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Glossary of Astronomy Terms
beginning with letter S
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Sagitta Tweet Definition of Sagitta Like Definition of Sagitta on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (constellation) A small autumn constellation of the northern sky, said to resemble an arrow. It lies between the constellations of Vulpecula and Aquila.
Sagittarius Tweet Definition of Sagittarius Like Definition of Sagittarius on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (constellation): A constellation of the zodiac supposedly shaped like an archer.
  2. (astrology): The Zodiac sign for the archer, covering November 22 - December 21.
Sat. Tweet Definition of Sat. Like Definition of Sat. on Facebook
abbreviation
  1. Saturday
  2. saturated
satellite Tweet Definition of satellite Like Definition of satellite on Facebook
noun
  1. Object orbiting a celestial object.
The moon is a natural of the Earth.
Many telecommunication satellites orbit at 36000km above the equator.
adjective
  1. Transmitted via a radio signal from an artifical satellite.
satellite TV
satellite phone
Saturn Tweet Definition of Saturn Like Definition of Saturn on Facebook
proper noun
  1. Roman god of fertility and agriculture.
  2. The second largest planet in the earth's solar system, famous for its big rings; represented in astronomy and astrology by ♄.
Saturnian Tweet Definition of Saturnian Like Definition of Saturnian on Facebook
proper noun
  1. An imaginary inhabitant of the planet Saturn.
adjective
  1. relate, Related to the planet Saturn.
  2. Related to the Roman god Saturn.
  3. dour, Dour, baleful or sullen facial expression.
scorpion Tweet Definition of scorpion Like Definition of scorpion on Facebook
noun
  1. Any of various arachnids of the order Scorpiones, related to the spiders, characterised by two large front pincers and a curved tail with a poisonous sting in the end.
sculptor Tweet Definition of sculptor Like Definition of sculptor on Facebook
noun
  1. A person who sculpts. An artist who produces sculpture.
Scutum Tweet Definition of Scutum Like Definition of Scutum on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (constellation) A small autumn constellation of the northern sky, said to resemble a shield. It lies between the constellations of Aquila, Sagittarius, and the tail of Serpens.
SEA Tweet Definition of SEA Like Definition of SEA on Facebook
abbreviation
  1. Southeast Asia
sea serpent Tweet Definition of sea serpent Like Definition of sea serpent on Facebook
noun
  1. any unidentified sea monster, especially one resembling a snake or dragon
season Tweet Definition of season Like Definition of season on Facebook
noun (plural seasons)
  1. Each of the four divisions of a year: spring, summer, autumn and winter.
  2. A part of a year when something particular happens: mating season, rainy season, football season.
  3. (Obsolete) that which gives relish
You lack the season of all natures, sleep. w:Shakespeare, Shakespeare
  1. (cricket) the period over which a series of test matches are played
sector Tweet Definition of sector Like Definition of sector on Facebook
noun
  1. section
  2. zone
  3. a part of a circle, extending to the center
  4. (computing) a fixed-sized unit (traditionally 512 bytes) of sequential data stored on a track of a digital medium (compare to block)
  5. (Military) An area designated by boundaries within which a unit operates, and for which it is responsible.
  6. (Military) One of the subdivisions of a coastal frontier.
  7. (scifi) a fictional region of space designated for navigational or governance purposes; for instance, W:Sector (Star Trek), W:List of Star Wars sectors
selenography Tweet Definition of selenography Like Definition of selenography on Facebook
noun
  1. the scientific study of the moon
selenology Tweet Definition of selenology Like Definition of selenology on Facebook
noun (pural:selenologies)
  1. The study of the moon and several satellites.
Set Tweet Definition of Set Like Definition of Set on Facebook
proper noun (also Seth)
  1. An ancient Egyptian god, variously described as the god of chaos, the god of thunder and storms, or the god of destruction.
sextant Tweet Definition of sextant Like Definition of sextant on Facebook
noun
  1. (nautical): A navigational device for deriving angular distances between objects so as to determine latitude and longitude.
  2. (mathematics): One sixth of a circle or disc; a sector with an angle of 60°.
shooting star Tweet Definition of shooting star Like Definition of shooting star on Facebook
noun
  1. A meteor; a streak of light in the night sky, caused by a meteoroid burning up as it enters the Earth"s atmosphere.
  2. The Dodecatheon genus of flowering plants.
shower Tweet Definition of shower Like Definition of shower on Facebook
noun
  1. (also shower of precipitation) A brief fall of precipitation.
