Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Planets from Stars
Name: Rai K.
Status: student
Age: 16
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2001-2002

How were the ancient Greeks able to distinguish the planets from the stars?

The planets move across the sky at different rates. The word planet means "wandering star".

---Nathan A. Unterman

= The moon and planets move against the background of stars. The stars move and return to their ariginal positions in about a year. The planets are much faster. The Greeks actually only saw the five brightest planets, which are closer to the Earth. These planets move quickly due to their proximity to the Earth.

Steve Sample

Click here to return to the Astronomy Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory