absolute magnitude
the actual brightness of a star
the rate at which velocity changes
a trait which helps an organism or species survive
air mass
a large body of air that has similar temperature, moisture (humidity), and air pressure throughout
air pressure
the pressure of the atmosphere and the measure of force with which air molecules push on a surface
amino acids
simple organic molecules which link together in chains to form protein
an instrument used to measure wind speed
apparent magnitude
how bright a light appears to an observer
the soft layer of the mantle on which pieces of the lithosphere float
the building block of all matter
atomic mass
the number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus of an atom
atomic number
the number of protons in the nucleus of the atom
average speed
the total distance traveled by an object divided by the total time traveled
balanced forces
equal forces acting on an object in opposite directions
bar graph
a type of graph that shows a quantitative comparison between ordered pairs, using a series of columns to display data
an instrument used to measure air pressure
Big Bang
theory that states that the universe began with a tremendous explosion
carrying capacity
the largest number of individuals of one species that an ecosystem can support over time
causal relationship
a relationship where one variable causes another variable to change
chemical change
a change that results in the formation of a new substance with different properties than the original substance
chemical equation
a symbolic representation of a chemical reaction
chemical formula
a representation of a substance using the symbols of the elements that make up that compound
chemical properties
characteristics of matter that can only be observed when one substance changes into a different substance
chemical symbol
a one, two, or three letter representation of an element
circle graph
a type of graph that shows how portions make up a whole such as percentages with the entire circle representing 100%
a number placed in front of a chemical formula or symbol in an equation that tells how many atoms there are of an element or how many molecules there are of a compound
cold front
a region where a cold air mass is replacing a warmer air mass
able to catch fire and burn easily
comparative investigation
type of investigation that involves collecting data on different populations/organisms, or under different conditions (e.g., times of year, locations) to make a comparison
two or more individuals or populations trying  to use the same resources such as food, water, shelter, space, or sunlight
a pure substance whose smallest unit is made up of atoms of two or more elements joined by chemical bonds
concave lens
a lens that is thinner at the center than it is on the edges, if viewed from the side
conceptual model
a model that makes comparisons with familiar things to help illustrate or explain an idea
a statement that explains or solves the original problem based on the results of a scientific investigation
the transfer of thermal energy (heat) from one material to another by direct contact
constant speed
speed of an object that does not change
all factors in the experiment that are not allowed to change throughout the entire experiment or investigation
contour interval
the difference in elevation between adjacent contours
contour lines
a line on a topographic map showing elevations of equal values
control group
a standard of comparison for checking or verifying the results of an experiment where all variables must be held constant
the transfer of thermal energy by movement of a liquid or gas
convection cells
the circular patterns of wind caused by the rising and sinking of air
convection currents
currents created when warmer gas or liquid particles rise and cooler gas or liquid particles sink
convergent boundary
the boundary between two colliding tectonic plates
convex lens
a lens that is thicker in the middle than it is on the edges, if viewed from the side
the center part of Earth below the mantle
Coriolis effect
the perceived curving pattern of moving objects from a straight path due to the Earth's rotation
the study of the structure, origin, and future of the universe
covalent bond
a chemical bond formed when two or more atoms share electrons
the thin outmost layer of Earth; the upper part of the lithosphere
data table
type of graphic organizer used to display data in rows and columns
deep currents
stream-like movements of ocean water far below the ocean surface
mass per unit volume of a substance
dependent variable
the variable that acts in response to the manipulation of the independent variable
The dependent variable can be thought of as the results of the experiment.
area of low-lying elevation displayed on a topographic map by rings with hachure marks pointing inward
descriptive investigation
type of investigation that involves describing and/or quantifying parts of a natural system
dew point
the temperature to which the air has cooled so that it can no longer hold all the moisture in it and dew forms
the increase in volume of water when an object is submerged in the water
divergent boundary
the boundary between two tectonic plates that are moving away from each other
an event in which the shadow of one celestial body falls on another
a biological community of interacting organisms (biotic factors) and their physical environment (abiotic factors)
electrical fields
a region in which charged particles can be pushed or pulled
electromagnetic radiation
energy that travels through space in the form of waves
electromagnetic spectrum
the complete range of electromagnetic radiation from the shortest waves, gamma rays, to the longest radio waves
electromagnetic waves
transverse waves that transfer electrical and magnetic energy
subatomic particle located outside the nucleus, with a negative charge and little or no mass
electron cloud theory
theory that states that the electrons are found outside the nucleus and move in every direction around the nucleus
a pure substance made entirely of one type of atom
the distance above sea level
an oval or egg-shape
oval or egg-shaped
emergency shower
safety equipment used if a toxic or corrosive chemical is spilled on the skin or clothing
Contaminated clothing should be removed.
