Zodiacal Motion: Inner Planets

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  1. How are planets distinguished from fixed stars?
    1. Wandering motion
    2. Rising points on the horizon
    3. Brightness
  2. Which constellations, for the most part, contain the planets?
  3. List the two inner planets.
    1.  
    2.  
  4. How bright can Venus appear?
  5. Record the bounded elongation of...
    1. Mercury: _______°
    2. Venus: _______°
  6. Are Mercury and Venus ever visible at midnight?
  7. Define conjunction.
    1. Why is a planet invisible during its conjunction with the sun?
    2. How many conjunctions do Venus and Mercury pass through during a single synodic cycle?
    3. Record the length of Mercury's synodic cycle, from one conjunction to the next moving in the same direction: _______ days
  8. Compare the sidereal (zodiacal) period of the Sun with the average sidereal period of the two inner planets. Are they related?

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