Planet Facts For Kids
When I was younger, it was said that there were 9 planets in our solar system. The planets were Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto going around the sun. Later, I came across a mnemonic for it. My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas. However, since that time scientists have decided that we have eight planets in our solar system and that Pluto is a dwarf planet, and actually they have found larger rocks in the area of Pluto than Pluto itself. On this page of planet facts for kids, I have decided to include Pluto so that you know why it is in some lists.
Here is a video you might like to watch and then there is some information about each planet.
Mercury is the closest planet to the sun. It is also the smallest of the planets. It is incredibly hot there as it is just 36 million miles from the sun.
It is named after the Roman god Mercury who is the messenger of the gods.
Two spacecraft have flown past Mercury gathering information. One was called Mariner 10 and this flew past Mercury twice, once in 1974 and then again in 1975. Then in 2004 MESSENGER was sent. This orbited Mercury 4000 times before running out of fuel and crashing into the planet in 2015.
Venus between Mercury and Earth and so will still be much hotter than Earth.
It is named after the Roman god of love.
It is the brightest object in the sky after the sun and the moon.
Whereas the Earth rotates once a day, Venus takes 243 days to rotate on its axis. It actually goes quicker than this around the sun, taking 224.7 Earth days to make its journey.
Venus also rotates in the opposite direction than the Earth does, which means that the sun would seem to rise in the west and set in the east.
Venus is often referred to as either the morning star or the evening star, especially in poetry.
Of course, this is our planet.
From space, it looks blue because of all the sea and also the water vapour covering the land areas.
About two-thirds of the planet’s surface is water.
Earth is 93 million miles away from the sun and a quarter of a million miles from the moon. In kilometres, that is 150 kilometres from the sun and about 384,400 km from the moon. These are approximate distances as it changes throughout the year.
The Earth goes around the sun once a year.
The moon goes around the Earth every 27.3 days. This is known as a lunar month.
The diameter of the Earth at the Equator is 7928 miles, or 12,760 kilometres.
Mars comes after Earth.
It is named after the Roman god Mars the god of war because it looks red sometimes in the sky and this reminded people of the blood that you get in battles.
It is often called the red planet and can be spotted in the sky with the naked eye, that is without using a telescope.
Mars is much smaller than Earth. Its diameter is about half of the Earth’s.
Mars rotates once in 24 hours 39 minutes, so the length of its day is almost the same as Earth’s. It has two moons, called Phobos and Deimos. They are not round like the moon but irregular.
After Mars we get Jupiter. This is a very big planet, 1000 times smaller than the sun but two and a half times bigger than all of the other planets in the solar system put together.
Jupiter and Saturn are both gas giants.
Jupiter has an area called the Great Red Spot – you can see it on photographs. There are constant storms here. This area alone is 1.3 times as wide as the earth.
Jupiter is made up of hydrogen and helium as well as other elements which possibly gives it a rocky core. Jupiter has many moons, at least 74, including four that were discovered by Galileo Galilei in 1610. The largest of these is called Ganymede and it has a diameter that is larger than the planet Mercury.
Next is Saturn which has amazing rings around it. These rings consist of small rocks that held in a particular orbit.
Saturn is another gas giant, It is the outer layer that is made of gas, The core is probably iron, nickel and rock, and then there is a layer of metallic hydrogen, with hydrogen and helium surrounding that.
Saturn also has a number of moons, at least 62. 53 of the moons are officially named. The biggest is called Titan and that is bigger than the planet Mercury.
Uranus is even further away. Uranus, along with Neptune are known as ice giants, as their interiors are filled with ice and rocks.
Uranus is unique in that it rotates on its side.
It has wind speeds up to 900 km an hour.
It is also the only planet that has been named after a Greek god rather than a Roman god.
Uranus has 27 named moons and 24 are named after characters in Shakespeare plays and 3 after characters in a poem by Alexander Pope. One of these Ariel appears both in The Tempest by Shakespeare and in the poem by Pope.
Voyager 2 was the closest to Uranus on its voyage on January 24, 1986.
Neptune is named after the Roman god of the sea. It is now accepted as being the farthest known planet from the sun. Neptune’s atmosphere is made up of hydrogen and helium but its interior is made up of ices such as water, ammonia and methane. Its wind speeds reach up to 2100 km an hour!
In 1613 Galileo noticed Neptune but he thought it was just another star. It is thought that if he had noticed it a few days earlier when the sky was clearer and tracked it he would have realised it was a planet.
Voyager 2 flew past Neptune on 25th August 1989.
And as I said before Pluto is no longer classified as a planet, but you will often see it in a list of planets, especially if the article or book was written before August 2006.
