Talk:Ceres (dwarf planet)

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GIF issue?[edit]

The 25 January animation doesn't look as pretty on my screen as it could. I've tried 3 different web browsers, and the results are the same: extra noise is introduced in the animation when it is shown at a resolution lower than the native one, like it currently is. Is this a known bug/issue? --Njardarlogar (talk) 22:01, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

I see it too. It is annoying. ——Nikolas Ojala (talk) 22:54, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

A webm or apng would be nice. Starks (talk) 01:03, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

Hopefully we will have better images soon.--agr (talk) 01:36, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
Worst visual impression from any serious image I've experienced on Wikipedia in my time! It's like if anyone spreads perfectly gray butter on a glass window and we're observing it from the underside. A still like on should be preferred. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 08:09, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

Since so many had the issue and no fixes have been provided (yet, anyway), I switched to a single frame. The raw frames are having a bigger and bigger Ceres though; so soon we should be done with animations for the infobox. --Njardarlogar (talk) 10:03, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

This is def some foreign object because its not there then its there, and the fact is njardarlogar, there is ice all over the planet without a hint of shimmer. Ice that clear can not be simply created. This is a ufo. From my ifo vantage pt right now is a picture. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:53, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

Requested move 26 February 2015[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: no consensus to move at this time. HiDrNick! 13:37, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

– Per WP:PRIMARYTOPIC. Currently the Ceres disambiguation page says that the dwarf planet and the goddess are both primary topics, but that seems incorrect. The dwarf planet has about 3000 views daily, whereas the goddess has only 400 views daily. In addition, Google's search results for Ceres overwhelmingly display results for the dwarf planet, with a few results for the cities named Ceres, and no results for the goddess in the first several pages! Thus I believe it is clear that this page is the primary topic, and should be located at Ceres. Chessrat (talk) 15:44, 26 February 2015 (UTC)


It seems to me that the high daily views currently seen for the dwarf planet is due to the approach of the Dawn spacecraft. A better indicator a to whether the dwarf planet is truly the primary topic would be a look at daily views before Dawn's apporoach. EJM Missouri (talk) 16:25, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
I checked several other dates and the dwarf planet is viewed more than the goddess at about a 4:1 ratio. —  AjaxSmack  16:43, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support The goddess is not a particularly major figure even in classical mythology, the dwarf planet is of some importance as the largest of the asteroids. PatGallacher (talk) 18:09, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose, due to the long-term significance of the Roman goddess. Compare Eris, Haumea, Makemake, Sedna, and Salacia, all of which go to disambigation pages directing to either the minor planet or the mythological figure, and Ceres (one of the twelve major gods of the Roman pantheon) has more long-term significance than the other mythological figures. Pluto is different, but, given its unique history amongst minor planets, it makes sense that Pluto should be different. Egsan Bacon (talk) 18:15, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Ceres (dwarf planet) is the primary topic and has received ~4x as many hits as the goddess since 2007. Unlike other recently discovered dwarf planets such as Eris, Ceres was treated as a planet from 1801 until around the 1850s. Ceres will continue to increase in exposure during the Pluto flyby in July 2015 because of the general public's interest in the planet debate. The re-directs can always be changed as warranted in 2 years but I suspect former planet Ceres will always generate significantly more hits. -- Kheider (talk) 18:18, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support although I notice 2 Pallas, 3 Juno and 4 Vesta are numbered (along with 1 Ceres) and not primary topics, and they are called asteroids, not dwarf planets!? All have XXX (asteroid) redirects I guess. Tom Ruen (talk) 18:36, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
