What is a Planet?
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What is a Planet?


What is a Planet?

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A planet is a large, round heavenly body that orbits a star and shines with light reflected from the star. Eight planets orbit the sun in our solar system. In order of increasing distance from the sun, they are: (1) Mercury, (2) Venus, (3) Earth, (4) Mars, (5) Jupiter, (6) Saturn, (7) Uranus, and (8) Neptune. Many nearly planet-sized objects, called dwarf planets, also orbit the sun. Dwarf planets include Pluto and Ceres. Since 1992, astronomers have discovered many planets orbiting other... More
Material Type: Reference Material
Technical Format: HTML/Text
Date Added to MERLOT: July 08, 2009
Date Modified in MERLOT: October 22, 2014


  • Reviewed by members of Editorial board for inclusion in MERLOT.
    Editor Review
    Very good quality; in queue to be peer reviewed
    avg: 5 rating
  • User review 4.5 average rating
  • User Rating: 4.5 user rating
  • Discussion (2 Comments)
  • Learning Exercises (none)
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Primary Audience: Grade School, Middle School, Graduate School, College Upper Division
Mobile Compatibility: Not specified at this time
Technical Requirements: WEB BROWSER
Language: English
Cost Involved: no
Source Code Available: unsure
Accessiblity Information Available: unsure
Creative Commons: unsure


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Discussion for What is a Planet?

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Avatar for Kendra Wells
5 years ago

Kendra Wells (Faculty)

The photographs and information provided in this site is easily located and navigated. Information is provided in terms students will understand. Interactive features are a bonus!
Time spent reviewing site: 20 minutes

Avatar for Robin Lynch
5 years ago

Robin Lynch (Student)

This explanation of planets is well-detailed without using a lot of technical jargon which makes it more accessible to students. I think that I would easily be able to simplify the information even further to teach to the lower grades in elementary education.