Dear Solar System

Recently my good friend Wendi wrote a touching letter to the World.

But this got me thinking…what about the rest of the planets?   I didn’t want them to feel left out.

So here are some letters I wrote to the rest of the Solar System.


Dear Mercury

(Pffft!).   What a wuss!   (I’m sorry, I know I shouldn’t tease).     But let’s be frank…you’re really not much of a planet, are you?

I mean, COME ON….some of Jupiter’s MOONS are larger than you!

As far as the Solar System goes, you’re kind of like that annoying cousin that teases everyone and then runs away. Nobody can ever find you when it’s time to come to dinner. (You’re so damned hard to see in the sky, being so close to the sun!).  It’s been rumored that even Copernicus never even saw you.

You don’t really do much.  Though I have to admit, you did help us understand physics.  Newton’s physics couldn’t fully explain your slightly shifting orbit .  But the theory of General Relativity could.

THAT was pretty cool…you helping prove Doc Einstein right, like that.

But that was what?   Almost a hundred years ago?

What have you done for us, lately?


Dear Venus

You’re the brightest object in the sky, after the sun and moon.    I’ll give you that.

But you’re actually disappointing in the telescope…just a bright ball of white.

What happened?  You used to be COOL.

You were supposed to be our sister planet. Back in the 50’s and 60’s, there were all kinds of great cheesy science fiction books and movies about you.  We expected you to be covered in jungle, and inhabited by big-breasted Amazon women in togas…

Now, it turns out you’re just scorching hot rock covered with CO2 and acid clouds.    (Remember those Russian probes that landed on you?).   With your 800F temperature (hot enough to melt lead)…you toasted them pretty good, didn’t you?

Most.  Inhospitable planet.    Ever.

Okay…we take the hint.  We’ll leave you alone.

But you don’t have to be such a witch about it.


Dear Mars

Never has a planet inspired so many books and movies.

Evil Martiansbenevolent Martiansfunny Martians, and even Martians with Santa Claus.  .

You’re kind of like the half-brother who’s too far away to visit, but whom we’d like to get to know better.

Just what are you hiding from us, really?

Not that we haven’t been trying to find out.    We’ve orbited you, we’ve landed on you.  Heck, even Ah-nold visited you.

We know you’re dusty, very cold, and sometimes even snowy.

Well, just you wait.  We’ll probably be visiting you sooner than you think.

In the mean time, just keep hurling a few rocks our way.  It keeps the scientists in Antarctica busy.


Dear Jupiter

You’re the biggest -bad ass planet there is.  You weigh more than all the other planets put together.

Not to mention your equatorial bands, and that red spot.  You ROCK!

Your rotational speed is the fastest of any planet.   Just under 10 hours.   So that when I look at you in my telescope, I can actually see you change your appearance, even within 15-20 minutes.

How cool is THAT…?  To see a planet rotate in real-time? .

And remember how you swallowed up comet Shoemaker-Levy without even flinching?   That was freakin’ AWESOME!

Just promise us you won’t self-ignite and turn into another sun (like you did on 2010 Space Odyssey).

That would totally screw up life on our planet as we know it.


Dear Saturn

Okay, I admit.  Your rings are FANTASTIC and you have a shit-load of satellites.   You’re the best looking planet there is.  Everyone loves you.  Everyone wants to be like you.

One word of advice:  don’t let it go to your head.

Remember, your rings disappear ever 15 years or so.

Then, you look like a ball of methane and hydrogen, just like all the other gas-giants.


Dear Uranus

Heh-heh heh.

You rhyme with “anus”.


‘Nuff said.

And you sure messed with everyone, when Herschel discovered you. (Up until then, for thousands of years, we thought Saturn was the farthest planet).  1781 wasn’t too long ago, either.  America was already a country back then.

Aside from that, you’re kind of boring, though.  You don’t really have any features we can see.

But you DO have rings.   So that makes you all right, in my books.


