astronomers in their study of space."

"It is increasingly difficult to appreciate the beauty of the evening sky, as the light pollution obscures the visibility of stars."

Translations of Terms/Concepts into Partner Languages

French: Pollution lumineuse

German: Lichtverschmutzung

Polish: Zanieczyszczenie światłem

Swedish: Ljusförorening


Links to Videos/Articles:

https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/light-pollution

https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/mapmaker-light-pollution

https://planetfacts.org/light-pollution/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdIGJNVUwmE

Liu Yang

(Last edited: Tuesday, 26 September 2023, 5:19 PM)


Short Definition
Liu Yang is a taikonaut, a term used for Chinese astronauts, and a military transport pilot. She was born on October 6, 1978, in Zhengzhou, China. Today she is known for being the first Chinese woman to venture into space, achieving this milestone on June 16, 2012, as part of the Shenzhou 9 mission.


Detailed Definition

Liu Yang is an only child who was born into a working-class family with roots in Linzhou, Anyang. Her journey towards the skies began soon after high school when she was encouraged by a teacher to pursue aviation. Joining the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force in 1997, she amassed an impressive 1,680 hours of flight experience, rising to the rank of major and deputy head of a flight unit. Notably, Liu Yang showcased her courage and skill when she successfully landed her fighter jet after a bird collision, an event that earned praise from state media.
In May 2010, Liu Yang was recruited into China's second class of prospective astronauts. Following two years of rigorous training, she demonstrated exceptional skills during testing, leading to her selection in March 2012 as a crew candidate for the Shenzhou-9 mission.

Soon after, on June 16, 2012, Liu Yang launched into space, accompanied by commander Jing Haipeng and operator Liu Wang. This milestone mission marked China's first successful crewed space docking with the Tiangong 1 space module. During the mission, Liu Yang took charge of conducting medical experiments.

Etymology
N/A

Sample Sentence(s)

"[…] having Liu Yang on board will not only help the country's aspiring space program test equipment designed for women in preparation for the building of an orbiting space station, but it will also expand the social impact of human space missions." Wolchover, N. (2012, June 15). Who Is China’s First Female Astronaut? livescience.com. https://www.livescience.com/34002-china-female-astronaut.html

 

Links to Videos/Articles:

●       Wolchover, N. (2012, June 15). Who Is China’s First Female Astronaut? livescience.com. https://www.livescience.com/34002-china-female-astronaut.html

●       China’s first female astronaut ready for new space mission. (2022, June 4). CGTN. https://news.cgtn.com/news/2022-06-04/China-s-first-female-astronaut-ready-for-new-space-mission-1aAKaX706GI/index.html

●       Gregersen, E. (Invalid Date). Liu Yang. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Liu-Yang

●       CGTN. (2022, September 6). Liu Yang: No preferential treatment for being a woman in space [Video]. YouTube.

 

 


Low Earth orbit

(Last edited: Tuesday, 26 September 2023, 5:20 PM)
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Orbitalaltitudes.svg

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Orbitalaltitudes.svg

Short Definition:

The Low Earth Orbit (in short, LEO) is an orbit that is relatively low compared to typical space orbits. An object orbiting Earth above 100 km and below 2000 km can be described as orbiting on Low Earth Orbit. In terms of orbiting time, a low Earth orbit have an orbiting period of 128 minutes or less. Low Earth Orbit is often used as temporary orbit for spacecrafts travelling further into space. 

Detailed Definition:

The Low Earth Orbit (LEO in short) is a zone around Earth from a 100 km (Kármán line) to about 2000 km above Earth's surface. Due to orbits shape varying from circles to ellipses, better description is done using time. A body orbiting at the Low Earth Orbit has an orbiting time around 128 minutes or less. The pull of gravity in the LEO is only slightly less than on the Earth's surface, and the orbiting body still encounters atmospheric drag from present gas particles. Due to this, the LEO is often used as a transitive stage for spaceships traveling further into space, as the mean orbital velocity needed to maintain a stable low Earth orbit is about 7.8 km/s, rather than being used as a stable orbit due to constant need of course correction. The most famous spacecraft orbiting in the LEO is the International Space Station, orbiting at around 400 km above Earth’s surface.

Etymology:

Low - From Middle English lowe, lohe, lāh, from Old Norse lágr (“low”)
Earth - From Middle English erthe, from Old English eorþe ("ground, soil, dirt")
Orbit - From Middle English orbite, orbita, from Latin orbita (“course, track, impression, mark”)

Sample Sentence(s):

"The International Space Station is the largest modular space station currently in the Low Earth Orbit."
"The Low Earth orbit requires the lowest amount of energy for satellite placement."