2 Pallas, 3 Juno and 4 Vesta are technically asteroids, classified as small solar system bodies in a third class below dwarf planets and planets according to the official IAU definition. Also, the disparity in page views between the astronomical and mythological referents is more equal for Vesta than Ceres and reversed for Pallas and Juno, where the goddess has far more. A2soup (talk) 20:18, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Ceres is the only asteroid classified as a dwarf planet. — kwami (talk) 19:55, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose, as per Egsan Bacon. Simon Burchell (talk) 18:41, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support exoplanetaryscience (talk) 18:53, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. Primary topic even w/o current Dawn mission. We can always revisit. Not sure if a similar move for Vesta would be warranted (probably not), but the TNOs mentioned in the opposition above have not been visited by spacecraft, and won't be for at least several decades. — kwami (talk) 19:55, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Weak support Oppose. Moving will undoubtedly help people find what they're looking for, but we should be wary of letting Wikipedia be modulated too much by current events. My support therefore relies on the fact that the dwarf planet page has had 3-5 times more views going back to 2007. My opposition therefore derives from a consideration of the relative significance and popularity of the goddess and celestial body as quantified by several different metrics. The other dwarf planet pages mentioned by Egsan Bacon should probably be moved as well, since the mythological figures are quite obscure in English. Perhaps a good rule of thumb would be give dwarf planets but not small solar system bodies the primary page, unless the dwarf planet's mythological referent is particularly prominent. A2soup (talk) 20:18, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
    • Agree, far from clinching the argument there is actually a tenable case for treating the astronomical object as the primary meaning in at least some of the cases listed by Egsan Bacon. PatGallacher (talk) 21:06, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. Long-term evidence that there is greater interest in the dwarf planet than the mythology figure from which the name derives. I would also take a look at potentially identifying a primary topic for the other dwarf planets and some of the solar system's more prominent moons. Dragons flight (talk) 20:50, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. Seems to be the primary topic even without Dawn. With Dawn, it will definitely be the primary topic for at least the coming years. This move can always be revisited in the future. --JorisvS (talk) 21:30, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Gods and goddesses should always be primary with respect to objects, people, or places named after them. We wouldn't be considering this move if the other topic were a work of literature, a television series, or a comic book character, no matter what the ratio of search results showed. I also think that the range of sources discussing the asteroid is extremely limited. You don't run across references to Ceres every day, unless you're browsing astronomical sources. In my whole life I don't think I've ever heard Ceres the asteroid come up in conversation, although I do remember the goddess being mentioned in school. If you want to say that both topics are primary and therefore require disambiguation, fine. But it makes no sense to require it for the goddess and not the asteroid named after her. P Aculeius (talk) 00:24, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
    Always? Even with Pluto? Far from convinced that we wouldn't be discussing a move under circumstances stated. Just checked, the other dwarf planets mentioned by Egsan Bacon are Kuiper belt objects only discovered in the 21st century, Ceres was discovered back in 1801 and it is an issue of some significance in the history of astronomy about how to classify it. PatGallacher (talk) 01:43, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
    So Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus should all link to mythological figures rather than planets? Your argument is silly in its extremism. We can argue about where to draw lines, but you can't simply assume the earliest person / thing to bear a specific name is the WP:PRIMARYTOPIC. It is not uncommon for a later usage to surpass the original in terms of prominence. Dragons flight (talk) 01:58, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Dudes, you are going to upset many imaginary friends if you don't give them their due prominence over reality. BatteryIncluded (talk) 02:18, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
It is the public's interest in their "belief" that Pluto has to be a planet that will keep both dwarf planets Pluto and Ceres more relevant than the gods for several years. -- Kheider (talk) 02:32, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
I've read so many arguments; but this was most flawed. Dragons flight, already noted the BIG FLAW in your argument's premise. – nafSadh did say 02:43, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Quite a lot to respond to here... first of all, I didn't say that all other uses had to be demoted to secondary importance. Two uses could be equally primary, or to put it another way, there might be said to be no primary topic for a given name because two or more uses are of similar significance. What I said is that celestial bodies shouldn't be primary over the deities for whom they're named. Users looking for "Ceres" shouldn't be directed to a page about an asteroid instead of the goddess.
