Difference Between Planet and Satellite

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : May 11, 2022, 4:34

Planets and satellites are two of the most well-known and vital astronomical bodies. Although both the planets and satellites resemble one another in their appearances, in reality, there is numerous Difference Between Planet and Satellite.

For the uninitiated, planets are celestial bodies that revolve in a given orbit around a star. For example, the planets - including Earth - revolve in their respective orbits around the Sun in the solar system. The star is generally not massive enough to cause any thermonuclear reaction.

On the other hand, a satellite is a celestial body that revolves around another object, mostly a planet. There can be natural as well as artificial satellites.

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Key Difference Between Planet and Satellite

There are numerous differences that distinguish a planet from a satellite. The Major Difference Between Planet and Satellite is that while all planets are natural celestial bodies, satellites can be natural as well as man-made or artificial. Please go through the table to understand more Difference Between Planet and Satellite:

Sl NoPlanetsSatellites
1Any celestial body that does not have a light of its own and orbits around a star is known as a planet.Satellites are celestial bodies that orbit around a planet or any other celestial body with a relatively higher mass. Satellites can be artificial or natural.
2A planet is generally tilted at an axial angle to the plane of the star's equators so that each of the planet's hemispheres is in a position to receive optimal light from the star at various points of its rotation.Satellites generally revolve around the planet in uninclined orbits. In fact, they are thought to be formed due to a collision between two astronomical bodies.
3The Greek word "planan" is regarded to be the source of the word "planet". The Greek word means "to wander".The Latin word "satelles" is regarded to be the source of the word "satellites." The Latin word means "to attend to" or "to follow."
4All planets rotate through an imaginary axis that divides the earth longitudinally into two halves. This rotation causes day and night.The natural satellites do not rotate. They have fixed centres and only revolve around the planets.
5Planets are generally huge in size, which causes the gravitational force to dominate over the electromagnetic force. The hydrostatic equilibrium on the earth's surface is resultant of this.Since the mass of satellites is always lower than their parent planet, they generally are dependent on the planet's gravitational force to orbit around it.
6Some of the planets in the solar system are Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars, among others.Some examples of natural satellites are Moon (orbiting around the Earth) and Europa (orbiting around Jupiter). A planet may also have more than one satellite.

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Although planets and satellites are both studied as a part of astrophysics, they are entirely different terms with innumerable Difference Between Planet and Satellite. A major difference between them is that while planets have the power to rotate on their axis as well as revolve around the star, satellites only revolve in their orbits. This is why one appears to see the same side of the moon throughout.

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FAQs on Difference Between Planet and Satellite

Q.1. What is the major Difference Between Planet and Satellite?

The Major Difference Between Planet and Satellite is that while planets have the power to rotate on their axis as well as revolve around the star, satellites only revolve in their orbits.

Q.2. What is the Difference Between Planet and Satellite in terms of their being?

The Key Difference Between Planet and Satellite in terms of their being is that while planets can only be natural celestial objects, satellites can be both natural as well as artificial.

Q.3. What is the Difference Between Planet and Satellite in terms of their etymology?

The Difference Between Planet and Satellite in terms of their etymology is that while the word planet is derived from the Greek word "planen," which means "to wander," the word satellite is derived from the Latin word "satelles," which means "to follow."

Q.4. Give some examples of planets and satellites to establish the Difference Between Planet and Satellite.

Some examples to establish the Difference Between Planet and Satellite are Earth, Jupiter, Saturn (in the case of planets), and Moon and Saturn's satellite Titan (in the case of satellites).