Translations:

French: 

Orbite terrestre basse

German:

Niedrige Erdumlaufbahn

Polish:

Niska orbita okołoziemska

Swedish:

Låg omloppsbana

Links to Videos/Articles:

https://www.esa.int/ESA_Multimedia/Images/2020/03/Low_Earth_orbit
https://www.space.com/low-earth-orbit

Lunar regolith

(Last edited: Saturday, 30 September 2023, 10:26 PM)

Image/Video/Audio:

Image/Video/Audio: Image/Video/Audio Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/89/Apollo_11_bootprint.jpg

Image/Video/Audio Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/89/Apollo_11_bootprint.jpg

Short Definition:

Lunar regolith is a thin, powdery layer of soil on the lunar surface. It consists of dust, broken rocks and other materials found on the ground. It covers nearly the entire surface of the Moon, Mars and other celestial bodies in our Solar System.


Detailed Definition:

Lunar regolith comes in the form of dust and small rocks. It is made up of ~45% oxygen, the rest are elements like silicone, iron, magnesium, calcium, chromium and sodium. What differs between the Moon and Earth regolith is the mechanical weathering that lunar soil went through. It was formed over billions of years by constant meteorite impacts on the surface of the Moon. It is estimated that it extends from 5 to 15 metres deep in the ground.


Etymology:

from Greek - rhegos (“blanket”) and lithos (“rock)



Sample Sentence(s):

Astronauts who were on the Moon claimed that lunar regolith sticks to the spacesuits and has the ability to wear them down. 

One of the most famous pictures from space is one of an astronaut footprint in the lunar regolith.


Translations of Terms/Concepts into Partner Languages [Multiple fields for entering the translation of the term in each partner language, additional languages can potentially be added, e.g. Russian, Chinese, Portuguese]

French: 

régolithe lunaire


German:

Mond-Regolith


Polish:

regolit księżycowy


Swedish:

månens regolit


Links to Videos/Articles:

Lunar Theory

(Last edited: Saturday, 30 September 2023, 10:29 PM)

Image/Video/Audio: Image/Video/Audio Source: Newton, I. (1687, January 1). Isaac Newton's diagram from the 'Principia' of 1687 (Book 3, Proposition 25, at p.434). wikimedia commons. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:096-newt1687-figp434.jpg

Image/Video/Audio: Image/Video/Audio Source: Newton, I. (1687, January 1). Isaac Newton's diagram from the 'Principia' of 1687 (Book 3, Proposition 25, at p.434). wikimedia commons. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:096-newt1687-figp434.jpg

Short Definition:

Lunar Theory is the measurement and prediction of the movements of the moon as a method of a priori deduction with the principles of the laws of gravity. For the first time in the modern era, Isaac Newton mentioned in his book Principia in 1687 that the motion of the moon could be calculated mathematically by the law of gravity.

Detailed Definition:

Lunar theory, the theory that the movements of the moon can be calculated by gravitational laws, put forward by Isaac Newton in 1687, is a cumulative result of moon observations that found their roots in ancient Babylonian, Greek and Arabian geography. In his book, Newton's Principia, he made the first inferences about how the gravitational motion of the Earth and Moon towards the sun could be measured mathematically. With the development of technology, especially after the 1960s, lunar theory has been retested with the help of automatic digital computation and modern observational data-types. With computer-assisted algebra, new analytical developments have been experienced, and new analytical theories have been created.

Etymology:

Lunar – Latin (lūnāris)

Theory – Ancient Greek (theōréō )

(lunar - Wiktionary. (n.d.). https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/lunar)

(theory - Wiktionary. (n.d.). https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/theory)

Sample Sentence(s):

‘’These views, however, are due to a lack of understanding of the close relation that exists between the kinematical model of Horrocks, and the dynamical lunar theory of Newton.’’

(Newton’s lunar theory. (n.d.). http://physics.ucsc.edu/. http://physics.ucsc.edu/~michael/koll.html)

‘’Newton's dynamics, and his lunar theory especially, were difficult for his contemporaries and they are perhaps even more difficult now.’’

(Success and failure in newton’s lunar theory. (n.d.). Oxford Academic. https://academic.oup.com/astrogeo/article/41/6/6.21/225623)

Translations of Terms/Concepts into Partner Languages:

French:

Théorie lunaire

German:

Mondtheorie

Polish:

Teoria Księżyca, teoria ruchu Księżyca

Swedish:

Månteori

Turkish:

Ay Teorisi

Links to Videos/Articles:

Newton’s lunar theory. (n.d.). http://physics.ucsc.edu/. http://physics.ucsc.edu/~michael/koll.html

ScienceClic English. (2019, January 5). Newton’s Gravity [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OE5LBi7hZkU

Success and failure in newton’s lunar theory. (n.d.). Oxford Academic. https://academic.oup.com/astrogeo/article/41/6/6.21/225623