Planets: Celestial bodies orbiting around the sun or other stars.Earth (Planet): Planet that is the third in order from the sun. It is one of the four inner or terrestrial planets of the SOLAR SYSTEM.Evolution, Planetary: Creation and development of bodies within solar systems, includes study of early planetary geology.Exobiology: The interdisciplinary science that studies evolutionary biology, including the origin and evolution of the major elements required for life, their processing in the interstellar medium and in protostellar systems. This field also includes the study of chemical evolution and the subsequent interactions between evolving biota and planetary evolution as well as the field of biology that deals with the study of extraterrestrial life.Astronomy: The science concerned with celestial bodies and the observation and interpretation of the radiation received in the vicinity of the earth from the component parts of the universe (McGraw Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 5th ed)Stars, Celestial: Large bodies consisting of self-luminous gas held together by their own gravity. (From McGraw Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 6th ed)Extraterrestrial Environment: The environment outside the earth or its atmosphere. The environment may refer to a closed cabin (such as a space shuttle or space station) or to space itself, the moon, or other planets.Astronomical Phenomena: Aggregates of matter in outer space, such as stars, planets, comets, etc. and the properties and processes they undergo.Minor Planets: Small solar system planetary bodies including asteroids. Most asteroids are found within the gap lying between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.Mercury (Planet): The first planet in order from the sun. It has no known natural satellites. It is one of the four inner or terrestrial planets of the solar system.Solar System: The group of celestial bodies, including the EARTH, orbiting around and gravitationally bound by the sun. It includes eight planets, one minor planet, and 34 natural satellites, more than 1,000 observed comets, and thousands of lesser bodies known as MINOR PLANETS (asteroids) and METEOROIDS. (From Academic American Encyclopedia, 1983)Neptune: The eighth planet in order from the sun. It is one of the five outer planets of the solar system. Its two natural satellites are Nereid and Triton.Atmosphere: The gaseous envelope surrounding a planet or similar body. (From Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2d ed)Life: The state that distinguishes organisms from inorganic matter, manifested by growth, metabolism, reproduction, and adaptation. It includes the course of existence, the sum of experiences, the mode of existing, or the fact of being. Over the centuries inquiries into the nature of life have crossed the boundaries from philosophy to biology, forensic medicine, anthropology, etc., in creative as well as scientific literature. (Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2d ed; Dr. James H. Cassedy, NLM History of Medicine Division)Meteoroids: Any solid objects moving in interplanetary space that are smaller than a planet or asteroid but larger than a molecule. Meteorites are any meteoroid that has fallen to a planetary surface. (From McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)Mars: The fourth planet in order from the sun. Its two natural satellites are Deimos and Phobos. It is one of the four inner or terrestrial planets of the solar system.Biogenesis: The origin of life. It includes studies of the potential basis for life in organic compounds but excludes studies of the development of altered forms of life through mutation and natural selection, which is BIOLOGICAL EVOLUTION.Uranus: The seventh planet in order from the sun. It is one of the five outer planets of the solar system. It has five known natural satellites.Evolution, Chemical: Chemical and physical transformation of the biogenic elements from their nucleosynthesis in stars to their incorporation and subsequent modification in planetary bodies and terrestrial biochemistry. It includes the mechanism of incorporation of biogenic elements into complex molecules and molecular systems, leading up to the origin of life.Geology: The science of the earth and other celestial bodies and their history as recorded in the rocks. It includes the study of geologic processes of an area such as rock formations, weathering and erosion, and sedimentation. (From McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 6th ed)Tidal Waves: Water waves caused by the gravitational interactions between the EARTH; MOON; and SUN.Moon: The natural satellite of the planet Earth. It includes the lunar cycles or phases, the lunar month, lunar landscapes, geography, and soil.Pluto: The ninth planet in order from the sun. It is one of the five outer planets of the solar system. Its only natural satellite is Charon.Spacecraft: Devices, manned and unmanned, which are designed to be placed into an orbit about the Earth or into a trajectory to another celestial body. (NASA Thesaurus, 1988)Ice: The solid substance formed by the FREEZING of water.Space Flight: Travel beyond the earth's atmosphere.Jupiter: The fifth planet in order from the sun. It is one of the five outer planets of the solar system. Its sixteen natural satellites include Callisto, Europa, Ganymede, and Io.Space Simulation: An environment simulating one or more parameters of the space environment, applied in testing space systems or components. Often, a closed chamber is used, capable of approximating the vacuum and normal environments of space. (From NASA Thesaurus, 1988) This also includes simulated EXTRAVEHICULAR ACTIVITY studies in atmosphere exposure chambers or water tanks.Solar Activity: Any type of variation in the appearance of energy output of the sun. (NASA Thesaurus, 1994)Metals, Alkaline Earth: Metals that constitute the group 2 (formerly group IIa) of the periodic table.Cosmic Dust: Finely divided solid matter with particle sizes smaller than a micrometeorite, thus with diameters much smaller than a millimeter, moving in interplanetary space. (NASA Thesaurus, 1994)Cosmic Radiation: High-energy radiation or particles from extraterrestrial space that strike the earth, its atmosphere, or spacecraft and may create secondary radiation as a result of collisions with the atmosphere or spacecraft.Geological Phenomena: The inanimate matter of Earth, the structures and properties of this matter, and the processes that affect it.Countercurrent Distribution: A method of separation of two or more substances by repeated distribution between two immiscible liquid phases that move past each other in opposite directions. It is a form of liquid-liquid chromatography. (Stedman, 25th ed)Oceans and Seas: A great expanse of continuous bodies of salt water which together cover more than 70 percent of the earth's surface. Seas may be partially or entirely enclosed by land, and are smaller than the five oceans (Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic, and Antarctic).Biodiversity: The variety of all native living organisms and their various forms and interrelationships.Ecosystem: A functional system which includes the organisms of a natural community together with their environment. (McGraw Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)Human Activities: Activities performed by humans.
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