  • Today there will be frequent showers and some sunny spells.
    1. (also shower bath) A device for bathe, bathing by which water is made to fall on the body from a height, either from a tank or by the action of a pump.
    2. (also shower bath) An instance of using of this device in order to bathe oneself.
  • I'm going to have a shower. (British, Australian)
  • I'm going to take a shower. (especially US)
    1. A bridal shower; a fund-raiser held in honor of a bride attended by female friends of the bride.
    The shower will be held at the home of the bridesmaid.
    1. A baby shower.
    2. A mild insult, originally applied to a group of people but also to an individual.
  • You complete shower!
  • verb
    1. (followed by with) To spray with (a specified liquid).
    2. To bathe using a shower.
    sickle Tweet Definition of sickle Like Definition of sickle on Facebook
    noun
    1. an agricultural implement, having a semicircular blade and short handle, used for cutting long grass and cereal crops
    verb (sickle, sickling, sickled, sickles)
    1. (transitive) To cut with a sickle
    2. (transitive) To deform (as with a red blood cell) into an abnormal crescent shape.
    3. (intransitive) To assume an abnormal crescent shape. Used of red blood cells.
    adjective
    1. Shaped like the blade of a sickle; crescent-shaped.
    a sickle moon
    sidereal Tweet Definition of sidereal Like Definition of sidereal on Facebook
    adjective
    1. Of or relating to the stars.
    2. (astronomy) Relating to a measurement of time relative to the position of the stars.
    sidereal time Tweet Definition of sidereal time Like Definition of sidereal time on Facebook
    noun
    1. (astronomy) Time measured by the apparent diurnal motion of the vernal equinox; approximated by that based on the rotation of the Earth relative to the stars
    sidereal year Tweet Definition of sidereal year Like Definition of sidereal year on Facebook
    noun
    1. The orbital period of the Earth; a measure of the time it takes for the Sun to return to the same position with respect to the stars of the celestial sphere. A sidereal year equals 365.25636042 mean solar days, or 20 minutes and 24 seconds longer than the tropical year.
    Sirius Tweet Definition of Sirius Like Definition of Sirius on Facebook
    proper noun
    1. (star) A bluish-white star in the constellation Canis Major; Alpha (~+mn~) Canis Majoris. A vertex of the Winter Triangle and the brightest star in the night sky. It is actually a binary star with a white dwarf companion star.
    solar Tweet Definition of solar Like Definition of solar on Facebook
    noun
    1. (obsolete) A loft or upper chamber forming the private accommodation of the head of the household in a medieval hall; a garret room.
    adjective
    1. Of or pertaining to the sun; proceeding from the sun; as, the solar system; solar light; solar rays; solar influence.
    2. (context, astrology, obsolete) Born under the predominant influence of the sun.
    3. Measured by the progress or revolution of the sun in the ecliptic; as, the solar year.
    4. Produced by the action of the sun, or peculiarly affected by its influence.
    solar constant Tweet Definition of solar constant Like Definition of solar constant on Facebook
    noun
    1. the amount of incoming solar radiation per unit area, measured on the outer surface of Earth's atmosphere, in a plane perpendicular to the rays.
    solar day Tweet Definition of solar day Like Definition of solar day on Facebook
    noun
    1. the time taken for the earth (or any other planet) to rotate once on its axis
    2. the time between successive noons
    solar eclipse Tweet Definition of solar eclipse Like Definition of solar eclipse on Facebook
    noun
    1. (astronomy) A phenomenon occurring when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun
    solar flare Tweet Definition of solar flare Like Definition of solar flare on Facebook
    noun
    1. a violent explosion in the Sun's atmosphere
    solar mass Tweet Definition of solar mass Like Definition of solar mass on Facebook
    noun
    1. (astronomy) a unit, equal to the mass of the sun, used to express the mass of other stars etc
    solar prominence Tweet Definition of solar prominence Like Definition of solar prominence on Facebook
    noun
    1. Large eruptions of luminous hydrogen gas that rise thousands of kilometers above the chromosphere of the Sun.
    Solar System Tweet Definition of Solar System Like Definition of Solar System on Facebook
    proper nounthe solar, Solar system, System
    1. The Sun and all the heavenly body, heavenly bodies that orbit around it, including the eight planets, their moons, the asteroids and comets.
    solar wind Tweet Definition of solar wind Like Definition of solar wind on Facebook
    noun
    1. The outflow of charged particles from the solar corona into space. Because of the high temperature of the particles of the corona, they are moving at speeds higher than the solar escape velocity.
