Planet

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A planet is a astronomical body that is in orbit around a star, has sufficient mass for its own gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a nearly round shape, and has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit [1].

The phrase "cleared the neighborhood around its orbit" refers to a body "sweeping out" the area around its orbit as it forms, by causing all other smaller bodies in its orbit to accrete with it. As a consequence it does not then share its orbital region with any other bodies of significant size, except for satellites or those collected later under its gravitational influence.

References

  1. http://www.iau.org/iau0603.414.0.html