superior planet


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superior planet,

planet whose orbit lies outside that of the earth. The superior planets are Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

superior planet

[sə′pir·ē·ər ′plan·ət]
(astronomy)
Any of the planets that are farther than the earth from the sun; includes Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.
References in periodicals archive ?
Likewise, Spearman's Principle favours Copernicus's theory even though in order for Copernicus's theory to account for the constraint governing the oppositions of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, it must set the parameter specifying the number of superior planets to a particular value (namely, three).
The point is that although Copernicus's theory requires that the parameter for the number of superior planets be fixed to three, and so takes on the challenge of explaining that value, Ptolemy's theory has taken on exactly the same explanatory challenge, and the challenge does not appear easier for Ptolemy's theory to meet than for Copernicus's.
In general, superior planets (and their moons) appear most luminous when angular size and phase both peak in close succession--that is, proximate with GIE, which for all practical purposes is synonymous with opposition.
Thus only superior planets and minor planets can be in opposition.

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