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Glossary of Astronomy Terms
beginning with letter P
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painter Tweet Definition of painter Like Definition of painter on Facebook
noun
  1. an artist who paints pictures
  2. a laborer or workman who paints surfaces using a paintbrush or other means
  3. (nautical) A rope connected to the bow of a boat, used to attach it to, e.g. a jetty or another boat.
Pallas Tweet Definition of Pallas Like Definition of Pallas on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (Greek mythology) Several people in Greek mythology:
  1. An epithet for Athena; later Pallas Athena.
  2. One of the Titans.
  3. The father of Pallas Athena.
  4. A goatish giant.
    1. (astronomy) The second largest asteroid.
    2. (given name, female, , ) of mythological origin.
parallax Tweet Definition of parallax Like Definition of parallax on Facebook
noun
  1. The change of angular position of two stationary points relative to each other as seen by an observer, due to the motion of an observer
  2. The apparent shift of an object against a background due to a change in observer position
parsec Tweet Definition of parsec Like Definition of parsec on Facebook
noun
  1. parallax second, Parallax second.
Pavo Tweet Definition of Pavo Like Definition of Pavo on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (constellation) A constellation of the southern sky, said to resemble a peacock. It lies between the constellations Telescopium and Octans.
peculiar Tweet Definition of peculiar Like Definition of peculiar on Facebook
adjective
  1. Out of the ordinary; odd; curious; unusual.
It's rather to see a Kangaroo outside of a zoo in America.
  1. common, Common or usual for a certain place or circumstance; specific or particular.
Kangaroos are to Australia.
Pegasus Tweet Definition of Pegasus Like Definition of Pegasus on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (greekmyth) A winged horse fabled to have sprung from the body of Medusa when she was slain. He is noted for causing, with a blow of his hoof, Hippocrene, the inspiring fountain of the Muses, to spring from Mount Helicon. Bellerophon rode Pegasus when he defeated the Chimaera.
  2. (constellation) An autumn constellation of the northern sky, near the vernal equinoctial point, said to resemble the mythical horse. Its three brightest stars, with the brightest star of Andromeda, form the square of Pegasus. It contains the stars Markab and Algenib.
periastron Tweet Definition of periastron Like Definition of periastron on Facebook
noun
  1. That point of the orbit of a celestial body which is closest to the star around which the body is orbiting.
perigee Tweet Definition of perigee Like Definition of perigee on Facebook
noun
  1. (astronomy) That point in the orbit of any object which is at the smallest distance from the center of the central body. For example, the point in the moon's orbit which is the smallest distance from the center of the earth.
perihelion Tweet Definition of perihelion Like Definition of perihelion on Facebook
noun (pl=perihelia)
  1. (astronomy) The point in the elliptical orbit of a planet or comet etc where it is nearest to the sun
Perseus Tweet Definition of Perseus Like Definition of Perseus on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (greekmyth) The mythological Greek warrior who slew the Gorgon Medusa by decapitate, decapitating her. He married Andromeda after rescuing her from Ceto and founded Mycenae. He was the son of Jupiter and Danae.
  2. (constellation) An autumn constellation of the northern sky, said to resemble the mythical hero. It includes the stars Algenib and Algol.
  3. The last Antigonid king of Macedonia, Perseus of Macedon.
perturb Tweet Definition of perturb Like Definition of perturb on Facebook
verb (Wikipedia)
  1. To disturb; to bother or unsettle.
  2. (physics) To slightly modify the motion of an object.
  3. (astronomy) To modify the motion of a body by exerting a gravitational force.
  4. (math) To modify slightly, such as an equation or value.
perturbation Tweet Definition of perturbation Like Definition of perturbation on Facebook
noun
  1. (uncountable) agitation, Agitation; the state of being perturbed
  2. (countable) A small change in a physical system, or more broadly any definable system (such as a biological or economic system)
  3. (physics), (astronomy) (countable) Variation in an orbit due to the influence of external bodies
Phobos Tweet Definition of Phobos Like Definition of Phobos on Facebook
proper noun
  1. The innermost natural satellite of Mars.
Phoebe Tweet Definition of Phoebe Like Definition of Phoebe on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (given name, female, from Greek, ): A female given name
  2. (greekmyth): A Titan, the daughter of Uranus and Gaia. She became associated with Artemis, goddess of the moon.
  3. (astronomy): The 14th moon of Saturn
Phosphor Tweet Definition of Phosphor Like Definition of Phosphor on Facebook
proper noun
  1. alternative name of Phosphorus, the morning star
Anna likened you to , the morning star, and herself to Hesper, the mortal star of evening, and when I told her those twin stars were one and the same, and not a star at all but the planet Venus... - John Barth
photoheliograph Tweet Definition of photoheliograph Like Definition of photoheliograph on Facebook
noun
  1. A heliograph, with a camera attached, used to photograph the Sun
photosphere Tweet Definition of photosphere Like Definition of photosphere on Facebook
noun
  1. (astronomy) the visible surface layer of a star, and especially that of the sun
Pictor Tweet Definition of Pictor Like Definition of Pictor on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (constellation) A summer constellation of the southern sky, said to resemble an easel. It lies between the constellations Carina and Dorado.
