An alien, or extraterrestrial, is a term used to describe any living being that originates from a planet or moon other than Earth. Alien life could potentially exist in other parts of the universe, and the possibility of discovering alien life is a topic of interest in the fields of astrobiology, exoplanet science, and SETI research.

More: Life Beyond: The Museum of Alien Life (video)


Animation is the process of creating the illusion of motion and change by quickly displaying a sequence of static images. 

Stop-motion animation is a specific type of animation that involves physically manipulating objects and photographing them one frame at a time to create the illusion of movement. There are four different types of stop-motion animation:

Claymation is a type of stop-motion animation that involves using clay figures and moving them incrementally to create the illusion of movement. Object motion is a type of stop-motion animation that involves using physical objects to create the animation. Cutout motion is a type of stop-motion animation that involves using flat, cutout pieces of paper or card to create characters and scenery. Pixelation is a type of stop-motion animation that involves using real people as the “puppets,” with each movement captured in incremental frames to create the illusion of animation.

More: 12 Principles of Animation (video)


Atmosphere refers to the envelope of gases that surround a planet or moon. It is what makes breathing possible on Earth and protects us from harmful radiation from the sun. Different planets and moons have different types of atmospheres, and studying them can help us understand their potential for habitability.


An asteroid is a small, rocky object that orbits the sun in our solar system. Most asteroids are found in the asteroid belt, a region located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Some asteroids have even been known to collide with planets, leaving behind huge craters.


Astrobiology is the study of life in the universe. It explores the possibility of life beyond Earth, including on other planets, moons, and even in other solar systems.

More: Are we alone? An introduction to astrobiology (video)


A biosignature is a chemical or physical clue that indicates the presence of life. It could be a molecule, a pattern, or a structure that is only produced by living organisms. A biosignature can also be the presence of oxygen or other chemicals in a planet’s atmosphere. Scientists look for biosignatures when studying exoplanets to try and find evidence of extraterrestrial life.


Brainstorming is a technique used to generate creative ideas and solutions to a problem. It involves coming up with as many ideas as possible, without worrying about their quality or feasibility. Brainstorming can be done individually or in a group and is often used in creative industries such as advertising, design, and filmmaking.


A comet is a small, icy object that orbits the sun in our solar system. Most comets are found in the outer reaches of the solar system. When a comet gets close to the sun, it heats up and releases gas and dust, which creates a bright tail that we can see from Earth.

More: What is a Comet? (video)


Composition in art refers to the arrangement of visual elements within a piece of art to create a harmonious and balanced work. It involves the use of design principles such as balance, contrast, emphasis, and movement. The rule of thirds is a compositional guideline that suggests dividing the frame into thirds and placing the focal point or points on one of the intersections. The golden cut, also known as the golden ratio, is a mathematical principle that artists have used for centuries to create aesthetically pleasing compositions.

More: Composition for Noobs (video)

Colour theory

Color theory is the study of how colors interact with each other and how they can be used to create certain effects in art or design. It involves understanding the relationships between primary, secondary, and tertiary colors, as well as concepts like hue, saturation, and value. By using color theory, artists and designers can create harmonious color palettes and convey specific moods or messages in their work.

More: Colour Theory for Noobs (video)

Concept art

Concept art is a visual representation of an idea, usually for a film, video game, or other media project. It helps to create a visual style and mood, as well as communicate ideas to the creative team. Concept art can include character designs, environment sketches, and storyboards.

Concept sketch

A concept sketch is a rough drawing or illustration that depicts the basic idea of a creative project or design. It’s often used as a starting point for more detailed artwork or as a way to communicate ideas visually with others. Concept sketches can be made with traditional drawing tools or digitally.


Evolution is the process by which species change over time. This happens because of genetic variations that occur naturally and the ones that are selected for by the environment. Through evolution, new species can emerge, and old ones can become extinct, leading to the diversity of life on Earth that we see today.

Co-evolution is the process by which two or more species evolve in response to each other. This can happen when one species develops a trait that gives it an advantage over another species, and the other species evolves to counter that advantage. Over time, this can lead to a complex interdependence between the species, where they rely on each other for survival. An example of co-evolution is the relationship between pollinators and the flowers they pollinate.

More: Five Fingers of Evolution (video)


An exoplanet is a planet that orbits a star outside our solar system. Scientists study exoplanets to learn more about the possibility of life beyond our solar system.

More: What is an exoplanet? (video)


An extremophile is a type of organism that can survive in extreme environments that would be deadly to most other forms of life. These environments can include places with very high or very low temperatures, very acidic conditions, and even radioactive environments. Studying extremophiles can help scientists to better understand the limits of life on Earth and the potential for life on other planets.

