Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Toss a Couple More Planets on the Mnemonic

With the dubious inclusion of two new dwarf planets to our solar system's classic starting lineup of nine, the mnemonic for remembering their names just got a whole lot cooler. The new planet order (according to National Geographic Children's Books) is Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and Eris. Ceres, Pluto, and Eris are considered dwarf planets, though they prefer to be called "little planets". And fourth-grader Maryn Smith has won a contest to come up with a new mnemonic for them: "My Very Exciting Magic Carpet Just Sailed Under Nine Palace Elephants". Sounds like a lost song from Sgt. Pepper, but I like it. In addition to being included in a new National Geographic book, the mnemonic will also be recorded as a song by pop sensation Lisa Loeb, who, despite widespread rumors, did not die in 1996. More details here.

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