superior planet

[ suh-peer-ee-er plan-it ]
/ səˈpɪər i ər ˈplæn ɪt /
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noun Astronomy.
(relative to Earth) any of the five planets whose orbits are farther from the sun, namely, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune: before its reclassification as a dwarf planet in 2006, Pluto was included among the superior planets.
(relative to a given planet) any planet whose orbit is farther from the sun: If you lived on Mercury, you would consider Venus a superior planet.
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Origin of superior planet

First recorded in 1575–85
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use superior planet in a sentence

  • The smaller arcs represent the orbits of the superior planet, Mars, and the earth around the sun, S.

  • A superior planet will be at its greatest distance from us when on the far side of the sun.

    Astronomy of To-day|Cecil G. Dolmage
  • Neptune, of course, would be visible and be the only superior planet.

  • To begin with, it should be quite evident that we cannot ever have a transit of a superior planet.

    Astronomy of To-day|Cecil G. Dolmage

British Dictionary definitions for superior planet

superior planet

any of the planets (Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and (formerly) Pluto) whose orbit lies outside that of the earth
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Scientific definitions for superior planet

superior planet

Any of the planets Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, whose orbits lie beyond that of Earth. Because these planets never come between the Earth and Sun, they do not exhibit crescent phases, only full and gibbous. Unlike the inferior planets Mercury and Venus, superior planets rise in the east and set in the west in the normal pattern of celestial objects. Compare inferior planet. See also inner planet.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.