the ability of a system to do work
a circle halfway between the poles that divides the Earth into the Northern and Southern Hemispheres
empirical evidence
evidence relating to or based on experience or observation
experimental group
the group(s) being tested with the independent variable
Each experimental group has only one factor different from each other, everything else must remain constant.
experimental investigation
a type of investigation involving a process in which a "fair test" is designed in which variables are actively manipulated, controlled, and measured in an effort to gather evidence to support or refute a causal relationship
a prediction made beyond known data points
the center of a hurricane; a core of warm, calm air with low pressure and light winds
eye wall
a group of cumulonimbus clouds that produce heavy rains and forceful winds that surrounds the eye of a hurricane
The eye wall is the strongest part of a hurricane.
eye wash station
safety equipment used if a chemical splashes in someone's eyes
Eyes should be flushed for 15 minutes and the teacher should be notified immediately.
fire blanket
large non-flammable cloth used to smother fires on people
fire extinguisher
active fire protection device used to extinguish or control small fires
food chain
a series of steps in which organisms transfer energy by eating and being eaten
food web
a network of feeding interactions among the organisms in an ecosystem
a push or pull on an object
the number of wave cycles per unit time
the force that one surface exerts on another when the two surfaces rub together
an area where the air masses meet
a large grouping of stars, dust, and gas in space
Galaxies are classified by shape - spiral, elliptical, and irregular.
gamma ray telescope
a device used to detect gamma ray waves given off by objects in space
global ocean conveyor
the flow of ocean water caused by changes in temperature and salinity (saltiness)
The global ocean conveyor is also called the thermohaline circulation.
global winds
winds that appear all over the world and are caused by uneven heating of the Earth's surface, pressure differences, and the Coriolis effect
graduated cylinder
an instrument used to measure the volume of a liquid
a pictorial representation of quantative information recorded in a data table
the natural force of attraction between any two bodies
vertical columns on the periodic table
Elements in a group have the same number of valence electrons and therefore they have similar properties.
the natural home or environment of an animal, plant, or other organism
short little tic marks pointing inward in a depression
heat resistant gloves
protective clothing used to protect hands when handling hot objects
a half of the Earth, usually as divided into northern and southern halves by the equator
heterogeneous mixture
a mixture of physically distinct substances with different properties
high pressure system
(high) an area where the atmospheric pressure is greater than that of the surrounding area
high tides
highest tides due to the pull of gravity from the moon on Earth's water
H-R diagram
(Hertzsprung-Russell diagram) a graph that shows the relationship between a star's surface temperature and brightness
homogeneous mixture
a combination of substances that has uniform composition and properties
the organism that provides the nutrients in a parasitic relationship
the amount of water vapor or moisture in the air
a proposed explanation, based on observation and research, for a scientific question
independent variable
the variable that is changed on purpose for the experiment
This may refer to several levels or conditions of an independent variable.
index contour
a thicker line that has numbers written on it showing the rising or decreasing elevation on a topographic map
the tendency of all objects to resist any change in motion
an interpretation of an observation based upon evidence and prior knowledge
infrared telescope
a device used to detect infrared waves given off by objects in space
inner core
the solid dense center of our planet that extends from the bottom of the outer core to the center of the Earth
input force
a force exerted on a machine
depending on one another for food, shelter, etc.
a prediction made between known data points
ionic bond
a chemical bond formed when one atom gives up one or more electrons to another atom
jet stream
a fast flowing river of air found in the atmosphere at around 12 km above the surface of the Earth
kinetic energy
energy in motion
lab apron
protective clothing worn to protect clothing and skin against chemical spills
Lab aprons are usually made of plastic and do not cover the arms.
lab coat
protective clothing worn to protect clothing and skin against chemical spills
Lab coats are usually made of cloth.
land breeze
a breeze blowing from the land toward the sea
latex gloves
protective clothing used to protect hands against chemicals
law of conservation of energy
law that states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed from one form to another
law of conservation of mass
law that states that in a chemical reaction, matter can neither be created or destroyed and that the mass of the products must equal the mass of the reactants
law of universal gravitation
law developed by Newton that states that the force of gravity depends on the product of the masses of the objects divided by the square of the distances between them
light year
the distance light travels in one year
limiting factor
resources that limit population growth
line graph
a type of graph that shows a continuous relationship (trend) between two variables
the outermost rigid layer of Earth that consists of the crust and the rigid upper mantle
local winds
winds that are caused by uneven heating and the geography of an area
low pressure system
(low) an area where the atmospheric pressure is lower than that of the area surrounding it
low tides
lowest tides due to the pull of gravity from the moon on Earth's water
a device that makes work easier by changing the size of a force, distance over which a force must be exerted, or the direction of the force
magnetic fields
a region in which magnetic forces are present
the layer of Earth between the crust and the core
mathematical model
a model made up of a mathematical equations and data
Computer software is often used to create mathematical models.
