What is the order of planets from the sun?

Why is it known as the “solar system”?

Numerous planetary systems in the cosmos are similar to ours, with planets orbiting a host star. Our system is called the solar system after our Sun, Sol, which is named from the Latin word for Sun, “solis”. Anything linked to the Sun is referred to as “solar.”

Where is the solar system and where does it end?

The solar system is located in the Milky Way Galaxy’s Orion-Cygnus Arm. 

The end of the solar system can be measured in two ways. According to the stopping point of the Sun’s gravitational attraction, the solar system would come to an end at the Oort Cloud. However, the end is the heliosphere if you measure by the edge of the Sun’s magnetic fields.

How did the solar system come to be?

Scientists have developed a number of ideas to explain how the solar system came to be. According to popular belief, the solar system emerged from a solar nebula in which the Sun was produced from a concentration of kinetic energy and heat at the centre, while debris rotating the nebula collided to form the planets.

What is the position of the planets from the sun?

The Sun is orbited by eight official planets which are held in place by the sun’s gravitational field. The planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are in the order of their distance from the Sun. 

However, this order of planets does not include the many dwarf planets. Ceres, the first dwarf planet, lies in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, whereas the remaining dwarf planets are in the outer Solar System and are Pluto, Haumea, Makemake, Eris, Sedna in order from the sun. 

Here is a summary of the distance of each planet from the sun along with some features of the planets:

BodyDiameter (km)Mass (kg)The average distance from the Sun (km)The time taken for one revolution around the sunOne day in Earth’s time
Mercury4,8803.3022 x 102357,910,00088 days59 days
Venus12,1044.8685 x 1024108,200,000225 days241 days
5.9736 x 1024  
149,600,000365 days24 hours
6.4185 x 1023  
227,940,000687 days25 hours
Jupiter142,9841.8986 x 1027778,330,00012 years9 hours
Saturn120,5365.6846 x 10261,429,400,00030 years11 hours
8.6810 x 1025  
2,870,990,00084 years18 hours
Neptune49,53210.243 x 10254,504,000,000165 years19 hours

Why isn’t Pluto a planet?

Pluto’s classification was reduced to that of a dwarf planet by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) because it did not match the three criteria used by the IAU to identify a full-sized planet. Pluto, fits all of the requirements save one: it “has not cleared its adjacent neighbourhood of other objects.”

What are some techniques you can use to memorise the order of the planets from the sun?

A mnemonic device is the most common method for remembering the order of the planets. The first letter of each planet is used as the first letter of each word in a sentence. Experts claim that the sillier the statement, the simpler it is to recall.

Some examples include:

  • My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Noodles 
  • Many Very Educated Men Just Screwed Up Nature
  • My Very Efficient Memory Just Summed Up Nine
  • Very Elderly Men Just Snooze Under Newspapers
  • My Violent Evil Monster Just Scared Us Nuts

If you want to include the dwarf planets in your list, use the following mnemonic:

My Very Educated Mother Could Only Serve Us Noodles, Pie, Ham, Muffins, Eggs and Steak.

You may also remember the planets according to their size, that is Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Earth, Venus, Mars and finally, Mercury. Use the following mnemonics:

  • Jack Sailed Under Neath Every Metal Moorin
  • Just Sit Up Now Each Monday Morning

In what other ways can you remember the planets in the solar system?

Rhymes are also a popular technique, although they require memorizing more words. Here is a rhyme that you can learn to help remember the order of the planets from the sun. 

“Amazing Mercury is closest to the Sun,

Hot, hot Venus is the second one,

Earth comes third: it’s not too hot,

Freezing Mars awaits an astronaut,

Jupiter is bigger than all the rest,

Sixth comes Saturn, its rings look best,

Uranus sideways falls and along with Neptune, they are big gas balls.”

If phrases, rhymes, and melodies don’t work, you may be a visual learner. Draw a depiction of the planets in their proper arrangement. You don’t have to be a great artist to make this, simply draw different circles for each planet and identify them. Also, remember to use different colours for each planet as colour-coding can enhance your memory. For example, use red for Mars and blue for Uranus. To avoid confusion, use colours that are significantly distinct from one another.

Alternatively, you might use Solar System flashcards or just photos of the planets written on a page. This works well since you are memorising not just the names of the planets but also their appearance. 

You may also be a hands-on learner. If that’s the case, try making a three-dimensional model of the Solar System. To make your model, you may use affordable Styrofoam balls from your local craft store, or you can embellish paper lanterns. Here are some ideas for creating a 3-D Solar System Model.

How to teach the order of the planets from the sun to young children?

If you need a group activity to help a class of youngsters to memorise the order of the planets, hold a contest to see who can come up with the dumbest statement to recall the planets. 

Alternatively, you may also have eight students serve as planets while the rest of the class tries to arrange them in order. 

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