Nnemonic to remember the order of the planets and dwarf planets -
My Very Exciting Magic Carpet Just Sailed Under Nine Palace Elephants
- a phrase to help people remember the order of the planets and dwarf planets
Sky High With Joy
More than 800 people entered National Geographic's contest to come up with a new phrase to help people remember the order of the planets. A new device was needed because Pluto has been reclassified as a dwarf planet, and Ceres and Eris (two other dwarf planets) have been added to the list.
The winner of the contest is 10-year-old Maryn Smith of Great Falls, Montana.
Maryn told KidsPost that it took her and her mom about 10 minutes -- that's less than one minute per planet! -- to think up the winning entry: M y V ery E xciting M agic C arpet J ust S ailed U nder N ine P alace E lephants.
The first letters of the 11 words represent, in order of their distance from the sun: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Eris.
Maryn said the first five words came to her fairly fast, "and the rest of it just went along with the Aladdin theme."
The other fourth-graders at Riverview Elementary voted Maryn's entry best in their class, and her teacher sent it in to the contest. When the principal announced over the loudspeaker that Maryn had won, "I was sort of embarrassed," she said. But she's getting used to the attention.
Maryn's name and winning entry appear in the National Geographic book "11 Planets: A New View of the Solar System," by David A. Aguilar. And singer Lisa Loeb is recording a song using the new memory device.
Plus, kids all over the country will now learn the order of the planets by repeating M aryn's V astly E ntertaining M emory C atchphrase.