If you read the guidelines for choosing a primary topic, you'll find two relevant conditions. First, readers should not merely be more likely to be looking for information about one topic than the other. They should be much more likely to be doing so. Secondly, as several people have pointed out, merely because current events cause the asteroid to be a more popular topic at the moment doesn't mean that it has long-term cultural significance. If you ask a typical person what the name "Ceres" refers to, chances are at least as likely that people will have learned about the goddess in school as about the asteroid. And if you want more in-depth knowledge, people are far more likely to recognize "Ceres" as the Roman equivalent of Demeter, and a goddess of grain or agriculture, mother of Proserpina, the goddess after whom cereal grains (and breakfast cereal) are named, than to know anything at all about the asteroid except that "it's an asteroid named after the Roman goddess." Literary references to "Ceres" will invariably be about the goddess; so will appearances in painting, sculpture, and other forms of art.
There is indeed some discussion as to the status of dwarf planets, which is almost entirely of interest to nobody but astronomers and astronomy buffs, with the lone exception of whether Pluto is a planet. And that's significant solely because millions of schoolchildren learned that it was for several decades. If it hadn't been discovered until 2005, then we'd be discussing it in the same category as Eris, Sedna, Orcus, etc., and the fact is that the vast majority of people have no conscious recollection of any of these; or if they do it's only because of the news coverage of their discovery and subsequent naming or classification as dwarf planets. But most people have very limited interest in astronomy; perhaps a majority can name all of the current planets plus Pluto, but chances are most can't point to a single star and name it, or find any constellations other than "the Big Dipper." So other than a disproportionate interest in whether Pluto is a planet, and a vague awareness that there are a bunch of small planet-like things floating around the solar system, the debate over the status of Ceres doesn't even enter the public consciousness.
I don't think it helps the debate to call arguments you disagree with "silly in their extremism" or to imply that people who disagree with you are "extremists." Nor does it help to belittle an argument by suggesting that the person making it is worried about "upsetting his imaginary friends" or is somehow divorced from reality. These are not valid arguments, and do nothing to help sort out the opposing arguments. All it does is make people less willing to speak up. Ridiculing people or their views is not a good way to conduct this discussion. P Aculeius (talk) 03:07, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
I don't mean to ridicule you or offend you, but do you stand by your very first sentence: "Gods and goddesses should always be primary with respect to objects, people, or places named after them"? If so, then it is entirely logical to ask what you think about all the articles on planets that serve as primary topics instead of their mythological namesakes. If you want to retreat from the position that "gods and goddesses should always be primary", that's fine. Nuance is good. Dragons flight (talk) 03:35, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
My opinion is that the gods and goddesses after whom planets, moons, or other celestial bodies are named should never be relegated to secondary importance. It doesn't matter whether you want to say that both are primary or that neither is primary. The proposal under debate is to remove disambiguation from Ceres, the asteroid, thereby making it primary and all other articles secondary. That's what I'm opposed to. In my opinion, cultural priority is the most important factor in this debate. Greek and Roman gods and goddesses are neither obscure nor clearly secondary to planetary bodies; so according to Wikipedia's own guidelines for assigning primary topic status they shouldn't be relegated to secondary status while their own namesakes are elevated to primary topics. P Aculeius (talk) 05:45, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
History should record that Ceres was the first dwarf planet ever discovered, so both Pluto and Ceres are very relevant to the "What is a planet debate". -- Kheider (talk) 04:13, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
And it was originally considered to be a planet. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 04:46, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Which doesn't change the facts that 1) hardly anybody outside of astronomy knows anything more about Ceres than that it's an asteroid named after a Roman goddess, 2) nobody outside of astronomy cares whether Ceres becomes a planet again, and 3) hardly anyone in the astronomical community supports the idea of recognizing Ceres as a planet. So no, public consciousness of Ceres has no relevance to the debate over Pluto, nor does the debate about Pluto add much weight to whether Ceres the asteroid ought to be considered primary for the name.
The fact that Ceres was considered a planet when it was discovered in 1801 isn't particularly instructive, since at the time the existence of asteroids hadn't been established. The word, however, was coined the following year, by none other than William Herschel, the discoverer of Uranus. For the next fifty years the words "planet" and "asteroid" were used interchangeably. From 1807 to 1845, the solar system contained eleven planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, Pallas, Juno, Vesta, Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus. But over the next ten years, thirty-three more asteroids and the planet Neptune were discovered. So Ceres stopped being spoken of as a planet, at least in the sense that Mars and Jupiter were planets, before the great-grandparents of most people living today were born. So the fact that it was commonly spoken of as a planet during the first half of the nineteenth century isn't any more relevant than the fact that prior to 1801, Ceres always referred to a Roman goddess.