More: Why extremophiles bode well for life beyond Earth (video)

Field recording

Field recording is the act of capturing sounds from the environment using a portable audio recorder. It is often used in music production, film, and video games to add realistic and immersive sound effects. Field recordings can include natural sounds like birds, waterfalls, and wind, or human-made sounds like traffic, voices, and machines.

Foley art

Foley art is the process of creating sound effects for movies, TV shows, and other media. Foley artists use everyday objects to create sounds that match the action on screen, such as footsteps, doors closing, and gunshots. These sounds are then edited and mixed with the dialogue and music to create a fully immersive audio experience.

More: The Magic of Making Sound (video)

Frame rate

Frame rate refers to the number of individual still images or frames displayed per second in a video. A higher frame rate provides smoother and more lifelike motion in the video, but requires more processing power and storage space. Frame rate is measured in frames per second (fps).

Gas giant planet

A gas giant planet is a large planet made up mostly of gas, such as hydrogen and helium. These planets have no solid surface, but rather an atmosphere that gets denser towards the center.

In our own solar system, Jupiter and Saturn are examples of gas giants.


Gravity is a force that pulls objects towards each other. The amount of gravity depends on the mass of the objects and the distance between them. Gravity is what keeps us on the ground and what keeps planets orbiting around the sun.

More: How to think about gravity (video)

Habitable Zone

The habitable zone is the area around a star where conditions are just right for a planet to have liquid water on its surface. This is important because water is essential for life as we know it. Planets that are too close to the star will be too hot, and any water will evaporate, while planets that are too far away will be too cold, and the water will freeze.

More: A needle in countless haystacks: Finding habitable worlds (video)


Imagination is the ability to form new ideas and images in one’s mind that do not necessarily exist in reality. It is used in both art and science to generate creative solutions, designs, and innovations. Imagination can help individuals to think outside the box and see things from different perspectives.

Interactive storytelling

Interactive storytelling is a form of narrative that allows the audience to participate in the story’s progression. This can include choose-your-own-adventure books or digital platforms like Twine. The audience’s choices affect the plot, creating a unique and personalized experience for each participant.


A moon is a natural satellite that orbits around a planet. Moons come in many different sizes and shapes, and they can have a variety of features such as craters, mountains, and even lakes.

An exo-moon is a natural satellite that orbits a planet outside our solar system. These moons are often discovered by observing changes in the light of the planet as the moon passes in front of it. The study of exo-moons can help scientists better understand the formation and evolution of moons in our own solar system.

More: How many moons does each planet have? (video)


An orbit is the path that an object follows as it moves around another object in space, such as a planet around a star or a moon around a planet. Orbits can be circular or elliptical, depending on the shape of the path. A circular orbit is when the object moves around the other object in a perfect circle, while an elliptical orbit is when the object moves in an oval-shaped path.

An eccentric orbit is an oval-shaped orbit in which an object moves faster when it is closer to another object and slower when it is further away. This type of orbit is different from a circular orbit, where an object moves at a constant speed around another object.


A planet is a celestial body that orbits around a star, is spherical in shape, and has enough mass to have cleared its orbit of other debris. Solar system planets are classified into two categories: terrestrial planets, which are small and rocky, and gas giants, which are much larger and made up mostly of gas. In our solar system, there are eight planets orbiting around the Sun: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.


Plot refers to the sequence of events that make up a story. It is the backbone of the narrative and includes the introduction, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. In simpler terms, the plot is what happens in the story.

More: Plot Structure: The Building Blocks to Every Story (video)


Research-creation is a term used to describe a creative process that combines research and artistic practice. It involves using artistic methods to explore and communicate knowledge and ideas. The goal of research-creation is to create new knowledge and understanding through creative experimentation and expression.


A ring, in astronomy, is a disk-shaped region of debris that orbits around a planet or another celestial object. Rings are made up of a variety of materials, including dust, ice, and rocks, and can range in size from small particles to several meters in diameter. Four planets in our solar system have rings: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Each of these planets has a different type of ring system, with Saturn’s being the most prominent and well-known.

More: How Saturn got its rings (video)


A sketchbook is a blank book or pad that artists and designers use to draw, sketch, or take notes. It is a place to capture ideas, experiment with different styles, and practice drawing skills. Sketchbooks can be used with any type of drawing or writing materials, such as pencils, pens, markers, or paint.

More: Sketchbook Tips · For Creative Freedom and a Cohesive Look (video)


Sci-art refers to the intersection of science and art, where scientific concepts or data are used as inspiration for artistic creation or are presented through artistic mediums. It can involve various disciplines, including visual arts, literature, music, and film, and can help to communicate complex scientific ideas to a broader audience. Examples of sci-art include installations, sculptures, and paintings that explore scientific themes, or performances and films that use scientific concepts to tell stories.

Science fiction

Science fiction is a type of storytelling that often takes place in the future, with imagined technology and scientific advancements that don’t exist yet. It can include aliens, time travel, robots, and more, and often explores big ideas about humanity and society. Science fiction is a way to use imagination to think about what the future might look like and how we might interact with it.

