Planet Facts

There are 8 planets in our solar system, they are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. With the exception of Neptune and Uranus the other 6 planets can be seen unaided and all 8 are visible with a small telescope or binoculars.

Order of the Planets

Order of the Planets
The order of the planets from closest to the Sun outwards is; Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and finally Neptune. The largest planet in the solar system is Jupiter, followed by Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Earth, Venus, Mars with the smallest being Mercury.

Terrestrial Planets

Terrestrial Planets

The Terrestrial, or “rocky” planets in our solar system orbit relatively close to the Sun. There are four terrestrial planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. …Read more

Gas Giants

Gas Giants

Gas giants are large planets that contain more than 10 times the mass of Earth. Their compositions are mostly gases, such as hydrogen, and small amounts of …Read more

What is a Planet?

Planets are among the many worlds and smaller objects that orbit the Sun. The formal definition of planet, as voted on by the International Astronomical Union in 2006, is as follows:

A planet is a celestial body that
(a) is in orbit around the Sun,
(b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and
(c) has cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit.

Under this definition, Pluto is NOT a planet, but has been deemed a dwarf planet because it has not yet cleared its orbit. This definition is under discussion, particularly by members of the planetary science community, and it may yet be further refined.

Planet FAQ

  • How many planets are there in our solar system? 8
  • What is the smallest planet? Mercury
  • What is the largest planet? Jupiter
  • Which planet is closest to the Sun? Mercury
  • Which planet is farthest from the Sun? Neptune
  • What is the coldest planet? On average Neptune is the coldest planet
  • What is the hottest planet? Venus
  • What are the inner planets? Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars
  • What are the outer planets? Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune
  • Which planets have rings? Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune
  • Is there life on other planets? Not that has been encountered so far!

Facts about the Planets

Click on any planet below to find out more about it.