Dear Neptune

Oh you ARE  the tricky one.    Remember back in the 1800’s?   Nobody knew you existed.   But you kept messing with Uranus’ orbit, making him wobble.   Wobble wobble wobble.    Eventually, some science geeks figured out that you HAD to be out there somewhere.   (You were the first planet to be discovered mathematically, rather than visually).

And for some reason, you’re the same temperature as Uranus (even though you’re farther away and should be COLDER!).  You actually radiate more heat from the sun than you receive.  (You’re up to something…I know it)!

On top of that, your orbit is so elliptical, that sometimes you’re FARTHER from the sun than Pluto is (like you were between 1979 and 1999).

You’re messing with schoolkids’ minds, when you pull stunts like that.

Which is all the more reason why you’re one of my favorites.


Dear Pluto

I always felt a bit sorry for you, being left way out in the cold like that.   You’re the black sheep of the Solar System.  The other planets hardly talk to you.

You made Neptune wobble, and that’s how we started to find out about you.    Though it wasn’t until 1930 that you were discovered.   You’re so far away, we didn’t have a clue what your surface looked like until recently with Hubble.  (And even then, it was a pretty crummy picture).

I feel you got ripped off when they demoted you to a “Dwarf Planet” in 2006.  All because of those Johnny-come-lately  Trans-Neptunian Objects.

Well, never you mind them!    As far as I’m concerned, you’re still a planet, I don’t care what other people say.

And cheer up.  At least you have Charon, and Nix and Hydra to keep you company.

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24 Comments on “Dear Solar System”

  1. Writer Dad Says:

    This is really funny Friar, but you forgot Nibaru.

  2. ksyu Says:

    Awwww, poor Pluto. I always feel sorry for the little sucker having learned all my 9 planets and now there’s only 8. wobble wobble. Haha! This made my day.

  3. Kelly Says:

    Dear Friar,

    1. The scientists in Antarctica are already quite busy.

    2. LMAO. Your meanness to Mercury, especially, killed me.

    3. Best. Link post. Ever.



  4. Friar Says:

    @Writer Dad
    Okay…you stumped me. Who (or what) is Nibaru !?

    It’s amazing the controversy that came up with re-naming Pluto. But I’m with should still be a planet.

    1. Oboy. (I just hope there is a sufficient Boy/Girl ratio down there)
    2. Well…I figured Mercury is a PLANET….He can take it!
    3. ?? Really. GEE, Thanks!! (I tried to be informative, AND smart-ass!)

  5. Even before it got demoted, I felt bad for Pluto. Being so small and far out there, I bet it was pretty scared. And why’d they go and name it after Mickey Mouse’s dog?

  6. Steph Says:

    Friar: I TOTALLY LOVED THIS! It was so funny I couldn’t even laugh. You know that kind of funny? Calvin and Hobbes does it to me, too. HI-larious!!

    You just wrote this so perfectly, peronsifying them like that, and your freaking tone! HAHAHAHA! (Wobble, wobble. wobble.) You’ve got to be able to send it somewhere. LOVE it!

    And hey, come visit me. We can watch nebulae through our telescopes together. You can teach me stuff. No wait, let’s meet at Algonquin!! The sky is totally incredible there. I can’t see shit out here with the naked eye because of all the light.

  7. Evelyn Lim Says:

    So funny!! I just fell off laughing!!

    Thanks for writing these letters!

  8. You are too much! That was so funny I was laughing out loud. And thanks for the link and reference…

    I personally refuse to demote Pluto. Short people deserve a planet too.

  9. Brett Legree Says:

    Nibaru. Could be referred to as Maldek, Atlantis, Lucifer, Tiamat etc. The 12th planet, originally between Mars and Jupiter, that became the asteroid belt.


  10. Steph Says:

    Brett: Atlantis and Lucifer! Hmmm. Sounds intriguing. Awesome! I didn’t want to look it up because I was afraid of getting sidetracked for too long…I promise I’ll read only this link…

  11. Steph Says:

    Wait – what the hell? Talk about not what you’d expect!! LOL!!

  12. Harmony Says:

    This article actually took a lot of work which I admire.

