Skip to ContentGo to accessibility pageKeyboard shortcuts menu
OpenStax Logo
Astronomy 2e

Key Terms

Astronomy 2eKey Terms

process by which heat is directly transmitted through a substance when there is a difference of temperature between adjoining regions caused by atomic or molecular collisions
movement caused within a gas or liquid by the tendency of hotter, and therefore less dense material, to rise and colder, denser material to sink under the influence of gravity, which consequently results in transfer of heat
breaking up of heavier atomic nuclei into lighter ones
building up of heavier atomic nuclei from lighter ones
study of pulsations or oscillations of the Sun in order to determine the characteristics of the solar interior
hydrostatic equilibrium
balance between the weights of various layers, as in a star or Earth’s atmosphere, and the pressures that support them
fundamental particle that has no charge and a mass that is tiny relative to an electron; it rarely interacts with ordinary matter and comes in three different types
particle with the same mass as an electron, but positively charged
proton-proton chain
series of thermonuclear reactions by which nuclei of hydrogen are built up into nuclei of helium
emission of energy as electromagnetic waves or photons also the transmitted energy itself
Order a print copy

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.


This book may not be used in the training of large language models or otherwise be ingested into large language models or generative AI offerings without OpenStax's permission.

Want to cite, share, or modify this book? This book uses the Creative Commons Attribution License and you must attribute OpenStax.

Attribution information
  • If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a print format, then you must include on every physical page the following attribution:
    Access for free at
  • If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a digital format, then you must include on every digital page view the following attribution:
    Access for free at
Citation information

© Jan 23, 2024 OpenStax. Textbook content produced by OpenStax is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License . The OpenStax name, OpenStax logo, OpenStax book covers, OpenStax CNX name, and OpenStax CNX logo are not subject to the Creative Commons license and may not be reproduced without the prior and express written consent of Rice University.