Fun with Mnemonics

Fun with Mnemonics

The Solar SystemIn Astronomy we have two terrible patterns of words to try and remember. One is the order of the planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune (image left, credit: NASA). The other is the spectral types of stars: O, B, A, F, G, K, M. For both these patterns we have unsatisfying mnemonics. This week I am assigning my students to please come up with a new one for spectral types (and they can submit them in the comments here as well as in their HW if they want to share).

As well as getting their ideas, I thought I’d ask what you, my often silent non-student readers, think are useful ways to remember the planets and stars. So, in the comments, give me a sentence to remember you and the stars and planets by!

What do I use?
For planets (M V E M J S U N): My very evil mother just served us nothing.
For stars (O B A F G K M): Oh, be a frightening Godzilla. Kill Mothra!

What do you use?


  1. Ed Minchau
    Mar 10, 2007

    I’ve always used “Oh, be a fine girl, kiss me”.

  2. Rebecca
    Mar 18, 2007

    How about:

    Onions Become Antsy, Five Green Kangaroos Mutate.

    Orangutans Bombard Apes. Fierce Gorillas Kill Monkeys.

    Old Blue Ants Flee Giant Kamikaze Microwaves.

    Occasionally, Brown Acorns From Greece Keep Mice.

  3. Laurel Kornfeld
    Dec 6, 2007

    I don’t accept the IAU’s controversial demotion of Pluto, so the planet mnemonic I stick with, which describes their actions of August 2006, is “many very educated morons just screwed up nine planets” (not original).

  4. brian2
    Dec 30, 2007

    I had problems remembering the sequence of the zodiacal constellations, so I came up with this nonsense.
    All The Girls Can Let Very Little Steam Ships Come Across Portsmouth.

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