What is Inferior Planet: How They Differ from Superior Planet


When we think of planets, we typically picture large, solid spheres floating in space. However, not all planets are created equal. In our solar system, there are two types of planets: inferior and superior. While superior planets are located farther from the sun, inferior planets are found closer to it. In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at inferior planets, examining their characteristics, how they differ from superior planets, and their place in our solar system.

What are Inferior Planets?

Inferior planets are planets that are located closer to the sun than the Earth. In our solar system, there are two inferior planets: Mercury and Venus. These planets orbit the sun on an inside track compared to Earth, which is why they are known as inferior planets.

Inferior planets are rocky, small, and don’t have any moons. They have a very short period of revolution, taking only a few days to orbit the sun. They also rotate on their axis slowly. Mercury has the slowest rotation of any planet in the solar system, taking 58.6 Earth days to complete one rotation. Venus, on the other hand, has a rotation that is retrograde, meaning it rotates in the opposite direction of most other planets. What is Inferior Conjunction: The Alignment of Planets with Sun?

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Characteristics of Inferior Planets

Inferior planets have several characteristics that make them unique. Here are some of the most notable features of these planets:

  • Small size: Inferior planets are typically small compared to superior planets like Jupiter and Saturn. They are rocky and have a solid surface, rather than being gaseous like some of the larger planets in our solar system.
  • Short orbital period: As previously mentioned, inferior planets have a short period of revolution. It takes Mercury just 88 Earth days to orbit the sun, while Venus takes 225 Earth days.
  • Lack of moons: Unlike many of the superior planets in our solar system, inferior planets do not have any moons orbiting them.
  • High temperatures: Because inferior planets are so close to the sun, they experience extreme temperatures. Venus, in particular, has a surface temperature that is hot enough to melt lead.

How Do Inferior Planets Differ from Superior Planets?

Inferior planets differ from superior planets in several ways. Here are some of the key differences between the two types of planets:

  • Location: Inferior planets are located closer to the sun than superior planets. Superior planets are located farther from the sun and include Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
  • Size: Inferior planets are typically smaller than superior planets, which can be many times the size of Earth.
  • Composition: Inferior planets are rocky and have a solid surface, while superior planets are typically gaseous and do not have a solid surface.
  • Orbital period: Inferior planets have a short period of revolution, while superior planets take much longer to orbit the sun.
  • Moons: Superior planets typically have many moons orbiting them, while inferior planets do not have any moons.
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Inferior planets may not be as well-known as their superior counterparts, but they play an important role in our solar system. From their small size to their short orbital periods, these planets have unique characteristics that set them apart from other celestial bodies. By understanding the differences between inferior and superior planets, we can gain a better understanding of our solar system and the many mysteries that lie within it.

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