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My first child was a rebel. He is estranged from us.

My second used to be much closer to me, but we are losing touch.

My third is similar in temperament to my second, but smarter, although sometimes he lets my second persuade him into doing things for him.

My fourth is quite a snappy dresser, and is very popular.

My fifth is the strongest, and the most help around the home.

My sixth and seventh are quite similar, but my seventh is friendlier. My sixth and fifth don't get on well.

My eighth likes to keep an air of mystery about herself.

I keep my baby closest to me. He can be very temperamental.

What is my name?

PART ONE: Answer the question in the riddle above.

PART TWO: Explain how all the pieces of information (I count roughly 16 of them) fit in.

(I have a suspicion that the "Who am I?" might be guessed fairly quickly; the real challenge to this riddle is in explaining what all the different parts mean. There isn't any fluff and it does all mean something. Be sure to explain your answer fully!)

For your answer to be complete, you must complete both part one and part two.


Hint for part two:

This is a description of our family. All the descriptions of my children are talking about my children themselves, not strangers who share their names.

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  • $\begingroup$ Are we guessing an actual Name, or are we guessing an object/place/some random word/etc? The question title implies the latter while your question itself implies the former... $\endgroup$ – Aify May 27 '15 at 17:09
  • $\begingroup$ @Aify You are guessing a specific unique object, which has a name $\endgroup$ – starsplusplus May 27 '15 at 17:14
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I think it's :

The Solar System's planets in reverse order.

My first child was a rebel. He is estranged from us.

Pluto, is no longer a planet. -So many things made Pluto differ from all 8 other planets - and so many new solar system bodies kept being discovered to which Pluto shared more similarities. It eventually had the definition of a Planet revised and the Dwarf Planet category introduced (to which Pluto now belongs)

My second used to be much closer to me, but we are losing touch.
My third is similar in temperament to my second, but smarter, although sometimes he lets my second persuade him into doing things for him.

Neptune & Uranus - Almost twins, nearly the same size. Uranus is bigger, Neptune has greater mass. Both have rings (although Neptune's are fragmented). They are similar in composition (hydrogen & helium).

(Per @Going hamateur) Neptune was discovered as it perturbed Uranus' orbit so it was theorized to exist and pinned down relatively easily. Speculating that at an earlier point it was closer in orbit to the sun but got knocked away (sorta).

My fourth is quite a snappy dresser, and is very popular.

Saturn and its fancy rings has always been popular. It also has a TON of moons, almost as many as Jupiter (again you could say it's popular). One of those moons is Titan - which is again a very popular subject of interest in science-fiction (and space exploration).

My fifth is the strongest, and the most help around the home.

Biggest Planet in the Solar System, Depending on it's position relative to the sun, Jupiter is the only planet that has a barycenter with the Sun that lies outside the volume of the Sun, Along with the Sun, the gravitational influence of Jupiter has helped shape the Solar System. The orbits of most of the system's planets lie closer to Jupiter's orbital plane than the Sun's equatorial plane (Mercury is the only planet that is closer to the Sun's equator in orbital tilt), the Kirkwood gaps in the asteroid belt are mostly caused by Jupiter, and the planet may have been responsible for the Late Heavy Bombardment of the inner Solar System's history

My sixth and seventh are quite similar, but my seventh is friendlier. My sixth and fifth don't get on well.

6th is Mars, very similar to Earth(7th) - they are similar size, gravity, composition etc... - but I think everyone will agree Earth is much nicer (having an atmosphere that supports human life). Mars and Jupiter(5th) are separated by the asteroid belt which also separates the Inner Solar System from the Outer Solar System.

My eighth likes to keep an air of mystery about herself.

Venus, which atmospheres' makes it almost impossible(difficult) to learn anything of it's surface.

I keep my baby closest to me. He can be very temperamental.

Mercury. Closest to the sun. Mercury's lack of any substantial atmosphere means the surface exposed to the sun is very hot where as the surface in the shadows will see a crazy temperature drop. It's temperature can range from -173'C to 426'C.

for those that are thinking of Mercurial, that's putting the cart before the horse. Guess where that adjective comes from. (1350-1400; Middle English < Latin mercuriālis of, pertaining to the god or planet Mercury. See mercury)

What is my name?

Sun/Sol

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    $\begingroup$ My guesses: "Most help around the home" - Jupiter wrangles asteroids. "Sixth and fifth don't get on well" - Large distance between Mars and Jupiter compared to the inner orbits and separated by the asteroid belt. "Temperamental" - could either refer to the high temperature or the classical problem of the perihelion precession of Mercury ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… ) $\endgroup$ – Sabre May 27 '15 at 17:55
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    $\begingroup$ Mercury (the god) was temperamental - hence the word "mercurial". $\endgroup$ – DevOfZot May 27 '15 at 17:57
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    $\begingroup$ Sol is the right answer for part one, well done! You're going off on a bit of a tangent with the deities though; all the facts are based strictly on properties of the planets themselves. $\endgroup$ – starsplusplus May 27 '15 at 18:53
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    $\begingroup$ Without scouring into wikis about the solar system and it's planets, I won't get much closer to completing part 2 so if anyone else sees all the details you should post the answer yourselves. I basically only found part one :P (and I'm lazy and at work) $\endgroup$ – Spacemonkey May 27 '15 at 19:44
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    $\begingroup$ I almost made a separate post but you deserve all credit. Pluto was hard to discover, they knew it exists it is just hard to find took forever to find, some dude was paid to look a plates to find something moving. Does this make one rebelious, mayhaps? Nepture was discovered as it perturbed Uranus' orbit so it was theorized to exist and pinned down relatively easily. Speculating that at an earlier point neptune was closer in orbit to the sun but got knocked away (sorta). Smarts, no idea. The term Mercurial means to be of a very varying temperament. Well those were the ones I thought help. $\endgroup$ – Going hamateur Jul 9 '15 at 17:17

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