Geed Cheat Sheet (Glossary)


Coronal mass ejection (CME) – a massive burst of solar wind and magnetic fields rising above the solar corona or being released into space.

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) – an agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the development of new technologies for use by the military.

Google Glass – augmented reality head-mounted display (HMD) that offers hands-free, heads-up display of information that is worn as eyeglasses.

Magnetosphere – formed when a stream of charged particles, such as the solar wind, interacts with and is deflected by the magnetic field of a planet or similar body. Earth is surrounded by a magnetosphere, as are the other planets with intrinsic magnetic fields: Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

Mars Curiosity Rover – a car-sized robotic rover exploring Gale Crater on Mars as part of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission (MSL)

Near Earth Object (NRO) – a Solar System object whose orbit brings it into close proximity with the Earth.  Typically refers to asteroids.

Plasma – a state of matter similar to gas in which a certain portion of the particles are ionized.  For instance, heating a gas may ionize its molecules or atoms (reduce or increase the number of electrons in them), thus turning it into a plasma, which contains charged particles: positive ions and negative electrons or ions.

Potentially Hazardous Object (PHO) – a near-Earth asteroid or comet with an orbit such that it has the potential to make close approaches to the Earth and is of a size large enough to cause significant regional damage in the event of impact.

Sol – used by planetary astronomers to refer to the duration of a solar day on Mars.  A mean Martian solar day, or "sol", is 24 hours, 39 minutes, and 35.244 seconds.

Zeroes – in comic book parlance, the number of a comic book issue whose story line is a prequel to the main storyline.