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LGBTIQ Astronomers:  Fun, Friendly and Just a Little Geeky

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Moon Phase

A B C D E F & G H & I J, K & L M
N & O P Q & R S T, U & V W, X, Y & Z

Glossary: F

Faculae Bright patches that are visible on the Sun's surface, or photosphere.
Filament A strand of cool gas suspended over the photosphere by magnetic fields, which appears dark as seen against the disk of the Sun.
Finder A small, wide-field telescope attached to a larger telescope. The finder is used to help point the larger telescope to the desired viewing location.
Fireball An extremely bright meteor. Also known as bolides, fireballs can be several times brighter than the full Moon. Some can even be accompanied by a sonic boom.
Flare Star A faint red star that appears to change in brightness due to explosions on its surface.

Glossary: G

Galactic Halo The name given to the spherical region surrounding the center, or nucleus of a galaxy.
Galactic Nucleus A tight concentration of stars and gas found at the innermost regions of a galaxy. Astronomers now believe that massive black holes may exist in the center of many galaxies.
Galaxy A large grouping of stars. Galaxies are found in a variety of sizes and shapes. Our own Milky Way galaxy is spiral in shape and contains several billion stars. Some galaxies are so distant the their light takes millions of years to reach the Earth.
Galilean Moons The name given to Jupiter's four largest moons, Io, Europa, Callisto & Ganymede. They were discovered independently by Galileo Galilei and Simon Marius.
Gamma-ray The highest energy, shortest wavelength form of electromagnetic radiation.
Geosynchronous Orbit An orbit in which a satellite's orbital velocity is matched to the rotational velocity of the planet. A spacecraft in geosynchronous orbit appears to hang motionless above one position of a planet's surface.
Giant Molecular Cloud (GM Massive clouds of gas in interstellar space composed primarily of hydrogen molecules. These clouds have enough mass to produce thousands of stars and are frequently the sites of new star formation.
Globular Cluster A tight, spherical grouping of hundreds of thousands of stars. Globular clusters are composed of older stars, and are usually found around the central regions of a galaxy.
Granulation A pattern of small cells that can be seen on the surface of the Sun. They are caused by the convective motions of the hot gases inside the Sun.
Gravitational Lens A concentration of matter such as a galaxy or cluster of galaxies that bends light rays from a background object. Gravitational lensing results in duplicate images of distant objects.
Gravity A mutual physical force of nature that causes two bodies to attract each other.
Greenhouse Effect An increase in temperature caused when incoming solar radiation is passed but outgoing thermal radiation is blocked by the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide and water vapor are two of the major gases responsible for this effect.

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