An Etymological Dictionary of Astronomy and Astrophysics

فرهنگ ریشه شناختی اخترشناسی-اخترفیزیک

M. Heydari-Malayeri    -    Paris Observatory



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Number of Results: 1295
  لال، لعل   
lâl, la'l (#)

Fr.: spinelle   

A mineral, MgAl2O4, occurring in various colors, used as a gem, the most valuable being red. The famous "Black Prince's Ruby" which forms part of the Crown Jewels of England, is, in fact, a red spinel. Spinel has often been confounded with → ruby. The most famous source of spinel is the historic region of Badakhshan (today northeastern Afghanistan and southeastern Tajikistan). The Badakhshan mines were mentioned by Persian writers as early as the 10th century. According to a Persian tradition, these mines were first disclosed when the mountain was broken open by an earthquake.

From Fr. spinelle, from It. spinella of unknown origin.  

Lâl, la'l "spinel; red," originally "red" (cf. Tabari âl "red"); cf. Av. raoidita- "red, reddish;" Skt. rudhirá- "red, bloody;" L. ruber "red;" Gk. erythros "red;" akin to E. → red.

spinning top
  فرموک، فرفره   
farmuk (#), ferferé (#)

Fr.: toupie   

A toy that with a quick or vigorous twist spins around its symmetry axis and balances on a point. Suppose a top is perfectly fashioned so that its → rotation axis passes through its → center of mass. If it is spun carefully such that it remains perfectly upright while rotating, it will spin at a steady → angular velocity almost indefinitely in the absence of → friction. Rotation creates an → angular momentum which is directed upward along the rotation axis, opposite to the → gravity vector. However, a slight mismatch between the rotation axis and the center of mass causes gravity to exert a → torque on the top due to its weight, acting through the center of mass. The torque gives rise to a time rate of change of angular momentum, so the top experiences → precession about its point of contact. The tip of the angular momentum vector can be perceived as precessing about the → vertical, thus describing the → precessional circle. The top's precession period is given by: Tp = (4π2I)/(mgrTs), where I is the → moment of inertia, m the mass of the top, g gravity, r the distance between the center of mass and the contact point, and Ts is the spinning period of the top. Precession is accompanied by another oscillatory phenomenon, called → nutation. Nutation is less influenced by the gravity torque and is determined by the inertia forces acting on the spinning body.

spin; → -ing; top M.E., from O.E. top, maybe related to Fr. toupie.

Farmuk, ferferé "spinning top" (Dehxodâ), two words of unknown etymology.


Fr.: spinstar   

A hypothetical, very rapidly → rotating star formed in the → metal-deficient conditions of the primordial → interstellar medium. The → first stars were probably spinstars, because the lack of metals leads to faster rotation velocities. Indeed → metal-poor stars are more compact than → metal-rich ones. Stars formed from a gas whose → metallicity is below 1/2000 of the → solar metallicity could attain rotation velocities of 500-800 km s-1 (see also → Population III star). Rotation triggers → mixing processes inside the star, leading to the production of important quantities of 14N, 13C, and 22Ne (Maeder & Meynet 2012, and references therein). The production of primary 22Ne has an important impact on the → s-process  → nucleosynthesis in spinstars compared to non-rotating stars. This increases by orders of magnitude the s-process → yields of → heavy elements. Spinstars would therefore have strongly influenced the properties and appearance of the first galaxies that formed in the → Universe (See G. Meynet et al. 2009, arXiv:0709.2275; C. Chiappini, 2013, Astron. Nachr. /AN 334, No. 6, 595 and references therein).

spin; → star.


Fr.: spintronique   

A new area of science and technology which exploits the intrinsic → spin of electrons and its associated → magnetic moment, in addition to its fundamental electronic charge, in solid-state devices. In brief, spin-based electronics. For example, information could be transported or stored through the spin-up or spin-down states of electrons. Spintronics techniques are capable of much higher speed while requiring less power than the conventional method of using electron charges to represent data. The first use of spintronics was in the late 1980s with the development of → giant magnetoresistance (GMR) read heads for disk drives

Short for → spin + → electronics.

marpic (#)

Fr.: spiral   

Running continuously around a fixed point or center while constantly receding from or approaching it.

