inferior planet(redirected from Inferior and superior planets)
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inferior planet,planet whose orbit lies inside that of the earth. There are two inferior planets, Mercury and Venus. They always seem to be close to the sun in the sky; the greatest elongationelongation,
in astronomy, the angular distance between two points in the sky as measured from a third point. The elongation of a planet is usually measured as the angular distance from the sun to the planet as measured from the earth.
..... Click the link for more information. of Mercury is 28°, and that of Venus, 47°. For this reason, neither can be seen for more than two or three hours after sunset or before sunrise.
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inferior planet[in′fir·ē·ər ′plan·ət]
A planet that circles the sun in an orbit that is smaller than the earth's.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.