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The Solar System. By, Amber Pickowicz. Our Solar System is made up of our Sun, eight planets, three dwarf planets, and their moons. Each of these planets and their moons orbit around the sun.

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The Solar System

By, Amber Pickowicz


Our Solar System is made up of our Sun, eight planets, three dwarf planets, and their moons.

  • Each of these planets and their moons orbit around the sun.
  • The planets are split up into two groups; the inner planets and the outer planets.

Inner Planets

  • The four planets closest to the sun are the inner planets.
  • These planets are: Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars.







  • Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun.
  • It is the smallest planet in our Solar System.
  • Mercury does not have an atmosphere or any moons.
  • Mercury is a small, rocky planet that is covered with many craters.
  • Mercury was named after Hermes, the swift messenger of the ancient Greek gods because of how fast it moves across the sky.


  • Venus is the second planet from the Sun and the sixth largest.
  • Venus is very hot and bright, making it easy to see from Earth.
  • It has a dense atmosphere, filled with thick clouds of poisonous gas (CO2).
  • There are many volcanoes on Venus.
  • Venus does not have any moons.


  • Earth is the third planet from the Sun.
  • Earth is the fifth largest planet.
  • So far, Earth is the only planet known to support life because it is just the right distance from the Sun.
  • Most of Earth is covered with water (~70%).
  • The Earth rotates round in space, which is why we have day time and night time.
  • Earth has one moon.


  • Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun, and the seventh smallest planet.
  • Mars is sometimes called the Red Planet because of its color.
  • The dirt on Mars is filled with iron, which is why it looks red.
  • Mars has a very thin atmosphere.
  • Mars has strong winds that can make huge sandstorms, which can engulf the planet for months.
  • It also has polar ice caps and two moons.

Outer Planets

  • The four planets furthest from the Sun are the outer planets.
  • These planets are: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.







  • Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and is the largest planet in our solar system (more than 2x as massive as all the other planets combined).
  • Jupiter is made up almost completely of gas and has no solid surface.
  • Jupiter is famous for its Great Red Spot, which is made by a storm of swirling gases, and is so large that it could hold two Earths.
  • High velocity winds make up the wide, colorful bands of latitude seen on Jupiter. The chemical and temperature differences in these bands are what create the different colors.
  • Jupiter has an astonishing 63 known moons!


  • Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest in our solar system.
  • Saturn is a giant, gas planet, surrounded by thousands of beautiful rings.
  • These rings are very bright and can be seen from Earth.
  • They are made mostly of chunks of ice and rock.
  • Saturn also has colorful bands of latitude like Jupiter, just not as visible.
  • Saturn also has many moons…53!


  • Uranus is the seventh planet from the Sun.
  • Uranus has 11 vertical rings.
  • Uranus spins around the Sun different then any other planet.
  • It is thought that something huge hit Uranus years ago and caused the planet to tilt over on its side.
  • Uranus is a gas planet.
  • Very cold methane gas makes Uranus look blue-green.
  • Uranus has 27 moons.


  • Neptune is the eighth planet from the Sun.
  • Neptune is a giant gas planet, bluish in color.
  • It is icy and has the coldest atmosphere of all the planets in our solar system.
  • Neptune has rings and bands of latitude also.
  • Neptune has the fastest winds in the solar system, at speeds reaching more than 1,200 miles per hour!
  • Neptune has a small white cloud called “The Scooter” that speeds around the planet every 16 hours.
  • Neptune has 13 known moons.


(Dwarf Planet)

  • In 2006 the International Astronomical Union (IAU) voted to reclassify Pluto as a dwarf planet.
  • Pluto is the furthest from the Sun, except for every 248 years, when Neptune orbits farther out than Pluto (which lasts about 20 years).
  • Pluto is made up of rock and ice.
  • It is very tiny and is brownish in color.
  • Pluto has 3 known moons.
  • Charon is its largest moon and is almost as big as Pluto.

Now it’ s time to make your own solar system!

All you will need is:

A hanger with 10 strings attached to it


A hole puncher

Crayons, markers, or colored pencils

A printout with the numbered planets (including the Sun and Pluto)



Color your printout of the sun and planets.

Cut-out your sun and planets.

Place the models in order, starting with the sun and ending with Pluto.

Punch a hole through the top of them.

Starting with the sun at one end of the hanger, thread the string (that is hanging from the hanger) through the hole and tie a knot.

Continue these steps until you have the sun and all the planets hanging in the correct order.

***Remember….1=Sun, 2=Mercury, 3=Venus, 4=Earth, 5=Mars, 6=Jupiter, 7=Saturn, 8=Uranus, 9=Neptune, 10=Pluto….***



Simple Science, Vivian Fernandez, 2007 B Plus Marketing.

The Planets, Jeff Bauer, 2007 Scholastic Inc.