inferior planets


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

inferior planets

The planets Mercury and Venus, which lie closer to the Sun than the Earth.

Inferior Planets

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The original meaning of inferior was below. In the concept of the universe that was prevalent prior to the Copernican revolution, when Earth was thought to be the stable center around which every other celestial body revolved, the orbits of Mercury and Venus were considered to be closer to the Earth and thus “below” the orbit of the Sun. These two planets were thus referred to as the inferior planets. The current negative connotations of the term “inferior” have caused this expression to be dropped in favor of the term “inner planets.”

Inferior Planets

 

the two principal planets of the solar system (Mercury and Venus) whose orbits lie inside the earth’s orbit. The name “inferior planets” is connected with the geocentric system of the world, in which these planets were thought to be situated below the sun. According to this system, planets situated above the sun were called superior planets.

Full browser ?