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Glossary of Astronomy Terms
beginning with letter C
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Caelum Tweet Definition of Caelum Like Definition of Caelum on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (constellation) A summer constellation of the southern sky, said to resemble a chisel.
Callisto Tweet Definition of Callisto Like Definition of Callisto on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (astronomy) A moon of Jupiter.
  2. (mythology) A nymph of Artemis.
Camelopardalis Tweet Definition of Camelopardalis Like Definition of Camelopardalis on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (constellation) A faint circumpolar constellation of the northern sky, said to resemble a giraffe.
canal Tweet Definition of canal Like Definition of canal on Facebook
noun
  1. A channel which connects one body of water to another.
  2. A waterway used for transportation of vessels, especially a manmade one.
  3. A tubular channel within the body.
Canis Major Tweet Definition of Canis Major Like Definition of Canis Major on Facebook
proper noun (canis
  1. Latin, Canis major
  2. Latin, Major)
    1. (constellation) A winter constellation of the northern sky, said to resemble a dog following the hunter Orion. It includes the brightest star in the night sky Sirius, which is appropriately known as the Dog Star.
Canis Minor Tweet Definition of Canis Minor Like Definition of Canis Minor on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (constellation) A small winter constellation of the northern sky, said to resemble a dog following the hunter Orion. It is most notable for including the eighth brightest star in the night sky, Procyon.
Canopus Tweet Definition of Canopus Like Definition of Canopus on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (star) A yellowish-white supergiant star in the constellation Carina; Alpha (~+mn~) Carinae. It is the second brightest star in the night sky.
  2. (greekmyth) The pilot of King Menelaus's ship in the Iliad.
  3. An ancient city in northern Egypt, known for extravagance.
Capella Tweet Definition of Capella Like Definition of Capella on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (star): A bright double star in the constellation Auriga; Alpha (~+mn~) Aurigae.
Capricorn Tweet Definition of Capricorn Like Definition of Capricorn on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (constellation): A constellation of the zodiac supposedly shaped like a goat.
  2. (astrology): The Zodiac sign for the goat, covering December 22 - January 21.
carbon star Tweet Definition of carbon star Like Definition of carbon star on Facebook
noun
  1. (astronomy) any of a class of red giant stars having a high proportion of carbon because of helium burning
Carina Tweet Definition of Carina Like Definition of Carina on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (constellation) A summer constellation of the southern sky, said to resemble the keel of a ship. It contains the star Canopus, the second brightest star in the night sky. Until 1763, it was part of a larger constellation, Argo Navis.
Cassiopeia Tweet Definition of Cassiopeia Like Definition of Cassiopeia on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (greekmyth) Proud wife of Cepheus and mother of Andromeda, queen of Eritrea. When she boasted that her beauty was equal to that of the Nereids, she was punished by Poseidon.
  2. (constellation) A circumpolar constellation of the northern sky representing Queen Cassiopeia from Greek myth. The constellation lies between Cepheus and Perseus.
Castor Tweet Definition of Castor Like Definition of Castor on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (greekmyth): One of the Dioscuri
  2. (star): A double star in the constellation Gemini; alpha (~+mn~) Geminorum.
celestial pole Tweet Definition of celestial pole Like Definition of celestial pole on Facebook
noun
  1. An imaginary point situated where a planet's axis intersects the celestial sphere.
celestial sphere Tweet Definition of celestial sphere Like Definition of celestial sphere on Facebook
noun
  1. (astronomy) An abstract sphere of infinite radius which serves as the imaginary backdrop for celestial objects, and of which the visible sky is one hemisphere.
Centaur Tweet Definition of Centaur Like Definition of Centaur on Facebook
noun
  1. (greekmyth) one of a race of monsters having a head, trunk, and arms of a man, and the body and legs of a horse.
  2. (astronomy) An icy planetoid that orbits the Sun between Jupiter and Neptune.
  3. a skillfull horseman or horsewoman.
  4. (Rocketry) a U.S. upper stage, with a restartable liquid-propellant engine, used with an Atlas or Titan booster to launch satellites and probes.
Centaurus Tweet Definition of Centaurus Like Definition of Centaurus on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (constellation) A spring constellation of the northern sky (and autumn of the southern sky) with the outline of a centaur. It includes the stars Alpha Centauri and Proxima Centauri.
Cepheus Tweet Definition of Cepheus Like Definition of Cepheus on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (greekmyth) Husband of Cassiopeia, king of Eritrea, father of Andromeda. There may be two mythical kings by this name.
  2. (constellation) A circumpolar constellation of the northern sky representing the king Cepheus from Greek myth. The constellation lies between Draco and Cassiopeia.