Pisces Tweet Definition of Pisces Like Definition of Pisces on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (constellation): A constellation of the zodiac supposedly shaped like a pair of fish.
  2. (astrology): The Zodiac sign for the fish, covering February 20–March 20.
Piscis Austrinus Tweet Definition of Piscis Austrinus Like Definition of Piscis Austrinus on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (constellation) An autumn constellation of the northern sky, said to resemble a fish. It contains the star Fomalhaut.
planetarium Tweet Definition of planetarium Like Definition of planetarium on Facebook
noun (pl=planetariums, pl2=planetaria)
  1. A display museum in which images of stars and other astronomical phenomena are projected onto a domed ceiling.
  2. An orrery.
planetary Tweet Definition of planetary Like Definition of planetary on Facebook
adjective
  1. (astronomy) of, or relating to planets, or the orbital motion of planets
  2. of, or relating to the earth; terrestrial
  3. of, or relating to the whole earth; global
  4. (context, of a gear train) epicyclic
planetoid Tweet Definition of planetoid Like Definition of planetoid on Facebook
noun
  1. Any of several small rocky bodies in orbit about the sun; the larger asteroids.
planetology Tweet Definition of planetology Like Definition of planetology on Facebook
noun (wikipedia, Planetology)
  1. the study of planets, planetary systems and the solar system
Planet X Tweet Definition of Planet X Like Definition of Planet X on Facebook
noun
  1. A large hypothetical planet with an orbit beyond that of Neptune.
  2. An undiscovered planet in the solar system.
Pleiades Tweet Definition of Pleiades Like Definition of Pleiades on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (greekmyth): The "seven sisters", companions of Artemis and daughters of the Titan Atlas and the sea-nymph Pleione.
  2. (astronomy): An open cluster of hot blue stars in the constellation Taurus, and the most easily visible such cluster from Earth.
Pluto Tweet Definition of Pluto Like Definition of Pluto on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (context, Greek mythology, Roman mythology) Greek and Roman god of the underworld.
  2. Originally known as the ninth planet but reclassified in 2006 as a dwarf planet, the brightest and first known Kuiper belt object, represented by the symbol (unicode, ♇) in astronomy and in astrology.
pointer Tweet Definition of pointer Like Definition of pointer on Facebook
noun
  1. Anything that points or is used for pointing.
  2. A needle-like component of a timepiece or measuring device that indicates the time or the current reading of the device.
  3. A breed of hunting dog.
  4. (complang) A variable which holds the address of a memory location where, presumeably, a value is stored.
  5. (computing) An icon that indicates the position of the mouse; a cursor.
  6. A tip, a bit of advice (usually plural.)
The instructor gave me some pointers on writing a good paper.
Polaris Tweet Definition of Polaris Like Definition of Polaris on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (star) The pole star, a trinary star in the constellation Ursa Minor that currently lies close to the north celestial pole; Alpha (~+mn~) Ursae Minoris
  2. A type of U.S. ballistic missile, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and designed to be launched from a submarine.
polestar Tweet Definition of polestar Like Definition of polestar on Facebook
noun
  1. (uncountable)(star) Polaris, the pole star
  2. (countable) A guiding principle
Pollux Tweet Definition of Pollux Like Definition of Pollux on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (greekmyth): One of the Dioscuri, son of Tyndarus and Leda, brother of Castor.
  2. (star): A star in the constellation Gemini; beta (β) Geminorum.
precession of the equinoxes Tweet Definition of precession of the equinoxes Like Definition of precession of the equinoxes on Facebook
noun
  1. The slow westward shift of the equinoxes along the plane of the ecliptic, resulting from precession of the earth's axis of rotation, and causing the equinoxes to occur earlier each year
Procyon Tweet Definition of Procyon Like Definition of Procyon on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (star) A star in the constellation Canis Minor; Alpha (~+mn~) Canis Minoris. The eighth brightest star in the night sky.
prominence Tweet Definition of prominence Like Definition of prominence on Facebook
noun
  1. The state of being prominent: widely known or eminent
  2. relative importance
  3. A bulge: something that bulges out or is protuberant or projects from a form
  4. (topography) Autonomous height; relative height or prime factor; a concept used in the categorization of hills and mountains
Proxima Centauri Tweet Definition of Proxima Centauri Like Definition of Proxima Centauri on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (star) A red dwarf star, part of the Alpha Centauri system. It is the nearest star to Earth's solar system.
pulsar Tweet Definition of pulsar Like Definition of pulsar on Facebook
noun
  1. (star): A rotating neutron star that emits radio pulses periodically
Puppis Tweet Definition of Puppis Like Definition of Puppis on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (constellation) A winter constellation of the northern sky, said to resemble the stern of a ship. Until 1763, it was part of a larger constellation, Argo Navis.
Pyxis Tweet Definition of Pyxis Like Definition of Pyxis on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (constellation) A spring constellation of the northern sky, said to resemble the compass of a ship. It is associated with the larger Argo Navis, although it was never offically part of that constellation.

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