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Table of Contents Enchanted Learning
All About Astronomy
Site Index
Our Solar System Stars Glossary Printables, Worksheets, and Activities
The Sun The Planets The Moon Asteroids Kuiper Belt Comets Meteors Astronomers

Astronomy Dictionary
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Click on an underlined word for more information on that subject.

ECCENTRICITY
Eccentricity is a measure of how an orbit deviates from circular. A perfectly circular orbit has an eccentricity of zero; higher numbers indicate more elliptical orbits.

Neptune, Venus, and Earth are the planets in our solar system with the least eccentric orbits. Pluto and Mercury are the planets in our solar system with the most eccentric orbits.
Eccentricity
Eccentricity = e = c/a

Orbital Eccentricity

PlanetOrbital EccentricityPerihelion
(Point in Orbit Closest to Sun)
measured in AU's
Aphelion
(Point in Orbit Farthest from Sun)
measured in AU's
Mercury0.2060.310.47
Venus0.0070.7180.728
Earth0.0170.981.02
Mars0.0931.381.67
Jupiter0.0484.955.45
Saturn0.0569.0210.0
Uranus0.04718.320.1
Neptune0.00930.030.3
Pluto0.24829.749.9


Astronomy Dictionary
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Click on an underlined word for more information on that subject.
If the astronomy term you are looking for is not in the dictionary, please e-mail us.




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