If you are looking to learn about the Solar System, then the 9 planets are something that you are going to want to remember. But what order are they in and what is the best way to recall them? That is the purpose of this article. By the end you’ll have an easy way to impress that will help you to impress your family and friends.
So, how do you remember the order of the planets? The best way to remember the planets and their order is by using a memory technique. The best techniques for the planets are the acronym learning technique, acrostics, using stories, a technique known as the method of loci or through association. Either way, we tend to remember things that interest us in some way, are memorable, or are amusing or silly.
Let us know explore the planets and their order before looking at each of these four recognized learning techniques and how you can use them to remember the planets effortlessly.
What Is The Order Of The Planets?
The Solar System consists of 8 (9) planets which you are going to want to remember.
In that order.
Pluto was up until very recently considered to be a planet and the farthest one away from the sun. However, its status has changed and it is now considered in astronomy to be a dwarf planet. It is not alone. There are other dwarf planets that have been discovered even further away from the sun.
In that order.
Now, just looking at those nine planets, you may be able to look away and remember them in the short term. Maybe for 5 minutes, maybe for an hour. Chances are however, if you was to start doing other things or let a few days go by you’ll struggle to remember them.
How To Remember The Order Of The Planets – The Best 4 Methods
There are four distinct memory techniques that can be used to great effect with the planets (or any other subject in astronomy/learning in general) for that matter.
Let us know take a look at each one.
Method #1 – Acroynm Technique
Acronyms are words that are created using the first letter of each word that you want to remember.
Each letter therefore serves as a planet that you will need to remember.
So, to create the acronym for the planets, we just need to take the first letter of the planets from the list documented above:
So in your head you can remember the word as ‘mevumjesun’.
The difficulty with the acronym technique here however is that there are two planets with the letter than begins with ‘M’. You will therefore need to remember the distinction for the acronym technique to truly work.
Method #2 – Acrostics Technique
Acrostics is a fancy word to explain how you can use a funny sentence or sequence of letters to remember something. It in many ways follows on from the acronym method above, but isntead of remembering just the first letter, you swap it out for another memorable word entirely.
You can literally make up any memorable sentence you like with this method.
However here are some examples that are most commonly used for the planets:
- My-Very-Excellent-Mother-Just-Served-Us-Noodles (or Nachos)
- Many-Very-Energentic-Martians-Jump-Straight-Under-Nine-Planets. (If you are including Pluto)
The beauty of this technique is because as you can make the sentence silly, its very easy yo remember.
Additionally, just like with the second example, you can substitute in some of the planets into the sentence to help you differentiate. Like the order of Mercury vs Mars.
Method #3 – Story Technique
With the story method you will need to think of a story where a particular word/character/event gives you clues on the planet you need to recall.
You would need to create a certain chain of events, so that the next planet is triggered by a word in the story.
So with the planets you could create a story that involved a Mountain Goat on a Volcano that is Erupting Magma that then falls on a Jellyfish in the Sea Until it Naps.
That’s just an example, you can literally use any story that works for you. However, be sure to make it sound rather silly as this will help you to retain it.
Method #4 – Method of Loci Technique
The Method of Loci is a specific kind of visualization (or mental walk) to help you remember something. Its commonly used by Kinesthetic learners but is helpful for a lot of people who give it a try.
With this method you are essentially visually organizing information in your mind by imaging a specific place.
So, you would begin by imagining a place that is very familiar to you, like your home.
You will need to have a specific path and you will need to mentally visualize items within the environment. These items can either be there already or made up.
So for your home, you could imagine yourself walking through the front door and placing your Mercury car keys onto the table. You then turn and find a Venus razor on the floor (and so on and so forth).
Method #5 – Association Technique
Association can be a great way to remember the planets. Here, you are essentially associating the planets with things you already know.
If you do this with images, you will find the information easier to retain. Additionally, if you are able to clearly organize the information, that will make this technique more effective too.
You can associate with people, places, events or situations.
So for example you could imagine a movie scene where every character/ item of scenery etc is a associated with a planet.
Or alternatively, you could create a list of actors where each one references a planet.
- Village People,
- Elton John,
- Mariah Carey,
- James Brown,
- Spice Girls,
This way you can even imagine them all within a room together and pair this technique with the Method of Loci above.
Remembering the eight planets is relatively straight forward when you have some techniques to use.
Thankfully there are a range of techniques that are beneficial and suitable for different types of learners. You can also mix and match the strategies and combine them together to make them even more effective.
Try them all out and see how you get on.
Just remember, make them silly and memorable and you’ll have them in your long term memory in no time!
Hey, my name is Jeremy. I’m a passionate and seasoned astronomer who loves nothing more than observing the night sky. I also love researching, learning, and writing all things Space and the Universe. I created Astronomy Scope to share my knowledge, experience, suggestions, and recommendations of what I have learned along the way while helping anyone to get into and maximize their enjoyment of the hobby.