Pluto has a strange orbit around the sun so sometimes it is nearer the sun than Neptune.
Other videos you might like to see:
Planet facts worksheets
Here are some free worksheets about planets that you might find useful.
And here are 15 planets worksheets – designed for children with English as a second language but useful for all.
If you would like a larger one here is a pdf version with answers
19 thoughts on “Planet Facts For Kids”
Planet facts for adults too! I would guess that not many adults would know all those facts, certainly not me.
I agree with you!
I didn’t know all of them either, but loved doing the research!
All the best,
What an entertaining way to present the planets. I know it’s for kids but this 65 year old also enjoys it!
My favorite was the Solar System Song where each planet sang about themselves – very cute!
I believe learning should be fun and when it is you learn better.
Thank you for this great post!
Thank you for your comments! I enjoyed researching this topic and finding some new material that I hadn’t been aware of.
That song is cute, isn’t it!!
All the best!
Forget the kids, I found this very interesting myself. I remember at school we learnt a similar way to your “my mother….. “way to learn the order of the planets, but I can’t for the life of me remember it now. My daughter learnt it at school recently as “noodles” as was told Pluto is no longer.
Now we just have to wait a few years and see how this living in Mars is going to turn out.
Hi Michel, I am glad you enjoyed it!
I love learning. I think that I would enjoy school even more now than I did as a child!
Great article Julia! I must say that I did not know all these things about planets including the Earth. I think that this article is very educational and it can teach both kids and adult to know basic things about our solar system. I will definitely forward this article to my cousin who have two kids and I think that this would be very interesting to them.
Yes, even though I am aiming this at adults to share with children, I also learn new things and enjoy the process,
Everything is very informative. Like some others have mentioned, I myself did not know many of these facts. Kids will love the videos that you included. I know as a child I didn’t like to read so given the option I know many kids would gladly choose your detailed videos. You are doing a good thing here.
Yes – the videos do help us visualise the planets, at least to some extent.
All the best
Was actually looking for something to show my niece about the planets. Glad I found this article. I actually ended up enjoying it a great deal (and learning a few new things too haha). This is the kind of stuff that in my opinion we should be showing our kids now that they all have tablets and are on the internet.
Also what’s your opinion on still talking about Pluto as a planet? It was mentioned that it was not a planet anymore, it has been a few years, is it time to stop talking about it? otherwise we might as well talk about the other dwarf planets too. Thoughts?
Thank you for this wonderful article.
Thank you – I am glad you enjoyed the article!
As for Pluto, I think that as for many years – 75 – it was considered a planet, it is right to mention that and explain why this has changed, otherwise children might pick up an older book and think some of the new writings have got it wrong and just missed it out because they didn’t know about Pluto. I also think it is interesting to see how our knowledge of our solar system has changed over the years and why this leads to changes in classification.
But that is just my opinion.
I have learned something new today. Thank you for providing excellent information for my grandchildren.
This is the type of material kids need to know because they are told very little about this earth and to be honest I also learnt something new here as I was not aware of other planet.
You presented in a very fun way. 🙂
What a fun and educational article about planets. Not only for kids, I truly enjoyed it myself. This is a page that my 12 year old daughter and I will revisit. Thank you for sharing in a very entertaining way.
I found it interesting that Uranus has 27 named moons and 24 are named after characters in Shakespeare plays. Do we know why?
The first two moons were named Oberon and Titania. I think that they just carried on after that.
Good question though! I have also noticed some people saying it is 25 named after Shakespearean characters, which makes sense if you include Ariel as the naming started with Shakespearean characters.
Learned a lot from this post! This is a very fun way of teaching important facts about the solar system and the planets for kids …….and adults too!
Kids are especially like sponges. They continue to soak in a lot of information, so it is good to provide them with helpful resources to make them flourish.
I must confess I had no clue about which two planets sometimes switch positions – Neptune and Pluto. The solar system comes alive when we make it more visual as occurs in these videos.
Thank you so much!
You just made tutoring the kids on planets a lot more fun and even I was interested in learning the planets in the solar system. I will definitely try this one my kids one day. Great, interesting, fun and informative way of teaching not just kids but anyone who doesn’t know the planets we have. Keep up the good work Julia and great article.
Your post is for kids but let me tell you that even I got so much engaged with this post. I went on reading and trust me it is so good. I must say that I did not know all these things about planets including the Earth.
I think that this article is very educational and it can teach both kids and adults to know basic things about our solar system.
Also because of the simple language used in this blog makes it very easy for the kids to understand things. Also now my son has started taking interest in this topic.
Thank you for such a great post!