the average
material through which a wave travels
a concave surface of a liquid resulting from surface tension
The bottom of the meniscus is used to measure the volume of a liquid in apparatus such as a graduated cylinder.
an element that is typically hard, shiny, malleable, and ductile (with good electrical and thermal conductivity)
an element that has some of the characteristics of metals and some of the characteristics of nonmetals
scientists who study the causes of weather and try to predict it
metric ruler
the standard instrument for linear measurement in the scientific laboratory
mid-ocean ridge
a long mountain chain that forms on the ocean floor where tectonic plates pull apart
a combination of two or more pure substances that are not chemically combined
a change in an object's position over a given period of time
mountain breeze
a breeze that blows down valleys or mountain slopes
an alteration or change in a gene
natural selection
the process whereby organisms better adapted to their environment tend to survive and produce more offspring
neap tides
tides with minimum daily tidal range that occur during the first and third quarter moon phases
Neap tides occur when the sun, Earth, and moon form a 90 degree angle.
a cloud of gas and dust in space
net force
the force that results from combining all the forces exerted on an object
subatomic particle located in the nucleus, with no charge and a mass
the role or function of an organism or species in an ecosystem
nitrile gloves
protective clothing used to protect hands against chemicals
an element that is typically soft and dull and not a good conductor of heat and electricity
nuclear fusion
the process by which two or more nuclei with small masses join together, or fuse, to form a large more massive nucleus along with the production of energy
lens that gathers light from an object and forms a real image
the process of using one or more of the senses to gather information
a building that contains more than one telescope
occluded front
a region where two cold air masses trap a warm air mass and force it upward
optical telescope
a type of telescope that works by collecting light from the visual spectrum
the path (usually an ellipse) that a body takes as it travels around another body in space
ordered pair
two pieces of data that are directly related to each other
outer core
the liquid layer of Earth's core that lies beneath the mantle
output force
a force exerted by a machine
the hypothetical landmass that existed when all continents were joined, from about 300 to 200 million years ago
the apparent change in position of an object when seen from different places
horizontal row on the periodic table (elements in a period have the same number of electron shells/orbitals)
the organism that benefits by obtaining the nutrients in a parasitic relationship
type of symbiosis in which one organism lives inside or on another organism, causing harm
period of revolution
the time it takes for one body to make one complete orbit, or revolution, around another body
periodic table of elements
a table in which the chemical elements are arranged in order of increasing atomic number, usually in rows, so that elements with similar atomic structure (and hence similar chemical properties) appear in vertical columns
a fact or situation that is observed to exist or happen, especially one in which the cause is in question
physical change
a change in the size, shape, or state that does not change the chemical makeup of the substance
physical model
a model that you can see and touch that shows how parts relate to one another
physical properties
characteristics of matter that can be seen through direct observation
polar westerlies
wind belts that extend from the poles to 60° latitude in both hemispheres
potential energy
stored energy, such as energy due to position
interaction in which one organism (predator) captures and feeds on another organism (prey)
the organism that eats other organisms in a predator/prey relationship
the organisms that are eaten in a predator/prey relationship
prograde rotation
the counterclockwise spin of a planet or moon when seen from above the planet's or moon's north pole
subatomic particle located in the nucleus, with a positive charge and a mass
an early stage in the formation of a star, after the beginning of the collapse of the gas cloud from which it is formed, but before nuclear fusion has occurred
an instrument used to measure relative humidity
pure substance
a substance that cannot be separated into two or more substances by physical means
qualitative data
data that describes characteristics such as colors, smells, texture, etc.
quantitative data
numerical data which can be measured such as length, time, temperature, etc.
the transfer of energy as electromagnetic waves
radio telescope
a device used to detect radio waves given off by objects in space
rain bands
the outer part of a hurricane
Rain bands produce heavy rains and high winds.
reference point
a place or object used for comparison to determine if something is in motion
reflecting telescope
a telescope that uses one or more mirrors to gather light from distant objects
refracting telescope
a telescope that uses convex glass lenses to gather and focus light
relative humidity
the measure of the amount of water vapor present in the air compared to that amount that could be held at a specific temperature
repeated trials
multiple experiments performed to validate data
the motion (often ellipical) of a body as it orbits another body in space
retrograde rotation
the clockwise spin of a planet or moon when seen from above the planet's or moon's north pole
the spinning motion of a body on its axis
safety glasses
protective clothing worn to protect the eyes against flying objects
Safety glasses do not provide adequate coverage for chemical spashes.
