Thursday Writing Prompt No. 13

garden patio

Walled garden at the University of Maryland University College's Adelphi campus. I applied a Topaz Adjust filter effect to the photo.

This week’s Thursday Writing Prompt is another vocabulary workout. Okay, maybe I was too caught up in other things to write a long inspirational post this week. But words are important tools for writers, and just like a handyman set loose in a big-box hardware store, you need to collect as many tools as you can, because you never know when you’ll need them.

Instead of just throwing a bunch of words at you this time, I thought that it might be more fun to make them related to one another. So the list of words I’m presenting here are all related to astronomy. They aren’t exactly obscure, but you may not recognize all of them. In addition to their roles in science, many of these words are used to refer to everyday things. For instance, according to the Sea and Sky Glossary of Astronomical Terms, the word eclipse means “The total or partial blocking of one celestial body by another.” But we also use it to describe human events, as when one actor’s fame is eclipsed by another actor. And we often give people latitude to do what they want.

The idea is not just to load yourself up with astronomy words, but to get an idea of what they mean scientifically and see how that meaning has been applied to other areas of life. You may not want to write about the Kuiper Belt, but words such as zenith and nadir have their uses. Again, I’m not providing the definitions, since that is something you should really do on your own. The Sea and Sky has a very nice list of terms with clear definitions, and lots of other information, too.

altitude                      azimuth
equinox                       solstice
latitude                      longitude
nadir                         zenith
parallax                      horizon
magnitude                     occultation
inclination                   parallax
eclipse                       transit
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