Orbital Radius vs. Planetary Radius

Earth is the third most distant planet from the sun.
••• Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Our solar system is home to eight planets, but thus far only Earth is thought to harbor life. There are a number of parameters that define a planet and its relationship towards the sun. These parameters affect a planet's potential to support life. Examples of these parameters include the planetary radius and the orbital radius around the sun.

Orbital Radius and Planetary Radius

A planet's orbital radius is its average distance from the sun. This is one of the most important parameters in determining the potential for life to exist on a planet, since it plays a major part in determining planetary temperature. The planetary radius is the distance between a planet's center and its surface. Therefore, planetary radius is a measure of a planet's size.

Related Articles

How to Measure the Density of a Planet
How Does the Sun Affect an Ecosystem?
What Astronomical Instrument Measures the Brightness...
What Is the Shape of Earth's Orbit?
What is Earth's Position in the Solar System?
What Is the Distance From the Sun to Mercury?
Characteristics of a Star
How to Measure the Density of a Planet
How to Compare Earth to Neptune
How Does the Earth's Revolution Affect Its Seasons?
Which Planet Moves the Slowest Along Its Orbital Path?
Facts About Neptune for a School Project
What Do the Larger Planets Have in Common?
How to Calculate a Temperature Range
Relationship Between Gravity & the Mass of the Planets...
How to Calculate Statistical Mean
How to Find the Volume of a Sphere in Terms of Pi
What Are the Four Planets Closest to the Sun Called?
How to Calculate a Planet's Revolution Around the Sun
Which Planet Has the Smallest Variation of Orbital...