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Science nonfiction: "the Day aliens attacked america" Skill: Vocabulary acquisition, page 1 of 2

content-area Vocabulary:

"the Day aliens attacked america"

1. astrobiologist (as-troh-by-aWl-uh-jist) noun; a scientist focused on finding life in space

example: Many astrobiologists believe that if life does exist on other planets, it is in the form

of tiny organisms living underground.

2. astronomer (uh-StRoN-uh-mer) noun; a scientist who studies stars, planets, and space

example: Our solar system had nine planets until astronomers determined that Pluto was

too small to be considered a planet. Pluto is now called a dwarf planet.

3. atmosphere (at-muhs-feer) noun; the mixture of gases that surrounds a planet

example: As the space shuttle reentered the earth's atmosphere, it looked like a star streaking

across the night sky.

4. galaxy (Gal-uhk-see) noun; a group of millions or even billions of stars and planets

(Our galaxy is called the Milky Way. There are billions of galaxies in the universe.)

example: In 1987, the light from an exploded star in another galaxy was visible from Earth.

5. habitable (haB-ih-tuh-bull) adjective; suitable to live in or on

example: Mars is not considered habitable because there is no evidence of liquid water there.

6. observatory (uhb-ZUR-vuh-tohr-ee) noun; a building housing telescopes and other scientific

instruments for studying the sky and stars

example: Scientists photographed the eclipse from the observatory.

7. solar system (Soh-lur SiSS-tuhm) noun; a star and all the objects that travel around it

(Our solar system includes the sun, eight planets, and many moons, asteroids, and comets.)

example: Mercury is the smallest planet in our solar system.

8. telescope (tEl-uh-skohp) noun; an instrument that makes distant objects seem larger

and closer; used for studying the stars and other heavenly bodies

example: Galileo was the first astronomer to use a telescope to see the craters of the moon.

coNtiNUEd oN NExt paGE > ScholaStic sCOPE online reproducible · january 10, 2011

Uses: Copy maChine, opaqUe projeCtor, or transparenCy master for overhead projeCtor. sCholastiC inC. grants sUbsCribers of sCholastiC sCope permission to reprodUCe this page for Use in their Classrooms. Copyright ©2011 by sCholastiC inC. all rights reserved.

Scho la St i c s c o pe

Science nonfiction: "the Day aliens attacked america" Skill: Vocabulary acquisition, page 2 of 2

Name: _______________________________________ Class: ___________________ Date: _____________

Vocabulary Practice

directions: do you remember the vocabulary you learned in "the day aliens attacked america"? let's find out! Complete the sentences using the vocabulary words listed in the word bank.

WoRd BaNk

astrobiologists habitable astronomer observatory atmosphere solar system galaxy telescope

1. The eight planets that make up our ________________________ are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

2. In northern Chile, there is a ________________________ that is so powerful it could see the space between the headlights of a car parked on the moon.

3. The best location for an ________________________ is a place that has dark skies, clear nights, and a high elevation, and is far from where a lot of people live.

4. The Hubble Telescope is named after an ________________________ named Edwin Hubble, who observed that the universe was getting bigger and bigger.

5. Some people believe that the best way to improve the earth's ________________________ is to reduce the number of cars on the road. 6. The size and temperature of a planet are factors used in determining if that planet is ________________________.

7. When ________________________ are looking for evidence of life on another planet, they consider whether the planet has water.

8. The Milky Way is called a spiral ________________________ because it looks like a giant pinwheel in the sky.

ScholaStic sCOPE online reproducible · january 10, 2011

Uses: Copy maChine, opaqUe projeCtor, or transparenCy master for overhead projeCtor. sCholastiC inC. grants sUbsCribers of sCholastiC sCope permission to reprodUCe this page for Use in their Classrooms. Copyright ©2011 by sCholastiC inC. all rights reserved.

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