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Related to inferior planet: Interior planets
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 elongation 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.