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February 17, 2009

The Solar System Song

I know that Mandy has already mentioned the Solar System Song, and for those of you that know me, space is 'The Place', so needless to say, I am very excited about it. That being said, I am making this post especially for my very talented sister who is an authority on music and has agreed to help me take this song one step further. (for those of you not interested in science CAUTION! EXTREME BOREDOM ENSUES)

The point of this rhyme and why its special is because it is the only one (that I know of) that uses all the current 11 planets, the true name of our sun, and the names of the outer bodies that encompass our solar system. Each verse has a little fun fact in it, and I think that it will be easy for most kids to pick up. For you adults drawing question marks, here's the skinny on the down low.

All the stars that we can see are named. Most with numbers but many with proper names, and its surprising how many people don't know that our sun is named Sol. With the reclassification of the definition of a planet, many people assume that Pluto is no longer a planet. But what happened to it? Is it lost or something? The answer is no, we now refer to it as a dwarf planet, with which bring others changes as well.

By the new standards there are 4 giant planets including Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, 4 regular planet including Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars, and 5 dwarf planets including Ceres, Pluto and Eris. Although dwarf planets don't technically count to our official number, I believe that the knowledge is inertly beneficial as our future generations will be more focused on the challenge of frontier life on another world. The more we know now....

So anyways, to qualify as a planet, it has to be a body big enough to have its mass shape it into a sphere (or roughly sphere-like shape), it must orbit a star and not another body, and it must be big enough to dominate its orbit. And that last one is what knocks every one of the dwarf planets I've listed down to the bottom totem. It doesn't meant that there's not any good real estate out there though, many moons around Jupiter and Saturn are bigger than some of the smaller planets and they have atmospheres and weather, and are great potential harbors for life. But they orbit a larger body and not a star, so my song doesn't have anything to do with them. (stand by for future updates).

At the end of the song, I squeezed in the name of the belt of debris that is beyond the orbit of Neptune in which Pluto and Eris travel. Its named the Kuiper Belt and is similar to the asteroid belt but instead of rocks and metal, its composed of mostly different ices, and is much more massive. And far beyond that, is the vast Oort cloud that make up the outer barrier of debris and comets orbiting our star.

On a technical note, at the time of creation, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) had named two other Kuiper Belt objects as dwarf planets, being Haumea and Makemake. But they have yet to be observed well enough to determine their mass as qualifying for the requirement of shaping them into spheres (they're really small). Its possible that at least 40 more observed objects could be dwarf planets, with estimates of 200 to 2000 in and beyond the Kuiper Belt. As these facts change and become updated (as with all science) I will inevitably change and update the rhyme. I do apologize for the lack of more specific information but you can only rhyme so much into a children's song.

Anyways, since I'm probably boring the vast majority of people who started reading this novel not knowing how long winded I am (especially on my favorite topic), I will now post the rhyme and a 1 min 3 sec video of me singing it so the glorious Mrs. Hight can transcribe it for my musically illiterate @$$. Thank you all.

The Solar System Song

We start in the middle with Sol
Then Mercury is hot and cold
Venus is super duper hot
And Earth is the one we’ve got

Mars is cold and dry
And Ceres in the asteroids is just a little guy
Jupiter the giant is king
And Saturn has the most fantastic rings

Uranus rolls on its side
And Neptune trades places sometimes
With Pluto who was the last
But now, by Eris, it has been passed

The planets go round the stars
And I am very proud
To know every planet that’s been counted so far
In the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud

Feel free to laugh.


  1. mike, when are you trying out for american idol?! i love this song and now i know things i didn't know before on the planets! great job!! you should go for a whole show for kids on tv! karyn

  2. Yay!!!!! I love it!!! It's seriously really good. So I have the melody and Chord progressions figured out already, and now I'm working on the rhythm. I will type it all out in a music program on the computer and print it out- and then Chris and Karyn can help with the background music- since I'll give them the chords. Do you want it in this key? :)!!!! YAY!!! Thanks for letting me be a part of this!


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