Ceres Tweet Definition of Ceres Like Definition of Ceres on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (mythology) The Roman goddess of agriculture; equivalent to the Greek goddess Demeter.
  2. (astronomy) A celestial body orbitting between Mars and Jupiter; previously defined as an asteroid; now officially known as a dwarf planet; officially called 1 Ceres.
(wikipedia, 1 Ceres)      
Cetus Tweet Definition of Cetus Like Definition of Cetus on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (constellation) A winter constellation of the northern sky, said to resemble a whale. It includes the star Mira.
Chamaeleon Tweet Definition of Chamaeleon Like Definition of Chamaeleon on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (constellation) A small circumpolar constellation of the southern sky, said to resemble a chamaeleon. It lies south of the constellations Carina and Musca.
Charon Tweet Definition of Charon Like Definition of Charon on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (astronomy) The largest of three moons of Pluto. (Read more at w:Charon (moon), Wikipedia)
  2. (greekmyth) The ferryman of Hades. (Read more at w:Charon (mythology), Wikipedia)
chisel Tweet Definition of chisel Like Definition of chisel on Facebook
noun
  1. A tool consisting of a slim oblong block of metal which is flattened to a sharp edge at one end and attached to a handle at the other end. It is used mainly to remove parts of stone or wood by placing the sharp edge against the material and pounding the handle with a hammer.
verb
  1. (intransitive) To use a chisel.
  2. (transitive) To work something with a chisel.
She chiselled a sculpture out of the block of wood.
  1. (colloquial) To cheat, to get something by cheating.
chromosphere Tweet Definition of chromosphere Like Definition of chromosphere on Facebook
noun
  1. (star) The faint pink extension of a star's atmospheric envelope between the corona and the photosphere
Circinus Tweet Definition of Circinus Like Definition of Circinus on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (constellation) A small constellation of the southern winter sky, said to resemble a compass. It lies between the constellations of Centaurus and Triangulum Australe.
circle Tweet Definition of circle Like Definition of circle on Facebook
noun
  1. (geometry): A two-dimensional geometric figure, a line, consisting of the set of all those points in a plane that are equally distant from another point.
The set of all points (x, y) such that <math>(x-1)^2 + y^2 = r^2 </math> is a of radius r around the point (1, 0).
  1. A two-dimensional geometric figure, a disk, consisting of the set of all those points of a plane at a distance less than or equal to a fixed distance from another point.
  2. Any thin three-dimensional equivalent of the geometric figures.
Put on your dunce-cap and sit down on that .
  1. A curve that more or less forms part or all of a circle.
move in a
  1. Orbit.
  2. A specific group of persons.
inner
of friends
  1. (cricket) A line comprising two semicircles of 30 yds radius centred on the wickets joined by straight lines parallel to the pitch used to enforce field restrictions in a one-day match.
verb (circl, ing)
  1. (transitive) To travel around along a curved path.
  2. (transitive) To surround.
  3. (transitive) To place or mark a circle around.
Circle the jobs that you are interested in applying for.
  1. (intransitive) To travel in circles.
Vultures circled overhead.
circumpolar Tweet Definition of circumpolar Like Definition of circumpolar on Facebook
adjective
  1. Located or found throughout a polar region.
  2. (context, astronomy) Of a celestial body, continually visible above the horizon during the entire 360 degrees of daily travel.
  • a star
cislunar Tweet Definition of cislunar Like Definition of cislunar on Facebook
adjective
  1. situated between the earth and the moon
cluster Tweet Definition of cluster Like Definition of cluster on Facebook
noun
  1. A group or bunch of something, containing only a few members, which are close to each other.
  • A of flowers grew in the pot.
    1. (astronomy) A group of galaxy, galaxies or stars that appear near each other.
The Pleiades contains seven bright stars.
  1. (music) A chord of three or more notes.
  2. (phonetics) A group of consonants.
The word "scrub" begins with a of three consonants.
  1. (computing) A group of computers that work together.
  2. (statistics) A significant subset within a population.
  3. (military) Set of bombs or mines.
  4. (context, army) A small metal design that indicates that a medal has been awarded to the same person before.
verb
  1. (intransitive) To form into a cluster.
  • The children clustered together around the puppy.
coma Tweet Definition of coma Like Definition of coma on Facebook
noun
  1. A state of sleep from which one may not wake up, usually induced by some form of trauma.
comet Tweet Definition of comet Like Definition of comet on Facebook
noun
  1. (astronomy) A celestial body consisting mainly of ice, dust and gas in an (usually very eccentric) orbit around the Sun and having a "tail" of matter blown back from it by the solar wind as it approaches the Sun.
corona Tweet Definition of corona Like Definition of corona on Facebook
noun (plural: coronae or coronas)
  1. A crown or garland bestowed among the Romans as a reward for distinguished services.
  2. (star): The luminous plasma atmosphere of the Sun or other star, extending millions of kilometres into space, most easily seen during a total solar eclipse,
  3. (biology): Any crown-like appendage of a plant or animal.
