Orbital Period

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The planets' orbits[1]

The orbital period is the time required by a celestial body to complete a full 360° circle, relative to a point of reference.

The point of reference can, for example, be

  • the apparent position of the Sun (Synodic period)
  • the vernal equinox (Tropical period)
  • the nodes of an orbit (Draconitic period)
  • the pericenter of an orbit (Anomalistic period)
  • the Fixed Star background (Sidereal period)

The anomalistic periods of the important bodies in our solar system are:

Planet Time Notes
Moon 27.55 days sidereal: 27.32 days. synodic: 29.53 days
Mercury 87.97 days
Venus 224.70 days
Earth 365.256 days tropical: 365.242 days
Mars 686.98 days 1 year 322 days
Jupiter 11.869 years 11 years 317 days or 4334 days
Saturn 29.628 years 29 years 229 days
Uranus 84.665 years 84 years 243 days
Neptune 165.49 years 165 years 5-6 months
Pluto 247.7 years uncertain. between 247.5 and 248 years

See also


Notes and References

  1. Pluto's orbit is rather eccentric