From M.Fr. spiral, from M.L. spiralis "winding, coiling," from L. spira "coil," from Gk. speira "coil, twist, wreath."

Mârpic, literally "snake coil," from mâr "snake, serpent," → Serpens, + pic, present stem of picidan "to twist, entwine, coil," ultimately Proto-Iranian *paticā-citanai- "to coil;" cf. Av. paitica "inversely; back" and ci- (caē-, caii-) "to heap up, gather" (Nyberg 1974).

spiral arm
  بازوی ِ مارپیچ   
bâzu-ye mârpic

Fr.: bras spiral   

The region in a → spiral galaxy that contains concentrations of → gas, → dust, and → massive stars. Spiral arms are created by → density waves. See also → density wave theory.

spiral; → arm.

spiral galaxy
  کهکشان ِ مارپیچ   
kahkešân-e mârpic

Fr.: galaxie spirale   

A galaxy with a prominent nuclear → bulge and luminous → spiral arms of gas, dust, and young stars that wind out from the nucleus. Masses span the range from 1010 to 1012solar masses.

spiral; → galaxy.

spiral structure
  ساختار ِ مارپیچ   
sâxtâr-e mârpic

Fr.: structure spirale   

The morphology of a galaxy which displays → spiral arms.

spiral; → structure.

minu (#)

Fr.: esprit   

The principle of conscious life; the vital principle in humans, animating the body or mediating between body and soul (

M.E., from L. spiritus "a breathing, breath; breath of life," related to spirare "to blow, breathe."

Minu "spirit;" Mid.Pers. mênôg "spirit;" Av. mainyu- "mind, mentality, mental force, inspiration," from mān- "to think," → mind.

  مینویی، مینوییگ   
minuyi, minuyig

Fr.: spirituel   

Of, pertaining to, or consisting of → spirit.

spirit; → -al.


Fr.: spiritualité   

The quality or fact of being → spiritual.

spiritual; → -ity..

Spite plateau
  تختال ِ اسپیت   
taxtâl-e Spite

Fr.: plateau des Spite   

The observation that the abundance of → lithium (7Li) in metal-poor stars is constant regardless of the → effective temperature (> 5500 K) and the → metallicity ([Fe/H] < -2). The Spite plateau is currently interpreted as evidence that the Li observed in → halo population stars is → primordial. Since its discovery, the Spite plateau has been subject to numerous investigations, increasing the number of stars with Li measurements and extending the sample to include ever lower metallicities. Important issues are the existence or not of a significant scatter along the plateau, and the existence or not of atomic diffusion and mixing with deeper stellar zones where Li can be burnt, producing an offset with respect to the → Big Bang → nucleosynthesis abundance. Several recent studies have shown that the Spite plateau exhibits very little, if any, dispersion. There is, however, a discrepancy between recent results and that derived from Big Bang nucleosynthesis, based on the cosmological parameters constrained by the → WMAP measurements.

Named after François and Monique Spite, French astronomers, Paris Observatory, who first discovered this relation (1982, A&A 115, 357); → plateau.

Spitzer Space Telescope
  دوربین ِ فضایی ِ اسپیتزر، تلسکوپ ِ ~ ~   
durbin-e fazâyi-ye Spitzer, teleskop-e ~ ~

Fr.: Télescope spatial Spitzer   

An infrared telescope launched by NASA on 25 August 2003, the last in the series of Great Observatories. It was placed into a heliocentric orbit with a period of revolution that causes it to drift away from Earth at a rate of 0.1 → astronomical unit per year. Spitzer has a 85-cm primary mirror, made of beryllium and is equipped with three cryogenically-cooled science instruments: 1) IRAC (Infrared Array Camera), which operates simultaneously on four wavelengths (3.6, 4.5, 5.8, and 8 µm); 2) IRS (Infrared Spectrograph), with four sub-modules which operate at the wavelengths 5.3-14 µm (low resolution), 10-19.5 µm (high resolution), 14-40 µm (low resolution), and 19-37 µm (high resolution); and 3) MIPS (Multiband Imaging Photometer for Spitzer), three detector arrays in the → far infrared at 24, 70, and 160 µm. So far Spitzer has obtained precious data on all sorts of astronomical objects, thus contributing to all fields of astrophysics. It has also performed two sky surveys: GLIMPS, which covers 300° of the inner Milky Way galaxy, consisting of approximately 444,000 images taken at 4 separate wavelengths with the IRAC, and MIPSGAL a similar survey covering 278° of the Galactic disk at longer wavelengths.The planned nominal mission period was to be 2.5 years with a pre-launch expectation that the mission could extend to five or slightly more years until the onboard liquid helium supply was exhausted. This occurred on 15 May 2009. Without liquid helium to cool the telescope, most instruments are no longer usable. However, the two shortest wavelength modules of the IRAC camera are still operable and will continue to be used in the Spitzer Warm Mission.