    Deep FRIAR…I just hope and PRAY you are not in trouble with:
    1. GOD for insulting his handiwork
    2. ALIENS for making fun of the motherland
    3. MILKY WAY candy bar company – obvious reasons!
    4. NASA for most likely causing a reduction in their funding
    5. STAR TREK ETC>>>> They devoted their lives to seeking out the planets, stars and galaxies.

  13. Friar Says:

    Yeah, Pluto got gypped.

    (Though we can also ask ourselves, why did Mickey name his dog after the God of the Underworld?). Whatever happened to “Spot” or “Rover”

    I do have a decent telescope, and I sometimes take it out in the back yard. Maybe we can have a star-viewing party out in the bush somewhere (and Brett can start a bonfire).

    Thanks (I didn’t think this post would get such a positive response…!). After all, it’s kinda science-geeky! 🙂

    Great synergy here…you’re the one who inspired me for this post! 🙂

    Okay, I am now enlightened (Leave it to you and Writer Dad to know what Nibaru is!) 🙂

    How does this all fit in with Lord Xenu?

    Oh, I’m always getting in trouble (hence my tag line)

    1. If God has any issues with what I’ve said, he knows where I live. He can come and drop by anytime.

    Break time over. Get back to work! 🙂

    2. Are the aliens upset that I’ve revealed the source of the Illudium Pu-36 Space Modulator?
    3. Also, what about Mars?
    4. NASA has enough trouble.

    5. Which Star Trek? I think Captain Kirk would be pretty cool about it and he’d laugh. But Picard might get all snooty and huffy, and probably quote Shakespeare or something.

  14. You always have a unique viewpoint of things and make my day.

    Here’s my short take.

    Pluto — You already know how I feel about this guy, an example of the instability of facts and science.

    Mars — Total Recall, good film

    Venus — The Birth of Venus, beautiful painting by Botticelli 1486

    Mercury — Tooth fillings that dial us in to Sirius

    Neptune — My main man

    Ur anus — Watch your language, young man.

  15. Friar Says:


    Heh heh. Pluto…No, I won’t even GO THERE with you (not after last week!) 🙂

    As for Uranus, you can choose to pronounce it “Yoo-Rah-Nuss” like Carl Sagan did when the Voyageur Probe flew by in the late 80’s.

    (I always thought that was a cop-out..suddenly we changed the pronunciation of the planet just because it was on TV!)

  16. Brett Legree Says:


    I don’t know about Lord Xenu, but don’t forget according to the Aztecs the world will end in 2012 so maybe we’ll find out more about Maldek / Nibaru than we wanted to know (and that particular project at the Factory won’t have to worry about what to do with the waste…)

  17. LOL. Why DID Mickey name his dog after the God of the Underworld? Walt sure had a dark side …

  18. Friar Says:

    So the world will end in 2012?

    Note to self: Stop contributing to company pension fund.

    But what about the dreaded S.U.M.A.C. project?

    I dont’ trust Walt. He was up to something. I just KNOW it…!

  19. Karen Swim Says:

    You know I feel a bit sorry for Uranus. Uranus gets no press, no one talks about it or names their kids after Uranus. No sonnets, or odes, poor Uranus. 🙂

  20. Karen Swim Says:

    Oh P.S., told ya you could make Science cool for everyone! 🙂

  21. Friar Says:


    Yeah. Uranus was briefly in the spotlight when Voyageur flew by…now he’s almost totally forgotten. Pretty crummy, for the third biggest planet in the solar system.

    By the way, …it was on your blog that people (including yourself) started suggesting that I write about Fried Science.

    (I already have more science ideas to write about, as we speak!)

  22. […] to embrace the Stress and asks us to write about it in his latest What I Learned From Project.  The Deep Friar waxed poetic about the Solar System. It was educational and entertaining and well worth a read. His […]

  23. RL David Says:

    HAHA! I can’t believe that another human knows about Santa Claus Conquers the Martians!

  24. Friar Says:

    @RL David

    Actually ,wasn’t there a sequel? 😉

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