The Planets

The planets are named after the characters in a radio soap opera written by Gustav Holst during the First World War. Though known since ancient times, they have only recently been mapped by the Ordnance Survey to help walkers exercise their right to roam across the entire solar system.

In order of proximity to the nearest Starbucks, the planets are as follows:

Mercury - the current Mercury is actually a replacement, put into orbit in 1974 after the original was stolen. An awards ceremony takes place each year on the planet, when a panel of judges awards the Mercury Music Prize for the UK's best pop song about science.
Size: 17
Goals against: 8

Venus - Venus is named after a character created by the Roman business magnate and politician Marcus Licinius Crassus as part of a campaign to boost sales of clams. Venus became associated with love because clams were thought to be an aphrodisiac by Lucius Menius, a shopkeeper in Tarentum in the late 1st Century BC.
Loveliness: 86
Poisonousness: 99
Just like love

Earth - the earth is home to the only intelligent life in the entire universe, but unfortunately this has not been located yet.

Mars - contrary to popular myth, Mars is not made of chocolate; it is in fact made of soap. It has two moons, Deimos and Phobos, which translate from the ancient Greek as 'panic' and 'fear'. They are so named in acknowledgement of the reaction bathtime elicits in many young children.
Bellicosity: 80
Chocolatiness: 2

Jupiter - named after the King of the Gods in Roman mythology, Jupiter is both the largest and the smallest of the planets. No-one knows how it manages this. Jupiter has a large red spot which is in fact a bruise from a collision with Neptune. It should clear up in a couple of weeks.
Size: 110
Sense of smell: 25

Saturn - Saturn is famed for its rings, each of which is made from a different material, starting with papier mache, tin foil and toilet roll tubes in the inner rings, through plasticine, snot, flags and glass in the middle sections, to hair, gold, bread and tears in the outer rings. Saturn itself is just a big ball of rock, and has 'Greetings from Eastbourne' written across its core.
Distance from Birmingham: 157
Liking of opera: 74

Uranus - despite its name, Uranus is a planet. It has many moons, including Sun Myung Moon, Howard Moon and Blue Moon, and the Moomins, which are to be more precise asteroids. On Neptune it is illegal to play ball games or have barbecues.
Ruthlessness: 15
Miles per gallon: 46.3

Neptune - Neptune is one of the gas giants, along with Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus, which is what gives it a slight eggy smell. Neptune is the largest producer of margarine and vegetable oil products in the solar system.
Rings: 7
Hats: 3

Pluto - although traditionally included in the list of 9 planets, Pluto has been scientifically re-evaluated in the late 20th and early 21st Centuries and found to be a rodent. It orbits the sun once a week, and twice at Christmas.
Pluckiness: 82
Shoe size: 9

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