Planets in Order: Navigating the Solar System's Harmony

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Our Amazing Solar System

We are spiralling through space, discovering new facts about it daily. And if astronomy captivates you, what better than knowing about our solar system in greater depth? Our solar system offers many captivating details, too. So, if you intend to find out about the planets in order, their axis, and rotation period, you have come to the right place!

order of planets from sun

Name of the 8 Planets in Order and Planets in Order of Size

You would be surprised to know that our galaxy has more planets than stars. 

The order of the planets from the Sun are:

  • Mercury
  • Venus
  • Mars
  • Jupiter
  • Saturn
  • Uranus
  • Neptune

And if you think remembering the order of the planets from the sun is a difficult task, then check out the order of planets rhyme and mnemonics. 

  • My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Noodles/ Nachos

  • Mercury’s Volcanoes Erupt Mulberry Jam Sandwiches Until Night.

  • Very Elderly Men Just Snore Under Newspapers.

  • My Very Efficient Memory Just Summed Up Nine.

  • My Very Easy Method Just Speeds Up Names.

Planets in Order of their Size

But when it comes to their sizes, the planets do not follow the same order of the planets from the sun. For example, Jupiter is the most giant planet, whereas Mercury is the smallest one.

The order of planets of the solar system, based on their size from the smallest to the biggest, is:

Name of the Planet

Size

Mercury

1516 mi (2440 km) radius

Mars

2106 mi (3390 km) radius

Venus

3760 mi ( 6052 km) radius

Earth

3959 mi (6371 km) radius

Neptune

15,299 mi (24,622 km) radius

Uranus

15,759 mi (25,362 km) radius

Saturn

36,184 mi (58,232 km) radius

Jupiter

43,441 mi (69,911 km) radius

Types of Planets in the Solar System

  • In the order of the planets from the sun, we first have the inner terrestrial planets, Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars, which are rocky planets, which means they consist of rocks.

  • Jupiter and Saturn are gas giants. It means they do not have much rocky surface or ice. They mainly comprise helium and/or oxygen and have moving gases over a solid core. It has been discovered that their mantles are large and made of metallic hydrogen.

  • The planets of Uranus and Neptune are referred to as ice giants. They vary in composition from Jupiter to Saturn. They have thin outer shells of hydrogen and helium and heavier elements: oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, and sulphur. Beneath their shells, these planets’ mantles comprise compressed, slushy water and ammonia.

  • You may have come across someone asking, ‘What is the order of the nine planets?’ Do not get confused. Besides the 8 planets, we also have ‘dwarf planets.’ International Astronomical Union | IAU defined them as celestial bodies other than a natural satellite (moon) that orbits the Sun and is smaller than the planet Mercury yet large enough for its gravity to have rounded its shape substantially. Also, it has not yet “cleared the neighbourhood” around its orbit.

  • Pluto could not meet the last standard and thus was downgraded from a planet to a dwarf planet.

Astronomers have found the following dwarf planets in the solar system:

  • Pluto
  • Eris
  • Haumea
  • Makemake
  • Ceres

Planets with the most Moons

Like the planets, moons are our natural satellites and come in different shapes and sizes. They have a solid body, and some even have atmospheres!

Astronomers believe that moons were formed in the early phase of the solar system formation, from the discs of gas and dust floating around the planets.

You might find it hard to believe, but our solar system has hundreds of moons. In addition, some asteroids have also been found to have moons.

The order of planets from the sun based on the number of moons is:

Name of the Planet

Number of Moons

Mercury

0

Venus

0

Earth

1

Mars

2

Jupiter

53

Saturn

53

Uranus

27

Neptune

14

How do Planets form?

  • How did we get here? How were the planets born? Astronomers have tried to answer these questions. 

  • Our origin story began when the Sun and the present planets formed 4.6 billion years ago from a solar nebula. 

  • The solar nebula was a cloud of gas and dust. Due to a shockwave from a nearby supernova explosion, the collapse of the solar nebula may have begun. 

  • The Sun formed in the centre, and the planets were included in a thin disk orbiting around it. Similarly, moons were formed, orbiting the gas giant planets.

  • After the Sun ignited, a robust solar wind cleared the system of gas and dust. Today’s asteroids are the rocky debris that remained in the solar system’s evolution process. 

  • The current order of planets in the solar system was formed over millions of years.

The Order of the Planets of the Solar System Based on their Mass (from heaviest to lightest)

An object’s weight depends on its mass and how strongly gravity pulls on it. It means an object can weigh different amounts on different planets. That’s why the mass is considered—how much matter the object contains.