Named in honor of Lyman Spitzer (1914-1997), an American theoretical physicist and astronomer best known for his research in star formation and plasma physics, who first suggested (1940s) placing telescopes in orbit to escape interference from the Earth's atmosphere; → space; → telescope.

spline function
  کریای ِ اسپلین   
karyâ-ye splin

Fr.: fonction spline   

A function consisting of several segments, usually → polynomials, joined smoothly together at specific points with an explicitly stated degree of accuracy. Spline functions are used to approximate a given function on an interval.

From East Anglian dialect, maybe related to O.E. splin and to modern splint. A spline was originally a slat or a thin strip of wood. A later meaning was "a long, thin, flexible strip used as a guide for drawing arcs of curves;" → function.

  ۱) فاق؛ ۲) فاقیدن   
1) fâq (#); 2) fâqidan

Fr.: 1) fente; 2) fendre   

1) A crack, tear, or fissure. The act of splitting.
2) To separate by cutting, chopping, etc.

From M.Du. splitten, from P.Gmc. *spl(e)it- (cf. Dan., Fris. splitte, O.Fris. splita, Ger. spleißen "to split").

1) Fâq "a part of something separated in two sections, such as a beard, a quill pen, etc."
2) Fâqidan verbal form.


Fr.: fendre   

The act or instance of being split or causing something to split. → splitting of energy level.

Verbal noun of → split.

splitting of energy level
  فاقش ِ تراز ِ کاروژ   
fâqeš-e tarâz-e kâruž

Fr.: dédoublement d'un niveau d'énergie   

The splitting of a single atomic level into a group of closely spaced levels when the substance producing the single line is subjected to a uniform magnetic field. → Zeeman effect; → Stark effect.

spliting; → energy level.



In Saturn's rings, changing structures in the radial direction. It is thought that gravitational forces alone cannot account for the spoke structure, and it has been proposed that electrostatic repulsion between ring particles may play a role.

M.E.; O.E. spaca "spoke," related to spicing "large nail," from P.Gmc. *spaikon (cf. O.S. speca, O.Fris. spake, Du. spaak, O.H.G. speicha, Ger. speiche "spoke").

Parré "a rod that extends from the hub of a wheel to support or brace the rim."

sarxod (#)

Fr.: spontané   

Arising from internal forces or causes; independent of external agencies; self-acting.

From L.L. spontaneus "willing, of one's free will," from L. (sua) sponte "of one's own accord, willingly," of unknown origin.

Sarxod, literally "by himself/herself," from sar "head" (soru, sorun "horn;" karnâ "a trumpet-like wind instrument," variant sornâ "a wind instrument;" Mid.Pers. sar "head," sru "horn;" Av. sarah- "head," srū- "horn, nail;" cf. Skt. śiras- "head, chief;" Gk. kara "head," karena "head, top," keras "horn;" L. cornu "horn," cerebrum "brain;" P.Gmc. *khurnaz (Ger. Horn, Du. horen; cognate with E. horn, as above, from PIE *ker- "head, horn;" O.E. horn "horn of an animal," also "wind instrument;" E. horn); PIE base *ker- "head, horn, top, summit") + xod "self" (Mid.Pers. xwad "self; indeed;" Av. hva- "self, own").

spontaneous combustion
  سوزش ِ سرخود   
suzeš-e sarxod

Fr.: combustion spontanée   

The self-ignition of a substance that produces sufficient heat within itself, by a slow oxidation process, for ignition to take place without the need for an external high-temperature source. The produced heat energy is absorbed by the substance raising its temperature slowly until the → ignition temperature is reached. Same as spontaneous ignition.

spontaneous; → combustion.

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