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Science Test Study Guide - Chapter 5-6
6th Grade
Vocabulary – be able to define the following terms. (Use the online study guides to help you review!)
universe – everything that exists
telescope – a device that collects light to make distant objects appear closer and larger
astronomer – someone who observes or studies the universe
refraction – the bending of waves as they go from one substance to another
reflection – the bouncing of waves off a surface
rotation – one complete spin on the axis; Earth does this once every 24 hours; causes day and night
axis – the imaginary line through Earth from the North Pole to the South Pole
standard time zone – a belt 15 degrees wide in longitude in which all places have the same time
International Date Line – the location on Earth where each new day begins
revolution – Earth makes it every 365¼ days; one complete trip around the Sun
phase – the shape of the lighted part of the Moon that we see at any given time
waning phase – the visible moon is becoming smaller
waxing phase – the visible moon is becoming larger
lunar eclipse – the time when the Moon might pass through the Earth’s shadow
solar eclipse – the time when Earth might pass through the Moon’s shadow
tide – the regular rise and fall of the water level along a shore; caused by the gravity of the Sun and Moon
producers – organisms that trap the Sun’s energy and use it to make their own food
evaporation – one step in the water cycle
planet – a large body orbiting a star
solar system – the Sun all bodies traveling around it
asteroid – rocky, metallic object that orbits the Sun but is too small to be considered a planet
asteroid belt – located between Mars and Jupiter
comet – a ball of rock and ice that orbits the Sun
meteoroid  meteor  meteorite – small asteroids; that enter Earth’s atmosphere and burn brightly; that
reach Earth’s surface
atmosphere – the layer of gas surrounding the earth made primarily of Nitrogen and Oxygen; consists of several layers
star – a large, hot ball of gas held together by gravity and giving off its own light
constellation – a number of stars that appear to form a pattern in the sky
magnitude – the brightness of a star
parallax – the apparent shift of an object’s location when viewed from two locations
light-year – the unit astronomers use to measure distances in space
nebula – an enormous cloud of gas and dust in space
protostar – a young star that glows as gravity causes it to collapse
supernova – a star that explodes
black hole – an object whose gravity is so strong that even light cannot escape from it
galaxy – a large group of stars held together by gravity
Milky Way – the spiral galaxy that contains our solar system
quasar – an extremely bright, distant, high-energy source
spiral galaxy – the shape of the Milky Way galaxy
Extra Credit Terms: (half point each)
39. electromagnetic spectrum – waves of light in order of their wavelengths and frequencies
40. spectrum – the band of colors made when white light is broken up (example: by a prism)
41. wavelength – the distance from one peak on a wave to the next
42. troposphere – the part of the Earth’s atmosphere where all weather occurs (1st layer near ground)
43. ozone – O3; absorbs harmful ultraviolet radiation from the Sun in the stratosphere (2nd layer up)
44. seasons – the tilt of the Earth’s axis causes this cycle
45. orbit – the path a planet or asteroid takes as it travels around the Sun
46. big bang theory – the unscientific idea which states that a tremendous explosion occurred in space which sent
preexisting matter in all directions (theory = guess, speculation); this theory does not explain where the
preexisting matter came from
Solar System Vocabulary:
47. Sun – energy source for all living things on Earth
48. Moon – reflects light from the Sun
49. Mercury – closest planet to the Sun
50. Mars – often known as the Red Planet
51. Jupiter – the largest planet in our solar system
52. Saturn – the planet with seven major rings around it
53. Pluto – the smallest “planet” in our solar system
Thinking Questions: (These items will be included in the multiple choice section of the test)
54. What would happen if the Earth rotated more slowly on its axis?
 days would be longer
55. Why does the Moon and Sun appear about the same size in the sky?
 The Sun is farther away but much larger than the Moon.
56. Where are the Sun, Earth, and Moon during a solar eclipse?
 The Moon is directly between the Sun and Earth.
57. What is the advantage of sending a space probe to explore a planet, instead of astronauts?
 Space probes do not need air, food, or water.
Short Answer Questions:
59. What is a shooting star?
 A meteor (a small asteroid that has entered the earth’s atmosphere and burns brightly due to friction
with the atmospheric gases)
60. Draw three circles for the locations of the Sun, Moon, and Earth during a lunar eclipse? (You must label them!)
61. List three things that humans need to survive in space.
 Air, food, and water
62. Why do Earth’s Northern and Southern Hemispheres have opposite seasons?
 Earth’s tilt creates different times of year when the hemispheres receive direct or indirect sunlight.
63. What is the difference between Earth’s rotation and Earth’s revolution?
 Earth’s rotation is one complete spin on it axis and it takes about 24 hours. Earth’s revolution is one
complete trip around the Sun and it takes 365¼ days.
64. How much of the moon is always lit by the Sun?
 ½ (Half of the moon is ALWAYS lit by the Sun except during a lunar eclipse.)
65. What causes tides?
 The pull of gravity from the moon
66. Earth’s atmosphere is mostly made up of which two elements?
 Nitrogen and Oxygen
67. What causes Venus’ very high temperature?
 The main cause is a huge greenhouse effect (Heat from Sun enters, just as in a greenhouse, but
cannot escape due to the thick atmosphere of carbon dioxide surrounding the planet)
68. Where does the oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere come from?
 Producers during photosynthesis
69. Explain why a day on Venus is longer than its year.
 It revolves around the Sun quicker than it rotates. (Venus revolves once every 225 Earth days. Venus rotates
once every 243 Earth days.)
70. What are the outer planets, excluding Pluto, made up of?
 Mostly gas although they have a small solid core.
71. List the nine planets of our solar system in their proper order.
 Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, “Pluto”