|any of the planets (Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and (formerly) Pluto) whose orbit lies outside that of the earth|
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.