English astronomy mnemonics

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Here are some English mnemonics related to astronomy.

Planets of the solar system

Pluto was closer to the sun than Neptune from 1979 to 2000, and it is for 20 years every 248 years because of its elliptical orbit. Otherwise, the planets in order of distance from the sun are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto:

  • Making Vertical Eye Movements James Sits Under Naked People
  • Man Very Early Made Jars Stand Up Nearly Perpendicular
  • Many Velvet Elephants Munching Juicy Satsumas Under Nodding Palms
  • Many Verses Ease Memory Jogging Simply Using Nine Planets
  • Many Very Early Men Just Sat Under New Planets
  • Many Very Early Men Just Stayed Up Nights Planning (or Planting)
  • Many Vikings Enjoyed Making Jelly; Some Used Norse Plums
  • Many Visitors Eat Mulberry Jam Spread Upon New Potatoes
  • Many Voracious Earthlings May Jump Soon Upon New Planets
  • Mark's Violet Eyes Make Jane Sit Up Nights Pining
  • Men Very Early Made Journeys Seeking Unknown New Planets
  • Men Very Easily Make Jugs Serve Useful Nocturnal Purposes
  • Most of the Voters Earn Money Just by Showing Up Next to the Poll
    From an Isaac Asimov novel, Most of the Voters
  • Most Volcanoes Erupt Mulberry Jam Sandwiches Under Normal Pressure
  • Mount Vesuvius Erupted Most Joltingly Swallowing Up Nearby Pompeii
  • Mr V Easily Met June Saturday Until Nine PM
  • Mrs Venus Eats Many Juicy Sausages Under Ned's Plate
  • My Very Eager Mind Just Stored Up Nine Planets
  • My Very Eager Mother Just Scorched Uncle Ned's Pants
  • My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas
  • My Very Eager Mother Just Sewed Up Nine Pants
  • My Very Earnest Mother Just Served Us Nine Pickles
  • My Very Earnest Mother Just Sold Us Nine Puppies
  • My Very Easy Memory Jingle Seems Useful Naming Planets
  • My Very Easy Method Just Saves Us Naming Planets
  • My Very Easy Method: Just Set Up Nine Planets
  • My Very Easy Method Just Speeds Up Naming Planets
  • My Very Easy Mnemonic Just Summed Up Nine Planets
  • My Very Ecstatic Mother Just Sat Upon Nelly's Pie
  • My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas
  • My Very Educated Mother Just Showed Us Nine Planets
  • My Very Elderly Mother Just Stepped on Uncle Ned's Parrot
  • My Very Elegant Mohair Jumper Spoilt Using Nasty Persil
  • My Very Energetic Monkey Jumped Straight Up Napoleon's Pants
  • My Very Energetic Mother Just Swam Under North Pier
  • My Very Excellent Machine Just Smashed Up Nine People
  • My Very Excellent Memory Just Served Up Nine Planets.
  • My Very Excellent Mother Just Sent Us New Pies
  • My Very Excellent Mother Just Spanked Ugly Naked People
  • My Very Expensive Mohair Jumper Shrank Using New Persil
  • So Many Very Early Men Just Sat Under Naked Palms (Sun is included in this mnemonic)

In 2006, the International Astronomical Union proposed a new definition of the term "planet." While the new definition keeps Pluto, it also includes three new bodies: Ceres, formerly the largest and earliest discovered asteroid; Charon, previously considered the largest of Pluto's moons; and UB313, unofficially designated "Xena," which orbits beyond Pluto. Hence,

  • My Very Excellent Mother Can't Just Slice Us Nine Pizzas, Comely Xenophobe!
  • My Very Educated Mother Clearly Just Showed Us New Planets Can X-ist
  • My Very Elegant Mother's Cook Just Served Us New Potatos Carrots eXtera

In July 2008, the planet nicknamed "Xena" was officially named w:Makemake. This makes the official planet and minor-planet acronym (including Ceres, Eris, and Makemake): M V E C J S U N P M″

In September 2008, the planet nicknamed "Santa" was officially named w:Haumea. This makes the official planet and minor-planet acronym:

  • My,
  • Very,
  • Exciting,
  • Moment,
  • Cementing,
  • Justice,
  • Sweetly,
  • Usurped,
  • Naughty,
  • People,
  • Evading,
  • Mainstream,
  • Honour


  • Many Varied Educational Mnemonics Could Just Summon Up Nine Planets, Mandating Extension

These include the Asteroid field between Mars and Jupiter:

