Cosmic View: Glossary of Terms

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Anopheles: The members of the Anopheles genus of mosquito which can carry the parasite which causes malaria.

Asteroid: A naturally occurring solid object, smaller than a planet, orbiting a star. See further the article in Wikipedia: Asteroid

Bacilli: A taxonomic class, within phylum Firmicutes - the aerobic rod-shaped bacteria. See further the article in Wikipedia: Bacilli

Bacterium: A single celled organism with no nucleus. Singular form of bacteria.

Comet: A celestial body consisting mainly of ice, dust and gas in an (usually very eccentric) orbit around the Sun and having a "tail" of matter blown back from it by the solar wind as it approaches the Sun. See further the article in Wikipedia: Comet

Constellation: An arbitrary formation of stars perceived as a figure or pattern; Any of the 88 officially recognized regions of the sky, including all stars and celestial bodies in the region.

Corium: Also known as dermis.

Cyclops: A one-eyed creature of any species.

Ellipse: An oval; A closed curve, the locus of a point such that the sum of the distances from that point to two other fixed points (called the foci of the ellipse) is constant; equivalently, the conic section that is the intersection of a cone with a plane that does not intersect the base of the cone. See further the article in Wikipedia: Ellipse

Epidermis: The outer, protective layer of the skin of vertebrates, covering the dermis

Exponent: The power to which a number, symbol or expression is to be raised. See further the article in Wikipedia: Exponentiation

Flagellum: Singular form of flagella. A flagellum is a tail-like projection that protrudes from the cell body of certain prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, and functions in locomotion (the ability to move).

Galaxy: A galaxy is a massive, gravitationally bound system that consists of stars and stellar remnants, an interstellar medium of gas dust, and an important but poorly understood component tentatively dubbed dark matter.

Helix: Something twisted or spiral.

Keratin: A family of fibrous structural proteins.

Light year: A unit of length (abbreviation ly; equal to just under 10 trillion kilometres (1016 metres)) equal to the distance light travels in one year; used to measure extremely large distances.

Malaria: A disease spread by mosquito, in which a protozoan, Plasmodium, multiplies in blood every few days. See further the article in Wikipedia: Malaria

Malpighian layer: The deepest layer of epidermis bordering the dermis.

Meteorite: A metallic or stony object or body that is the remains of a meteor.

Mite: A minute arachnid, of the order Acarina, of which there are many species; as, the cheese mite, sugar mite, harvest mite, etc. See further the article in Wikipedia: Mite

Nebula: A cloud of gas and dust in space.

Orbit: A circular or elliptical path of one object around another object.


Panorama: An unbroken view of an entire surrounding area. A picture or series of pictures representing a continuous scene.

Papillae: Plural for papilla, a lump shaped anatomically structure.

Proboscis: An elongated tube from the head or connected to the mouth, of an animal. The tubular feeding and sucking organ of certain invertebrates like insects, worms and molluscs.

Protrude: To extend from, above or beyond a surface or boundary; to bulge outward; to stick out.

Sinusoid: Also known as a sine wave. A mathematical function that describes a smooth repetitive oscillation. A wave that constantly maintains its wave shape.

Spherical: A sphere (from Greek σφαῖρα—sphaira, "globe, ball") is a perfectly round geometrical object in three-dimensional space, such as the shape of a round ball.

Umbra: A shadow.

Vicissitude: Regular change or succession from one thing to another, or one part of a cycle to the next; alternation; mutual succession; interchange.