How to Remember the Order of the Planets

Learning the order of the planets is actually very easy. The best way to remember the order of the planets is to use a mnemonic, which is a simple phrase that triggers a memory.

The Planets' Order
The order of the planets begins with the planet closest to the sun, which is Mercury, then extends away from the sun. In order, the planets are Mercury Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

There are lots of simple mnemonics to help you remember this order. Here are a few examples:

  •     My Very Easy Method: Just Set Up Nine 
  •     My Very Excellent Mother Just Sent Us Noodles
  •     More Viewers Expect Malfunction Janet Says, Uh… No

In each of these mnemonics, the first letter of each word in the phrase corresponds to the first letter of each planet, in order. If you don't like these mnemonics, you can create your own. Just remember that the first letter of each word needs to be M, V, E, M, J, S, U and N, in that order.

What About Pluto?
The solar system used to consist of nine planets. In 2006, the International Astronomical Union defined three conditions that a celestial body must meet to be considered a planet:

  1. It must orbit a sun.
  2. It must have enough gravity and mass to maintain a spherical shape.
  3. It must be the largest object, by mass, in its orbit.

Pluto failed to meet the third condition, which astronomers refer to as "clearing the neighborhood." Pluto's mass is quite small, and there are other objects in its orbit with a large mass, meaning that Pluto doesn't have enough gravitational pull to keep its orbit clear of large objects.

The solar system contains other bodies, many that are between the planets. There is a belt of asteroids between Mars and Jupiter. Asteroids are chunks of debris that are made from rock and metal. There are also comets, which are fast-moving balls of ice that can take thousands of years to orbit the sun.

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