    South Tweet Definition of South Like Definition of South on Facebook
    proper noun (wikipedia, The South) the South
    1. The Confederacy during the American Civil War.
    2. The southern states of the United States.
    3. The southern part of any region.
    southern Tweet Definition of southern Like Definition of southern on Facebook
    adjective
    1. Of, facing, situated in, or related to the south.
    2. Of or pertaining to a southern region, especially Southern Europe.
    The southern climate.
    1. Of a wind: blowing from the south; southerly.
    Southern Cross Tweet Definition of Southern Cross Like Definition of Southern Cross on Facebook
    proper noun (wikipedia, Crux)
    southern, Southern cross, Cross
    1. (constellation): A distinctive winter constellation of the southern sky, shaped like a cross. It appears in the flags of several countries in Oceania.
    South Pole Tweet Definition of South Pole Like Definition of South Pole on Facebook
    nounsouth, South pole, Pole
    1. (geography) The southernmost point on Earth; that point in Antarctica where Earth's axis of rotation passes through Earth's surface.
    2. (geography) Earth's magnetic south pole.
    3. (geography) Earth's geomagnetic south pole.
    spectral type Tweet Definition of spectral type Like Definition of spectral type on Facebook
    noun
    1. (astronomy) an indication of the physical and chemical characteristics of a star based on the spectrum of light that it emits
    spherical Tweet Definition of spherical Like Definition of spherical on Facebook
    adjective
    1. (geometry) shaped like a sphere.
    2. (geometry) (no comparative or superlative) of or relating to a sphere or spheres.
    spring Tweet Definition of spring Like Definition of spring on Facebook
    noun
    1. (countable) Traditionally the first of the four seasons, in which plants spring from the ground and trees come into blossom; typically regarded as being from March 21 to June 20 in the Northern Hemisphere and from September 21 to December 20 in the Southern Hemisphere.
    2. (countable) Spring tide; a tide of greater-than-average range, that is, around the first or third quarter of a lunar month, or around the times of the new or full moon.
    3. (countable) A place where water emerges from the ground.
    4. (uncountable) The property of a body of springing to its original form after being compressed, stretched, etc.
    5. (countable) A mechanical device made of flexible or coiled material that exerts force when it is bend, bent, compressed or stretched.
    6. (context, countable, nautical) A rope attaching the bow of a vessel to the stern-side of the jetty, or vice versa, to stop the vessel from swaying.
    7. (context, countable, slang) An erection of the penis.
    8. (countable) The source of an action
      • 1748. David Hume. Enquiries concerning the human understanding and concerning the principles of moral. London: Oxford University Press, 1973, § 9.
      • : ... discover, at least in some degree, the secret springs and principles, by which the human mind is actuated in its operations?
    verb (springs, springing, sprang, sprung)
    1. To start to exist.
    Sometimes the ideas to life fully formed.
    1. To jump or leap.
    He sprang up from his seat.
    1. (slang) To release or set free, especially from prison.
    star Tweet Definition of star Like Definition of star on Facebook
    noun
    1. A luminous celestial body, made up of plasma (particularly hydrogen and helium), forming a sphere. Thousands of stars are visible in the night sky. Depending on context the sun may or may not be included.
    2. (figurative) A person or thing held as a positive example. A star athlete.
