inferior planet

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inferior planet

n.
Either of the planets Mercury or Venus, whose orbits lie between Earth and the sun.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

inferior planet

n
(Celestial Objects) either of the planets Mercury and Venus, whose orbits lie inside that of the earth
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.inferior planet - any of the planets whose orbit lies inside the earth's orbitinferior planet - any of the planets whose orbit lies inside the earth's orbit
major planet, planet - (astronomy) any of the nine large celestial bodies in the solar system that revolve around the sun and shine by reflected light; Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto in order of their proximity to the sun; viewed from the constellation Hercules, all the planets rotate around the sun in a counterclockwise direction
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
"One moment, Michel," answered Barbicane; "if you wish to play the part of Gulliver, only visit the inferior planets, such as Mercury, Venus, or Mars, whose density is a little less than that of the earth; but do not venture into the great planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune; for there the order will be changed, and you will become Lilliputian."
The possibility that the inferior planets might occasionally pass in front of the Sun was not considered until the early part of the seventeenth century, when Kepler predicted transits of both Mercury and Venus for 1631.
The inferior planets, Mercury and Venus, go through a complete cycle of phases like the Moon.