Oh My Stars--

Its Mars!


written by Adrienne Potter

Photographs from NASA

Other Illustrations by Adrienne Potter

Copyright @July 2001 by Adrienne Potter.  All rights reserved.  May be copied for classroom use.

In a place called Cape Canaveral you could find a missile

That you could race to outer space slicker than a whistle.

And as you zoom away you'd say to NASA, "Oh my stars!"

'Cuz that is what you'd see while you are on your way to Mars.


MARS has ice caps, canyons, and the largest known volcano.

Once it had a lot of lakes we think went down the drain-o.

Mars can change from hot to cold and then from cold to hotter.

Scientists have learned that Mars might even have some water!


It takes a while to fly around the planet JUPITER.

Its made of so much gas, a landing would be stupider.

It has some moons around it and it has a great big dot,

Which is a never-ending storm we call The Great Red Spot.


The Great Red Spot

The Rings of Jupiter

Soon you'd reach a planet that we gave the name of SATURN,

Which moves around the sun in a very lovely pattern.

Now here we'll see that Saturn has around it seven rings,

Which are very thin and made of little tiny things.


Saturn's Rings

MERCURY is very small and closest to the sun.

The days are hot and nights are cold enough to make you run.

It has lots of craters that were made when something hit it.

Maybe asteroids with teeth were flying by and bit it.



If the earth could have a twin then you would call it VENUS,

Cuz it's so much like the earth that nothing comes between us.

It has strong winds and lava, and no matter where you are

You'll see that Venus always is the very brightest star.



NEPTUNE is a big blue ball with lots of rocks and ice; ;

But it's so very windy you don't want to go there twice.

It has a funny mark on it we call the "Great Dark Spot."

And "Scooter" is a smaller spot that's there and then it's not.



<The Great Dark Spot

The "Scooter" moves around Neptune about every 16 hours.

The next one has a name that we pronounce 'YOOR-eh-nes.'

It doesn't rhyme with 'grayness' but sort of rhymes with 'furnace.'

It's made of ice and rocks and gas and has eleven rings

Inside of which you'll find a lot of great, big floating things.



Of the planets near the earth PLUTO is the smallest one, 

NASA sent no spacecraft there since its farthest from the sun.

We really don't know much about the planet's history--

Until a probe can visit there, its one big mystery.


Pluto With It's Moon Charon

Scientists believe that another planet might exist:

So far it has no name but Planet "X" is on the list.

Maybe you would name it Sue, or Fred or Macaroni,

Shish-ka-bob or Burning Blob or Outer Space Baloney?


The Orbit of Planet X is shaped like a giant watermelon (yum!)

So now you know the planets that are found there with the stars:

Jupiter and Mercury, Saturn, Venus, Pluto,  Mars,

And Neptune and Uranus, and the Earth and Planet X.

Now would you like to try and guess what we'll discover next?  The End

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