Here’s how to remember planets

New T-shirt designAt the risk of developing a Pluto fixation, it does seem to me that part of the fall-out of the International Astronomical Union’s ruling is that we need a new mnemonic to help beginners remember the order of the planets.

Of course, their order has not actually changed. It is simply that Pluto has been dropped. But that is enough to render the old aides memoires useless.

My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas seems to have been a favourite for remembering Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.

I’ve already heard My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Noodles suggested as a replacement. But that seems a bit of a cop-out to me.

So in tribute to those masters of the universe the IAU, who created the new order, I have my own suggestion: Many Very Eccentric Men Just Sacked Unwanted Nonentity. (And apologies to any women who were in on the vote).

Of course, I just had to stick it on a T-shirt.

Paul Sutherland

Paul Sutherland

I have been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. I write regularly for science magazines including BBC Sky at Night magazine, BBC Focus, Astronomy Now and Popular Astronomy. I have also authored three books on astronomy and contributed to others.
Paul Sutherland

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Paul Sutherland

I have been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. I write regularly for science magazines including BBC Sky at Night magazine, BBC Focus, Astronomy Now and Popular Astronomy. I have also authored three books on astronomy and contributed to others.

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