the measure of the amount of dissolved salts and other solids in a given amount of liquid
safety goggles
protective clothing worn to protect eyes against chemical splashes
a natural or artificial body that revolves around a planet
use of evidence to construct testable explanations and predictions of natural phenomena, as well as the knowledge generated through this process
scientific explanation
a statement that helps make something comprehensible (understandable)
scientific model
a representation of an object, system, or event used as a tool for understanding the natural world
sea breeze
a cool breeze blowing from the sea toward the land
sea-floor spreading
the process by which new oceanic lithosphere is created at mid-ocean ridges as older material is pulled away from the ridges
simple machine
any of various elementary devices including the lever, the wheel and axle, the pulley, the inclined plane, the wedge, and the screw
an instrument used to measure properties of light over a specific portion of the electromagnetic spectrum
measure of the distance an object travels in a given unit of time
spring scale
an instrument used to measure the force of a load
spring tides
tides with maximum daily tidal range that occur during the new and full moons and when the sun, Earth, and moon are in alignment with one another
a luminous celestial body consisting of a mass of gas held together by its own gravity
stationary front
a region where a warm air mass and a cold air mass meet but neither has enough force to move the other
storm surge
a wall of water that builds up over the ocean due to heavy winds and low pressure
subatomic particles
parts that make up the atom
Three main subatomic particles are protons, neutrons and electrons.
subduction zone
the region where two plates collide and one plate sinks below the other
Usually an oceanic plate sinks below a continental plate and down into the asthenosphere at a convergent boundary.
a number following an element symbol that is written smaller and lower
A subscript shows the ratio of atoms of the different elements in the substance.
surface currents
stream-like movements of water that occur at or near the surface of the ocean
survival of the fittest
a natural process resulting in the survival of organisms best suited to live in an environment
an instrument that collects electromagnetic radiation from the sky and concentrates it for better observation
the measure of the average amount of energy of motion in the molecules of a substance
a scientific conclusion that is used to explain many different hypotheses about the same phenomenon or a closely related class of phenomena
theory of continental drift
the theory that continents can drift apart and have done so in the past
theory of plate tectonics
the theory that Earth's lithosphere is divided into tectonic plates that move around on top of the asthenosphere
an instrument used to measure temperature
tidal ranges
the difference between levels of ocean water at high tide and low tide
the daily movements of ocean water that change the level of the ocean's surface
topographic map
a map that shows surface features, or topography, of the Earth--both natural features, such as rivers, lakes, and mountains, and man-made features such as cities, roads, and bridges
trade winds
winds that blow from 30° latitude to the equator
transform boundary
the boundary between two tectonic plates that are sliding past each other horizontally
a general direction or pattern in which data changes
triple beam balance
an instrument used to measure mass
tropical cyclone or hurricane
a severe tropical cyclone having winds greater than 74 miles per hour
tropical depression
a tropical cyclone having sustained surface winds less than 39 miles per hour
tropical disturbance
an organized mass of tropical thunderstorms, with a slight cyclonic circulation, and winds less than 25 miles per hour
tropical storm
a cyclonic storm originating in the tropics and having winds ranging from 39 to 73 miles per hour
ultraviolet telescope
a device used to detect ultraviolet waves given off by objects in space
unbalanced forces
a nonzero net force that changes an object's motion
a vast open space which contains all of the matter and energy in existence--all of the galaxies, nebulae, stars, and planets
valley breeze
a breeze that blows up valleys or mountain slopes
valence electron
the electrons that are farthest away from the nucleus of an atom and that are involved in chemical reactions
measure of speed in a given direction
"Waning" refers to the sunlit part of the moon we can see from Earth getting smaller.
a method that a person may safely use to determine what a particular substance smells like
In "wafting," a person takes an open hand and waves the smell toward him or her.
warm front
a region where a warm air mass is replacing a cold air mass
the distance between two points on adjacent waves that have the same phase
literally means growing; sunlit part of the moon we can see from Earth is getting larger
the current conditions of the atmosphere
wind belts that can be found in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres between 30° and 60° latitude
Westerlies flow toward the poles.
moving air
wind-chill factor
the felt temperature on exposed skin
wind shear
the amount of change in the wind's direction or speed with increasing altitude
the action that results when a force causes an object to move in the direction of the force
x-ray telescope
a device used to detect x-ray waves given off by objects in space