Planetary Science

# Orbital speed is the speed with which a planet moves around the Sun This speed is determined by?

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###### 2013-09-26 09:39:15

The mass of the Sun and the distance between the planet and Sun.

As the Sun's mass is (more or less) constant, all we need to know is the distance. Technically this is called the "semi major axis" of the elliptical orbit.

(If you wanted to be really, really accurate the mass of the planet does have a

very very small effect.)

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## Related Questions

Mercury, because the closer the planet, the faster it moves.

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The Sun doesn't move fast, but if you mean which planet moves fast around the sun then it would be Mercury, because it is closer.

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A planet is slowest when farthest from the Sun. A planet moves fastest when closest to the Sun

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the planet moves around the orbit because it is heavy and strong enough to pull its self in a circle around the sun. Thanks!:)

The outer planets are usually defined as Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. The innermost of those, Jupiter, moves around the sun the fastest. The speed of planet is a function the size of its orbit only -- mass doesn't matter, as figured out by Kepler about 500 years ago. Thus Mercury, the innermost of all planets, has the greatest orbital speed (87.96 Earth days for an orbit), and Neptune the slowest (164.81 Earth years). If you want to include Pluto, then it has the greatest orbital period (247.7 earth years)

These are called satellites (which include rings and moons).

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