What Are Some Sayings to Memorize the Planets?

Written by sarah tuttle
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What Are Some Sayings to Memorize the Planets?
This image groups the four terrestrial planets and the four gas giants, while leaving dwarf planet Pluto floating by itself in the upper right-hand corner. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

NASA acknowledges nine planets in the solar system. However, this was not always the case. For a few years in the early 21st century, scientists could not decide if Pluto was a planet. In 2006, the International Astronomical Union officially gave Pluto the label of "dwarf planet." As a result, students today have to memorise a list of nine planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.

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Memorising All Nine Planets

Mnemonic devices to memorise the planets use the first letter of each planet as the first letter of each word in a silly sentence. Sayings to memorise all nine planets generally start with the planet closest to the sun and move in order toward the planet farthest from the sun. For example, "My very educated mother just sent us nine pizzas" helps students remember that the order of planets in the solar system goes: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto.

Memorising Terrestrial Planets

Of the nine planets, only the first four are labelled as terrestrial planets. According to NASA, terrestrial planets are planets with rock surfaces. The terrestrial planets are also the four planets between the asteroid belt and the sun. The saying "Many volcanoes erupt magma" not only gives the order of the four terrestrial planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars), but also evokes the idea of magma, or molten rock, to help students remember that terrestrial planets are rocky.

Gas Giants

Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are the four gas giants of the solar system. Gas giants are so named because they are much larger than terrestrial planets, and they are composed almost entirely of gas. "Jenny said 'Up now!'" is a saying that gives the first letters of the four gas giants. The word "up" will hopefully remind students of gas, as gas often rises.

Pluto the Dwarf Planet

Pluto is the only dwarf planet in the solar system. It is also the planet farthest from the sun. One word is not enough to create a mnemonic device. However, there are short sayings to help students remember what makes Pluto unique. One such saying is "Peter Small lives far away." This sentence uses the letter "P" for Pluto, and references both Pluto's small size and distance from the sun.

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