  • Martha Visits Every Monday And Just Stays Until Noon Period
  • My Very Ear Might Almost Jump Straight Up, Never Please
  • My Very Early Morning Apricot Jam Sandwiches Usually Nausiate People

This starts with the Sun:

  • Saturday Morning, Very Early, Michael And John Sold Used News Papers

These substitute Terra for Earth:

  • Mother Very Thoughtfully Made A Jelly Sandwich Under No Protest
    from Robert A. Heinlein's Have Spacesuit Will Travel
  • My Violin Teacher Made A Joke So Umbrella's Need Pink

The status of Pluto was later changed, and Pluto was declared to be a dwarf planet. Hence, new mnemonics had to be invented:

  • Most Value Ersatz Mneomics Juxtaposing Some Useless Nonsense
  • Man Verifies Eight Masses, Just Slightly Under Nine
  • Make Vulgar, Embarrassing, Monotonous Jokes Saying "Uranus". Not.
  • Many Venerated Experts Make Jest, Screwing Up mNemonic
  • Man Visions Eight Major Jumbo Spheres Unified Neatly
  • Many Various Elephants Might Just Slap Ugly Newts
  • Maximum Volume Eventually Makes Jazz Singers Utterly Nauseous
  • Men Very Easily Make Jugs Serve Useful Needs
  • Moving Vans Evicted My Jealous Stuck Up Neighbors
  • Must Viewers Endure Michael Jackson's Screwed Up Nose?
  • My Very Exotic Mistress Just Showed Up Naked
  • My Very Evil Mother Just Served Us Nothing
  • My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nachos
  • My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Noodles
  • My Very Economical Mother Just Served Us Nothing
  • My Very Erotic Mother Just Served Us Nipples
  • My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Nutella

Planets in order of size

The planets of the solar system (including Pluto) in order of mass and equatorial diameter are (largest first): Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Earth, Venus, Mars, Mercury, Pluto.

  • Jason Sat Under Ninety Eight Vicious Monster Munching Penguins.

In order of smallest to largest:

  • Pluto Must Meet Venus Every Night Until Saturn Jumps.
  • Pop Music Makes Vikings Even Naughtier Until Saxons Jiggle.

Pluto’s Mercenaries March Valiantly Every Night up Satan’s jockstrap (distinguishes the "m")

Distances of Planets from Sun

An astronomical unit, or AU, is the mean distance of Earth from the Sun, which is about 93 million miles or 149 million kilometers. The following prices (from Heinlein's Have Spacesuit Will Travel), represent the average distance in AU of each planet from the sun:

  • Mercury $0.39
  • Venus $0.72
  • Terra $1.00
  • Mars $1.50
  • Asteroids (assorted prices, unimportant)
  • Jupiter $5.20
  • Saturn $9.50
  • Uranus $19.00
  • Neptune $30.00
  • Pluto $39.50

The moons of Jupiter

Five of the most significant moons of Jupiter are: Amalthea, Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto.

  • An Icecube Ever Grows Colder

The moons of Neptune

Eight of Neptune's 13 known moons are: Naiad, Thalassa, Despina , Galatea, Larissa , Proteus, Triton, Nereid.

  • Neptune's Tiny Dancing Girls Look Pretty To-Night

The moons of Saturn

Saturn's large collection of natural satellites includes the following nine moons: Mimas, Enceladus, Tethys, Dione, Rhea, Titan, Hyperion, Iapetus and Phoebe.

  • MET DR THIP

Spectral classes

The seven standard spectral classes of the stars are O, B, A, F, G, K, M; some add R, N, S:

  • O Be A Fine Girl, Kiss Me. According to astronomical myth, Henry Norris Russell (from Hertzsprung-Russell) suggested this mnemonic to his students
  • O Be A Fine Girl, Kiss Me Right Now Sweetie
  • O Be A Fine Girl, Kiss Me Right Now Smack
  • On Boring Afternoons Five Gorillas Keep Mrs. Richard Nixon Silent
  • Only Boys Accepting Feminism Get Kissed Meaningfully
  • Oh Boy An F Grade Kills Me
  • Only Bad Astronomers Forget Generally Known Mnemonics
  • Only Boring Astronomers Find Gratification Knowing Mnemonics
  • Oh Boy, Alex Filippenko Gives Killer Midterms
  • Overseas Bulletin - A Flash! -- Godzilla Kills Mothra! Rodan Named Successor

The hottest stars are sometimes called Wolf-Rayet (class W); prefix a mnemonic with Wow.