I fear we're losing sight of the real issue here. It's not whether the asteroid Ceres is notable, or has some importance to science. The issue is whether it should clear the field of other uses of the name, including the goddess after whom it was, and is, named. And due to the cultural significance of the goddess, priority in time, and the fact that the asteroid is named after her, I think it would be a mistake to demote the goddess herself to secondary status in favour of an asteroid that doesn't even enter most people's consciousness. Perhaps the Dawn mission will bring people's attention to the asteroid for a few days, a brief news cycle for those who still pay attention to science news. But within a few months most people will have forgotten that; if they remember anything about the story, they'll probably have forgotten the name of the asteroid. Ceres the goddess has long-term cultural significance; the asteroid is a relatively small body within the solar system; more than thirty known planets and moons are larger. If not for its significance in the history of astronomy, far fewer people would be aware of it at all. So while I don't mean to argue that it's insignificant, I will argue that it's not clearly and far more important than the goddess for which it's named; and those are the criteria by which primary topics are supposed to be assigned. P Aculeius (talk) 05:45, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
What is your opinion about the fact that the article about the object has multitude of more visits than that of the goddess? – nafSadh did say 05:55, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
hardly anybody outside of astronomy knows anything more about Ceres than that it's an asteroid named after a Roman goddess - I suspect that is too generous, and that the average person (or at least a very large fraction of the relevant population) has heard of neither the goddess Ceres nor the dwarf planet Ceres. Now that the dwarf planet is coming into view as a planet-like world rather than a blob in Hubble's images, the dwarf planet is likely to receive a permanent boost in coverage and public attention, though how much is impossible to say at this point. --Njardarlogar (talk) 14:35, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Weak Support. The dab (dwarf planet) sounds really weird and the astronomical object is of more interest to people than the goddess. Only thing that weakens my support is the fact that, the word Ceres first came as the name of goddess and everything else was named after that; and I was rather hesitant to support the move. But, the more I think about it, I side more with the proposed move. Ceres, be Ceres with you. – nafSadh did say 02:43, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
    • The goddess may be the original usage, but I think the important thing for WP is what the most common usage of "Ceres" is, and I think it's now the asteroid, not the goddess. For example, I think all the planets' names are now far more commonly used for the planet than for the god, and that's why they all don't use disambiguation – save Mercury only, and even then it's because of the element and not the god. Double sharp (talk) 06:20, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. Especially because of Dawn, Ceres the dwarf planet is certainly the primary topic. I don't think it's necessary for Vesta though: "4 Vesta" is a very neat, simple, and short disambiguation. As for the other dwarf-planet KBOs, they don't have a spacecraft going to explore them yet except for Pluto, which doesn't have the disambiguation. Double sharp (talk) 06:20, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose per Google Books where the goddess is overwhelmingly the absolute majority topic. This would really confirm wikipedia as a non-serious attempt to write an encyclopedia if we do this. Also this seems to have attracted astronomy editors. In ictu oculi (talk) 07:46, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Comment I believe the argument may be stacked by posting this on the Ceres (dwarf planet) talk page, and a more neutral venue should have been chosen. Simon Burchell (talk) 09:33, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

I would think this is exactly where it should be as long as any other heavily searched Ceres are also notified. And it looks like the Roman God talk page has been notified. Fyunck(click) (talk) 10:02, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - You know I wasn't sure about this move. Even if the Dwarf Planet had 4x the searching in the past as some have said and now has 8x the searching. It was named after the God and the God still gets a small number of search hits. But after reading the points being made here I do feel that the dwarf planet Ceres is only going to snowball upwards in searches in the years to come as more and more info continually pours out of NASA. A few weeks ago I found myself reading about it on CNN and then clicking over to wikipedia to check out details on the space object. Our readers are paramount in determining these article titles, and with two Dwarf Planets being photographed and videoed in the months and possibly years to come I think it best to move Ceres (dwarf planet) to the same status as dwarf planet Pluto. And as User:JorisvS stated, we can always come back and look at this in a couple years if things drastically change. Fyunck(click) (talk) 10:25, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Fyunck(click) I have to ask, did you follow me here from the Serbian tennis player RM? I don't recall you having an interest in gods and planets. In ictu oculi (talk) 14:45, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. As the first thing I checked even Newton acts as a disambiguation page and this is even thought articles such as Isaac Newton are disambiguated by first names like Isaac. I don't see the point of displacing a topic by the thing that was named after it. I have