terrestrial planet


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terrestrial planet

n.
Any of the four planets, Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars, whose orbits are closest to the sun. Also called inner planet.

in′ner plan′et


n.
any of the four planets closest to the sun: Mercury, Venus, Earth, or Mars.
[1950–55]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.terrestrial planet - a planet having a compact rocky surface like the Earth's; the four innermost planets in the solar system
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
References in periodicals archive ?
"Now, with LHS 3844B, we have a terrestrial planet outside our Solar System where for the first time we can determine observational that an atmosphere is not present."
Studying 147 extrasolar planetary systems with giant planets (with the parameters of these systems taken from NASA's exoplanet archive), Georgakarakos and colleagues found that, in most cases, the presence of "giant neighbors" would reduce a terrestrial planet's chances to remain habitable, even when the terrestrial planet is on a stable orbit.
Terrestrial planet formation models indicate Earth went through a sequence of major growth phases: initially accretion of planetesimals, planetary embryos, over many tens of millions of years, then a giant impact by a large proto-planet that led to the formation of our Moon, followed by the late bombardment when giant asteroids several tens to hundreds of miles in size periodically hit ancient Earth, dwarfing the one that killed the dinosaurs only 65 million years ago.
The planet was the first terrestrial planet with an Earth-like orbit ever discovered in a binary star system, a common constellation of two stars orbiting each other.
Building a giant space telescope that can tell us--a terrestrial planet finder--requires merely the will to do it.
Mars is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere and surface features similar to the impact craters of the Moon and the volcanoes, valleys, deserts, and polar ice caps of Earth.
Astronomers have detected "warm" dust around a number of nearby stars that is thought to signify terrestrial planet formation.
LBT thus promises to be an important tool in NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder project, scheduled to launch in just over a decade.
Those stars will become the focus of the Terrestrial Planet Finder--a future NASA mission that will look around the stars for Earth-like planets.
But when Nasa's Terrestrial Planet Finder and the European Space Agency's Darwin telescopes are launched they could open a whole new treasure trove of planets - possibly including some like our own.
Dr Guillem Anglada-Escude of Queen Mary University London, who led the 30-strong astronomy team, said: "Succeeding in the search for the nearest terrestrial planet beyond the solar system has been an experience of a lifetime.
An additional way for a terrestrial planet to achieve high amounts of heating would be to cover in a very thick ice shell, similar to an extreme "snowball Earth." and it was also found that some planets could move into a safer orbit about 10 to 100 times faster than previously expected.

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