More: Fiction Book Genres: What is Science Fiction? (video)


SETI, or the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, is a scientific effort aimed at finding evidence of life beyond Earth by searching for intelligent signals from space. The SETI Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to this effort and works closely with NASA to conduct research and develop technologies to support the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

More: Calculating The Odds of Intelligent Alien Life – Jill Tarter (video)

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Space Art

Space art is a form of artistic expression that visualizes space and celestial objects. It often incorporates scientific concepts and is used to inspire and educate people about space exploration and astronomy. Space art can take many forms, including paintings, illustrations, digital art, and sculptures.

More: The NASA Illustrator Who Hides Sci-Fi Easter Eggs in Official Images of Space (video)

Star Classes

Stellar classification is the process of categorizing stars based on their physical characteristics, such as temperature, luminosity, and size. This classification system helps astronomers to better understand the properties and behaviour of stars. From hot stars to cool, the order of stellar types is: O, B, A, F, G, K, M.

Supergiant: A rare, extremely bright and massive star that is many times larger than the Sun, classified as O or B.

Blue giant: A very bright, massive star with a high temperature and luminosity, classified as O or B.

White dwarf: A small, extremely dense star that has exhausted most of its nuclear fuel, classified as O, B or A.

Red dwarf: The most common type of star, with a low temperature and low luminosity, classified as M.

Yellow dwarf: A star similar to our Sun in size and color, classified as G.

Red giant: A star that has exhausted its core hydrogen fuel and expanded in size, classified as K or M.

Brown dwarf: A failed star that is too small to sustain nuclear fusion, classified as L, T or Y.

More: Stars 101 (video)

Stellar Evolution

Stellar evolution is the process by which a star changes over its lifetime. It begins with the formation of a protostar from a cloud of gas and dust, and continues through various stages, including main sequence, red giant, and white dwarf, depending on the mass of the star. This process takes millions or billions of years to complete and is influenced by factors such as the star’s mass, temperature, and composition.

Story arch

A story arc is the path that a story takes, from the beginning to the end. It typically includes key plot points, character development, and rising and falling action that creates tension and keeps the audience engaged.


A storyboard is a visual tool used in media production that presents the basic sequence of events in a story. It is typically composed of a series of sketches or images arranged in a specific order to convey the story’s flow and structure. Storyboards help filmmakers, animators, and other media professionals plan and organize their projects more effectively.

More: Watch Disney Animation’s Head Of Story Share Animation Secrets & Sketch (video)

Story shape

“Story shape” refers to the overall structure or pattern of a story, including its beginning, middle, and end. It’s like a roadmap that guides the audience through the story’s key events and emotional beats, creating a satisfying and coherent narrative experience. Different types of stories have different shapes, such as the classic “hero’s journey,” “rags to riches,” or “fish out of water” structures.

More: Kurt Vonnegut: The Shapes of Stories (video)

Sound design

Sound design is the process of creating audio elements that enhance the emotional impact of a film, TV show, or video game. It involves creating music, sound effects, foley art, and dialogue replacement (ADR), and then mixing them together to create a cohesive and immersive auditory experience.

More: What does a sound designer do? (video)


A technosignature is a signal or other type of evidence that indicates the presence of technology or civilization beyond Earth. Unlike biosignatures, which indicate the presence of life, technosignatures specifically suggest the existence of advanced technology or intelligent life forms. Scientists involved in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence are studying technosignatures as potential indicators of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations.

Terrestrial planet

Terrestrial planets are rocky planets that are similar in composition to Earth, with solid surfaces and typically smaller than gas giants. These planets are typically located in the inner regions of a solar system, but they can also be found orbiting other stars as exoplanets. Scientists are interested in studying terrestrial exoplanets to determine their potential for hosting life.

Tidally locked

Tidally locked means that an object, like a moon or a planet, rotates at the same rate that it orbits around another object. This means that one side of the object is always facing the other object, while the other side is always facing away. An example of a tidally locked object is the moon, which always shows the same face to Earth.

More: Tidal Locking | Why Do We Only See One Side of the Moon? (video)


A thumbnail is a small, quick sketch used by artists and designers to plan out the general layout of a piece of art or design. It’s a rough, simplified version of the final piece, and is used to help the artist decide on things like composition and overall look. Thumbnails are usually small, and may only take a few seconds or minutes to create.

More: Thumbnail Sketches: Tips for Drawing (video)


Worldbuilding is the process of creating a fictional universe or setting for a story, game, or artwork. It involves designing the physical and cultural aspects of the world, such as geography, climate, creatures, languages, history, and more. The goal is to make the world feel believable and immersive to the audience, allowing them to fully engage with the story or artwork.

More: How to build a fictional world – Kate Messner (video)