  4. (electrical): a low energy discharge caused by ionization of a gas by an electric field quite common at conductor bends of 12kV or higher.
Corvus Tweet Definition of Corvus Like Definition of Corvus on Facebook
proper noun (wikipedia, Corvus (constellation))
  1. (constellation): A constellation of the southern sky, said to resemble a crow. It lies south of the constellation Virgo.
cosmic Tweet Definition of cosmic Like Definition of cosmic on Facebook
adjective
  1. of or from or pertaining to the cosmos or universe
cosmography Tweet Definition of cosmography Like Definition of cosmography on Facebook
noun
  1. The creation of maps of the universe.
  2. The study of the size and geometry of the universe and changes in those with cosmic time.
cosmology Tweet Definition of cosmology Like Definition of cosmology on Facebook
noun
  1. The study of the physical universe, its structure, dynamics, origin and evolution, and fate
  2. A metaphysics, metaphysical study into the origin and nature of the universe
crab Tweet Definition of crab Like Definition of crab on Facebook
noun
  1. A crustacean of the infraorder Brachyura, having five pairs of legs, the foremost of which are in the form of claws, and a carapace.
  2. A bad-tempered person.
  3. (context, in plural crabs, informal) An infestation of pubic lice.
  4. (slang) A playing card with the rank of three.
verb (crabs, crabbing, crabbed)
  1. (intransitive) To fish for crabs.
  2. (intransitive) To complain.
  3. (intransitive) (by analogy with the movement of a crab) Of an aircraft, such as a glider, to move sideways.
  4. (transitive) (by analogy with the movement of a crab) To navigate (an aircraft, e.g., a glider) sideways against an air current in order to maintain a straight-line course.
  5. (context, obsolete) In World War 1, to fly slightly off the straight-line course towards an enemy aircraft, as the machine guns on early aircraft did not allow firing through the propeller disk.
  6. (rare) To back out of something.
Cross Tweet Definition of Cross Like Definition of Cross on Facebook
proper noun
  1. An English topographic surname for someone who lived near a stone cross on a road
cross-staff Tweet Definition of cross-staff Like Definition of cross-staff on Facebook
noun
  1. (nautical) An early navigational instrument, consisting of a wooden rod with a sliding crosspiece, used for measuring the altitude of a star; it developed into the sextant
Crux Tweet Definition of Crux Like Definition of Crux on Facebook
proper noun (wikipedia, Crux)
  1. (constellation) A distinctive winter constellation of the southern sky, shaped like a cross. It appears in the flags of several countries in Oceania.
culminate Tweet Definition of culminate Like Definition of culminate on Facebook
verb (culminat, ing)
  1. (intransitive) To reach the highest point; to build up to a climax.
Their messy breakup culminated in a restraining order.
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/12/opinion/12tue1.html?ex=1158292800&en=baef3598e5784194&ei=5087%0A New York Times After that, paths diverge. Mr. Bush has been marking the fifth anniversary of Sept. 11 with a series of speeches about terrorism that culminated with his televised address last night.
  1. (intransitive) terminate; to end or finish, especially in a climactic manner
The class will with a rigorous examination.
  1. (transitive) To bring to a conclusion, especially a decisive one.
The obstacle course culminates in the vaunted Leap of Death.
culmination Tweet Definition of culmination Like Definition of culmination on Facebook
noun
  1. The attainment of the highest point of altitude reached by a heavenly body; passage across the meridian; transit.
  2. Attainment or arrival at the highest pitch of glory, power, etc.
    category:English nouns
cusp Tweet Definition of cusp Like Definition of cusp on Facebook
noun
  1. A sharp point or pointed end.
  2. (figuratively) An important moment when a decision is made that will determine future events.
  3. (geometry) A point of a curve where it has two tangents.
  4. (astrology) A boundary between zodiacal astrological sign, signs and houses.
  5. (dentistry) Any of the pointed parts of a canine tooth or molar.
Cygnus Tweet Definition of Cygnus Like Definition of Cygnus on Facebook
proper noun (wikipedia, Cygnus)
  1. (constellation): A summer constellation of the northern sky, said to resemble a swan. It includes the stars Deneb and Albireo.
  2. (greekmyth): A king of the Ligurians and relative of Phaeton who was tranformed into a swan and placed in the sky as a constellation. Also called Cycnus.

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