no objection to a move such as CeresCeres (deity). GregKaye 10:55, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The deity and dwarf planet have comparable usage levels, once offline sources are included. That might change for a few months while the latter is visited by a spacecraft, but is likely to be only a temporary effect. Disambiguation is still the best way to go. Modest Genius talk 15:30, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose page views should not be considered a factor in determination of what is and is not a primary article for a given title. I can and do see that the nature of the internet and its users on its own will tend to give greater attention and thus prominence to those subjects which science geeks (which many internet users are) are interested in and/or which receive more current attention. I would think the primary determinant would be which subject is more likely to receive more links to and from other wikipedia articles. Given the number of topics relating to mythology in various other reference sources, even if they don't all exist here yet or are at a poor level of development, I would have to think that the article on the goddess will reasonably receive more internal links than the dwarf planet will. John Carter (talk) 16:22, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
    I might interest you to know that Ceres (mythology) (and redirects) has incoming links from 457 Wikipedia articles, while Ceres (dwarf planet) (and redirects) has incoming links from 543 articles. Dragons flight (talk) 17:32, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
    • It might also perhaps interest you that, although I am unfortunately making a bit of an appeal to authority here, and I hate seeing anyone do that, that I have looked over a rather largish number of encyclopedic reference sources relating to the field of religion and mythology and have found much to my displeasure that our content is dramatically weaker, both in terms of number of articles and length of articles, than virtually every other source I have looked at. I acknowledge up front that the material for modern science gets much more attention from more editors than the sometimes more problematic content relating to old stories and legends, and that I would expect the more easily definable content of the former to have been better developed than the less broadly interesting material and less easily definable content related to older literature and stories. And, of course, there is a rather real chance that the ambiguity and overlap of Ceres/Demeter may play a role here as well. I specifically mentioned the issue of well-developed and comprehensive coverage and the number of links I would expect there, not the existing often inadequate coverage of broadly historic matters such as Greco-Roman mythology. John Carter (talk) 17:47, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
    Why should internal links matter? Shouldn't they always be directly to the end page, avoiding redirects? Tbayboy (talk) 18:57, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
    • By internal links, I meant the number of articles which would link directly to any other given article, and, like I said, given the comparatively poor level of development of literary/mythological material here relative to astronomical material, as someone who has an interest in both topics, having gotten an astronomy scholarship and studied archaic religions, I have the definite impression, at this time unverifiable here, that the number of other articles reasonably necessary for comprehensive coverage of topics which would usefully link to the goddess probably exceeds the number that would usefully link to the minor planet. John Carter (talk) 19:47, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
That's how I understood the term. But you still haven't explained why it's important, or at least more important that doing what's best for the audience. I would think that the important metric is which page is most desired by people who type "Ceres" into the search box. Page hits may or may not be an accurate reflection of that (i.e., hits via internal, non-dab links wouldn't count towards this). I would guess the best metric is the number of times Dwarf Planet is clicked on the Ceres dab-page versus the number for mythology. Tbayboy (talk) 00:30, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. If anything, Ceres the goddess would be the primary topic per Wikipedia:Disambiguation: " topic is primary for a term, with respect to long-term significance, if it has substantially greater enduring notability and educational value than any other topic associated with that term." Paul August 16:29, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
By the way I'm certain that many many more people have heard of Ceres the goddess, than have ever heard of the dwarf planet. Paul August 16:39, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
I suspect your statement(s) might grossly be in error 6 months from now. -- Kheider (talk) 17:44, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Nothing that can happen any time in the near future can possibly change the two topics relative long-term significance. Paul August 18:12, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
