The Pluto Files

Can You Remember The Planets?

For decades, schoolkids have memorized the names of nine planets, and their sequence from the sun, with the help of this mnemonic:

My Very Educated Mother Just Sent Us Nine Pizzas

Now, the International Astronomical Union has reclassified Pluto as a dwarf planet. So what's a grade school teacher to do? Hold the pizzas?

We challenge you to come up with a mnemonic appropriate for this new era of planetary science, and we'll let you decide whether to stick to the eight official planets or fold in the dwarf planets as well (Ceres, Pluto, Haumea, Makemake, and Eris—five and counting).

Share your mnemonic

Some NOVA staff favorites to date:

  • My! Very educated morons just screwed up numerous planetaria.
  • My Very Educated Mother Just Showed Us Neptune
  • My Very Experienced Mail Carrier Just Stopped Using Normal Petroleum, He Motors Electrically!

Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert, for one, is outraged that the old tricks for remembering planet names won't work anymore.

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© | Created February 2010