inferior-planet

inferior planet

noun Astronomy.
either of the two planets whose orbits are inside the orbit of the earth: Venus and Mercury.
Compare superior planet.
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World English Dictionary
inferior planet
 
n
either of the planets Mercury and Venus, whose orbits lie inside that of the earth

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
inferior planet  
Either of the planets Mercury or Venus, whose orbits lie between Earth and the Sun. Because these planets lie in the general direction of the Sun, they can only be seen a few hours before sunrise or after sunset and are always positioned relatively near the horizon, never overhead. Inferior planets go through a complete cycle of phases as viewed from Earth, although their full phase, which occurs on the far side of the Sun, is lost in its glare. Compare superior planet. See also inner planet.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
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