If significant signs of bacterial life are suggested by the Dawn mission, the goddess will quickly lose her significance. Ceres will be a topic around water coolers for the next 6+ months as images of both Ceres and Pluto come back. The goddess will probably keep falling in popularity over generations as I do not expect the goddess Ceres to visit the Earth any time soon. -- Kheider (talk) 18:38, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Also I hope you agree that the primary topic for "apple" ought to be (as it currently is) the fruit, and not the company, search frequency and recent notoriety notwithstanding? Paul August 18:20, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Sure, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But Ceres is not an edible fruit or the richest business in the world. -- Kheider (talk) 18:37, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Of course, all "if" statements are fairly obviously violations of WP:CRYSTALBALL and are probably best dealt with at the time those "ifs" become a reality, not before then. John Carter (talk) 19:01, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Regarding long-term significance, it is entirely possible that a celestial body discovered and named in modern times can usurp the long-term significance of its namesake, as in the case of Neptune and Pluto. So the argument that the namesake should always be primary is invalid. What we must do here is make a judgement call as to whether, at this time, Ceres has usurped its namesake (as with Neptune), remains overshadowed by it (as with Titania), or is too close to make a definitive judgement (as with Titan). A2soup (talk) 19:03, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment People have heard of the goddess Demeter and the asteroid Ceres. Practically no-one has heard of the goddess Ceres. And with the mission soon to be all over the news, the difference will only become greater. — kwami (talk) 18:29, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This move request—as well as most of the supporters' comments—is a clear case of recentism. The concept of a primary topic should not depend on whatever happens to be in the news at the moment, nor should it be mutable in accordance with every change in people's attention. The current situation, with a search for "Ceres" leading to the dab page, is the best one possible. Deor (talk) 21:39, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Even years before the Dawn mission, the dwarf planet received ~4 times as many hits as the goddess and this will simply snowball in the next month. -- Kheider (talk) 22:46, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
The number of "hits" is not the sole justification for a topic being primary, another is "long-term significance" as several editors have pointed out. And when talking about a topic which has been important for thousands of years, thinking in terms of the last few years seems like recentism to me. Paul August 23:01, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
The dwarf planet has significantly surpassed the goddess for all the accessible "traffic history". I hardly call that recentism. And with the Dawn orbiter and New Horizons flyby this notable difference will snowball. -- Kheider (talk) 23:21, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
That's pretty much the definition of "recentism." P Aculeius (talk) 03:26, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
The dwarf planet has received 4x as many hits as the goddess since 2007 which gives the dwarf planet 8+ years of dominance. All current "planets and dwarf-planets" that have been accepted as planets in the past have gone on to surpass the gods that they are named for. (Eris has never officially been accepted as a planet and 4 Vesta is not officially a dwarf-planet.) -- Kheider (talk) 13:48, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment It appears that some of you are not letting the fact that the dwarf planet receives more views than the goddess sway your opinion on whether the article is the primary or not, but frankly if one is receiving more vies than the other, then that means it's more popular on wikipedia, and although it may not be the unanimous favor of the people browsing the internet or the general populace, it's those people who are the ones who actually matter in the article being the primary, and a 4:1 ratio of views to either should be quite enough to count as the primary. I don't see why all of you are spawning such a huge discussion over it, when the only difference it makes is another click to each article. exoplanetaryscience (talk) 04:38, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment if anything, the long term significance argument goes for the asteroid, not the goddess, since the goddess' significance is lower than her equivalent Demeter, and the dwarf planet has been around for billions of years longer than the goddess has existed. Clearly longterm existence goes to the dwarf planet. Its place in the understanding of the Solar System is also much greater than an element of a dead religion. Whether the goddess or the dwarf planet is the primary topic , well it is not the goddess, because of religious equivalency, the equivalent Demeter is what has a higher profile, and the asteroid has had a higher profile long before the asteroid mission currently in the news was even proposed. The only question is if the dwarf planet is the primary topic or not, not if the goddess is the primary topic, which it isn't. -- (talk) 05:48, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support; clear WP:PRIMARYTOPIC based on all considerations of the guideline. The dwarf planet has more long-term significance (the dwarf planet has been around for nearly 4.6 billion years), more incoming wikilinks, substantially greater page views, and more press coverage/studies. Frankly, the oppose !votes appear to be bordering on WP:IDONTLIKEIT as arguments. StringTheory11 (t • c) 18:28, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment long-term significance doesn't mean that the subject has received a lot of attention in the last few years. The goddess Ceres has been the subject of worship, art, literature, and the namesake of countless persons, places, and things for at least 2,700 years. Ceres the asteroid has only been known for about 200 years, and for most of that time it was nothing more than a tiny speck in the most powerful telescopes. It's received almost no attention outside the astronomical community until the announcement of the Dawn mission, and even that hasn't brought it very far into public awareness.