Name of the Planet

Mass (kg)

Jupiter

1.8986 x 1027

Saturn

5.6846 x 1026

Neptune

10.243 x 1025

Uranus

8.6810 x 1025

Earth

5.9736 x 1024

Venus

4.8685 x 1024

Mars

6.4185 x 1023

Mercury

3.3022 x 1023

The mass of the Sun is 1.9891 x 1030

The Planets of Our Solar System in Order of Rotation Period Around their Axis (from shortest to longest)

We, earthlings, consider a day to be 24 hours, the time the Earth takes to rotate once on its axis. But what about the other planets? How do we gauge their rotation? How long would the day be on those planets?

The best way to get the idea is to put their rotation period in Earth days and hours. The order of planets of the solar system based on their rotation periods is:

Name of the Planet

Rotation Period

Speed

Mercury

58 days 16 hours

10.83km/h

Venus

243 days 26 minutes

6.52km/h

Earth

23 hours 56 minutes

1574km/h

Mars

24 hours 36 minutes

866km/h

Jupiter

9 hours 55 minutes

45,583km/h

Saturn

10 hours 33 minutes

36,840km/h

Uranus

17 hours 14 minutes

14,794 km/h

Neptune

16 hours

9,719 km/h

 

Conclusion

Nothing can beat the feeling of gazing into a sky filled with stars and knowing that a couple of those shining bodies can be planets, too. Astronomy is a fascinating subject, and a strong base in Science can help you have a successful career in Astronomy. If you wish to study more about the space in the university and look for classes that will make you a science enthusiast.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The right way to remember the planets in order is to make a funny sentence, a mnemonic, or the order of planets rhyme.

It would help you recall quickly and effectively.

There are many already made, and we have some interesting ones for you:

  • My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Noodles/ Nachos
  • Mercury’s Volcanoes Erupt Mulberry Jam Sandwiches Until Night.
  • Very Elderly Men Just Snore Under Newspapers.
  • My Very Efficient Memory Just Summed Up Nine.
  • My Very Easy Method Just Speeds Up Names.

Pluto was ‘plutoed’ in 2006 by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). It reconsidered the definition of a planet and declared that to be considered a planet, a celestial body has to meet the following criteria:

  • It must be a celestial body other than a natural satellite (moon) that orbits the Sun.

  • It is smaller than the planet Mercury yet large enough for gravity to have rounded its shape substantially.

  • It has “cleared the neighbourhood” around its orbit.

  • Pluto could not meet the last standard and thus got downgraded from a planet to a dwarf planet.

Surprise, surprise. It is Venus, not Mercury. Sure, Mercury is closer to the Sun, but Venus has a thick atmosphere full of greenhouse gasses, carbon dioxide, and sulfuric acid clouds. Such an atmosphere traps heat, making it feel like a furnace on the surface.

More dwarf planets have been discovered beyond Pluto. These include Eris, Haumea, Sedna, Orcus, Quaoar, Varuna, and Makemake.

Mercury holds that title. In addition to being the closest to the Sun, it is the smallest planet, only a bit larger than Earth’s moon.

The coldest planet in our solar system is, of course, Uranus. It is about 20 times further away from the Sun than the Earth. The lowest temperature recorded on Uranus was minus 224 degrees Celsius. Even though Neptune is further away from the Sun, scientists believe that because there is more methane in Neptune’s atmosphere than in Uranus’s, Neptune tends to be warmer than Uranus.

Venus is often called “Earth’s twin” because it is similar in size and structure. But that is where the similarities end. Venus, not Mercury, is the hottest planet in the solar system. It is because Venus has a dense and toxic atmosphere.

Our solar system has many mysteries. There has been evidence that a Neptune-sized planet orbits the Sun in an elongated orbit beyond Pluto. The researchers have nicknamed it Planet Nine.

Astronomers have found another planet that is the next star system. “Proxima d” is the third planet seen orbiting Proxima Centauri.

Venus shines in the skies early in the morning or in the evenings. It is because the second planet from the Sun is also the brightest.

Don’t let the red colour fool you! Mars is a pretty ‘cool’ planet. Since its atmosphere is relatively thin, the Sun’s heat escapes, leaving the planet cold.

There is no ‘twelfth planet’ in the order of the planets from the sun. At least not yet. The conjecture of a twelfth planet began in 1976 when Zecharia Sitchin wrote “The Twelfth Planet.” The book had his translation of Sumerian cuneiform to identify a planet, Nibiru, orbiting the Sun every 3,600 years. Many believed that it would appear and collide with Earth. But that never happened! There is no scientific fact to prove that Nibiru exists.

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