Remember the Order of the Planets in Our Solar System
Memorizing the names of all the planets around our sun can be done easily with practice, and without having to learn anything else about them. Using mnemonic devices, repetition and visual imagery, you can quickly memorize the planets and impress people with how easily you can recite their names.
- Make up a silly sentence. A mnemonic device is a trick that you can use to help you remember something.
Use acrostics, or silly sentences, which start with the first initial of each planet name, to help you remember the order, starting with Mercury and ending with Neptune (Pluto has been changed to a 'dwarf planet' so it doesn't count as an actual planet) (or just until Neptune, if that’s all you need to learn). Some examples are:
- My Very Easy Method Just Speeds Up Names
- My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine
- My Very Educated Mother Just Showed Us Nine
- My Very Elderly Mother Just Sat on Uncle Ned
- Mom Visits Every Monday, Just Stays Until Noon
- My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Noodles
- Sing a song. Setting the names of the planets to a song may help you remember the order. There are a number of songs that help you recall a basic fact about each planet and help you remember their order. One example is “Planets Song,” which can be downloaded as an audio file from Amazon or iTunes
- Search online for other examples, downloadable music files and videos of other planet songs.
- Make up an acronym. An acronym is made up of the first initial of each planet’s name. For the planets, an acronym would be: MVEMJSUN. This may be hard to remember until you make the acronym sound like a word by adding necessary vowels here and there. The acronym might sound like “Move-em-jason” if it were spoken out loud.
- Listen to an audio recording of yourself saying the planets. Many people are auditory learners, meaning that they retain information better when they hear it spoken out loud. Make an audio recording of yourself speaking the planets in order. Repeat it several times in the recording. Listen to this recording over and over.
- Write down the planet names. For some people, it helps to write down information in order to lock it into their memories. Writing down the planet names in order over and over can be a useful way to remember the order.
- It might help to use a different color marker to write each planet’s name. It might help you remember the names if they are associated with a particular color, especially if the colors are in rainbow order (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple).
- Say the names in a chant. Saying the names in order over and over is another way to use repetition to remember the order. Chants are usually easier to remember when they are just a few words, and they do get more difficult when you have 8 or 9 planet names. But for some people, this is still an effective memorization method.
- Assign each number a rhyming object. Memory pegs are things that information hooks onto inside your brain. Use this method to associate images with the things you need to memorize.
Each number will be given a word that represents an object.
- For example, 1 will be given “bun,” 2 will be given “shoe,” 3 will be given “tree,” and so on.
- This method is particularly useful for a visual learner.
- Associate an image with the numbers’ words. For each of the words assigned to each number, imagine that object. Imagine a shoe for the number 2. Have a clear image in your mind and always think of the same type of shoe for this number.
- Assign planets to each number. Give each planet a number in the order that they need to be memorized. Mercury will be 1, Venus will be 2, Earth will be 3, and so on.
- Associate your image with the planet. Connect your number image (1-bun, 2-shoe, etc.) with your planet name. For example, connect Mercury and bun (1) by imagining a hamburger bun with a thermometer sticking out of it.
- Review your image sets in your mind. Go through each image set and link the images together. Go systematically, reviewing them one by one. Give yourself a written test to see how well you remember the image sets. Continue to work on linking the images together.
- Use the journey method. The journey method involves you mentally moving yourself through a location such as a house. Imagine a large house and assign each planet to a different room. Associate an image with each planet and give them a reason for being in a given room. Mentally visualize going through the rooms in the right order, visiting each planet along the way.
- Link the names together in a story. The linking method of memorization involves taking the names of the planets and working them into a story that will help you remember the proper order.
One such story is this:
- “Imagine the hot sun. What do you see coming out of the sun? A tube that contains MERCURY of course. Who gets covered by the Mercury as it falls? The goddess VENUS. What does Venus do to escape from the burning metal? She digs a hole and builds up a pile of EARTH. Who gets upset by the noise made by digging the hole? The little red faced man (MARS is known as the red planet) eating a MARS bar. When he throws the MARS bar, who does it hit? It hits JUPITER the king of the gods. What has Jupiter got on his T-shirt? The letters S, U and N which stand for SATURN, URANUS and NEPTUNE. Who is the little dog following the chap wearing the T-shirt? The little dog looks just like PLUTO.”
- Teach the planet order to someone else. When you have to teach information to someone else, you need to know the information pretty well yourself. This can help you with memorization.
- If you can’t get someone to help you, speak to yourself in a mirror as though you are teaching your reflection.
- Give yourself a test. See how well you perform by testing yourself as you study the planet names. Try to write down from memory all the planet names. See which ones you get right, which ones are wrong, and which you’ve forgotten altogether. After you study some more, test yourself again.
- Have someone quiz you. Ask a friend or family member to help you study. Recite the names of the planets to them, and they can give you prompts in order to remember.
- Pluto is now considered a dwarf planet and not one of the major planets. Depending on what you’re being tested on or what knowledge you’d like to demonstrate, you may still want to include Pluto in your list of planets.
- My Very Excellent Mom Just Served Us Noodles, use this order to remember the planets.
- List them in order. Closest to the sun, all the way to the farthest.
- My Very Expensive Mother Just Sat Under Neptune.
- A good rhyme to help you remember is; My Very Enthusiastic Mother Just Served Us Noodles!
- There is another Planet song that goes; "Mercury and Venus, Earth and Mars. Look at all the planets in amongst the stars. Jupiter and Saturn, Uranus too. Neptune is eight but there's one more for you! Look at all the planets, look very far, and you will see (you might just see) Pluto!"
- Another acronym that you could use is; My Very Energetic Mother Just Served Us Nachos
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