    3. (rfd-redundant) A celebrity or noteworthy performer.
    verb (star, r, ed)
    1. To appear as a featured performer or headliner, especially in an entertainment program; see (3) above.
    star cloud Tweet Definition of star cloud Like Definition of star cloud on Facebook
    noun
    1. (astronomy) A large group of many stars spread over very many light-years of space; the stars are not part of any structure but are in an area of greater than average stellar density
    star cluster Tweet Definition of star cluster Like Definition of star cluster on Facebook
    noun
    1. (astronomy) a group of gravity, gravitationally bound stars
    starlight Tweet Definition of starlight Like Definition of starlight on Facebook
    noun
    1. Light emitted from stars other than the Sun
    starquake Tweet Definition of starquake Like Definition of starquake on Facebook
    noun
    1. (star) A violent tremor or quake that occurs on the surface of a star, especially a collapsed star
    stern Tweet Definition of stern Like Definition of stern on Facebook
    noun
    1. (nautical) The rear part or after end of a ship or vessel.
    adjective
    1. grim, has hardness or severity of nature or manner
    streamer Tweet Definition of streamer Like Definition of streamer on Facebook
    noun
    1. a long, narrow flag, or piece of material used as a decoration
    2. a newspaper headline that runs across the entire page
    3. (computing) a data storage system, mainly used to produce backups, in which large quantities of data are transferred to a continuously moving tape
    4. (context, fishing) in fly fishing, a variety of wet fly designed to mimic a minnow
    Summer Tweet Definition of Summer Like Definition of Summer on Facebook
    proper noun
    1. (given name, female) of modern usage, for someone born in summer.
    summer solstice Tweet Definition of summer solstice Like Definition of summer solstice on Facebook
    noun
    1. (Astronomy) The moment when the Earth is in that point of its orbit where the northern or southern hemisphere is most inclined toward the sun.
    • Note: When it is summer solstice in one hemisphere, it is winter solstice in the other.
    Sun Tweet Definition of Sun Like Definition of Sun on Facebook
    proper noun
    1. The star at the center of our solar system, represented in astronomy and astrology by ☉.
    2. (newspapers) An English tabloid newspaper
    sunrise Tweet Definition of sunrise Like Definition of sunrise on Facebook
    noun
    1. The time of day when the sun appears above the eastern horizon.
    I'll meet you at the docks at .
    1. The change in color of the sky at sunrise.
    Did you see the beautiful this morning?
    1. (figurative) Any great awakening.
    It was the of her spirit.
    adjective
    1. Pertaining to an unusually early time of day.
    The -service will be at 6:30AM.
    sunset Tweet Definition of sunset Like Definition of sunset on Facebook
    noun
    1. The time of day when the sun disappears below the western horizon.
    2. The changes in color of the sky at sunset.
    3. (figuratively) The final period of the life or a person or thing.
    4. (attributively) Of or relating to the final period of the life of a person or thing.
    one's years
    sunspot Tweet Definition of sunspot Like Definition of sunspot on Facebook
    noun
    1. A region on the sun's surface with a lower temperature than its surroundings and intense magnetic activity.
    superluminal Tweet Definition of superluminal Like Definition of superluminal on Facebook
    adjective
    1. faster-than-light
    supernova Tweet Definition of supernova Like Definition of supernova on Facebook
    noun (pl2=supernovae)
    1. (astronomy) A star which explodes, increasing its brightness to typically a billion times that of our sun, though attenuated by the great distance from our sun. Some leave only debris (Type I); others fade to invisibility as neutron stars (Type II).
    swan Tweet Definition of swan Like Definition of swan on Facebook
    noun
    1. Any of various long-necked waterfowl, of genera Cygnus or Olor, most of which have white plumage.
    verbto swan
    1. To travel from place to place with no fixed itinerary or purpose.
    synodic month Tweet Definition of synodic month Like Definition of synodic month on Facebook
    noun
    1. a month of approximately 29.53 days, measured from a lunar phase until the return of that same phase. The long-term average duration is 29.530 588 days (29 d 12 h 44 min 2.8 s), or about 29 ½ days.
    2. the variably cyclic period from one new moon until the next.
    syzygy Tweet Definition of syzygy Like Definition of syzygy on Facebook
    noun (syzyg, ies)
    1. (context, astronomy, astrology) A kind of unity, namely an alignment of three celestial bodies (for example, the Sun, Earth, and Moon) such that one body is directly between the other two, such as occurs at an eclipse
    2. (psychology) An archetypal pairing of contrasexual opposites, symbolizing the communication of the conscious and unconscious minds
    3. (mathematics) A relation between generator, generators of a module
    4. (medicine) The fusion of some or all of the organs
    5. (zoology) The association of two protozoa end-to-end or laterally for the purpose of asexual exchange of genetic material
    6. (zoology) The pairing of chromosome, chromosomes in meiosis

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