I did a survey of articles mentioning "Ceres" in the New York Times archives, dating back to 1851. I searched the first 200 entries, and wrote down the dates and brief quotes from the articles explaining the significance of the name, omitting duplicate articles and a few instances where the word appeared to be misspelled from something else or had no clear context. Here's a summary:
  • Articles discussing the goddess Ceres, or depictions of her in art and literature: 1855, 1882, 1896, 1897, 1916, 1930, 1931, 1935, 1955, 1956, 1963 (2), 1984, 1990, 1992.
  • Persons described as Ceres or sons of Ceres: 1861, 1922
  • Agricultural societies, awards, mottoes, varieties of grain, or flowers named after Ceres: 1881, 1889, 1936, 1937, 1947, 1950, 1952, 1978
  • Ships (and one floating grain elevator) named after Ceres: 1858, 1860, 1861 (2), 1862 (5), 1863 (5), 1864 (7), 1865 (2), 1867, 1882, 1883, 1884 (3), 1885 (2), 1895, 1896 (2), 1899, 1915, 1916, 1920, 1923, 1936, 1939
  • Horses and horse races named after Ceres: 1888, 1934, 1943, 1955
  • Places named after Ceres (mostly U.S. Towns, but also one in Brazil, a fruit-growing region in South Africa, and a name for a point in Morocco near Ceuta): 1891, 1893, 1902, 1905, 1906 (2), 1917, 1925 (2), 1935, 1936, 1943, 1950, 1953, 1959, 1960, 1964, 1980, 1995, 2000, 2002
  • Companies named after Ceres (mostly agricultural): 1882, 1936, 1973, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2007, 2015
  • Ceres environmental principles adopted after the Exxon Valdez disaster: 1993, 1994
  • Environmental group named after Ceres: 2006 (3), 2007 (3), 2008 (2), 2009 (3), 2010, 2013, 2014 (2), 2015
  • Ceres Union (fraternal lodge, 1858–1973): 1912, 1919, 1935, 1941, 1948, 1950, 1959
  • Ceres Gallery, apparently specializing in artwork produced by women: 1987, 1997, 2005, 2007 (2)
  • Persons with Ceres as a surname: 1899, 1923, 1927 (2), 1929, 1932, 1939, 1941 (2), 1950 (2), 1956, 1961, 1965, 2001
  • Persons with Ceres as a given name: 1918, 1922 (2), 1923 (2)
All of which are ultimately derived from the goddess Ceres, as is the asteroid itself.
  • Articles mentioning the asteroid Ceres: 2001, 2007 (3), 2012, 2014, 2015 (2)
  • Articles about mnemonic devices for remembering the names of the planets, including Ceres: 2008, 2015 (2)
  • Works of art named after the asteroid: 2013
Of note, the 2001 story merely mentioned Ceres in passing; it was about the discovery of Ixion, which was then thought to be the largest known asteroid, surpassing Ceres; in this context Ceres serves the purpose of the proverbial football field, aircraft carrier, or Olympic-sized swimming pool as a measuring device. All of the other stories are about the Dawn mission, except for the 2014 article, which mentions the unexpected detection of water vapor on Ceres, and two of those, from 2007, merely mention that the launch has been delayed.
This coverage from 2007 to the present is indeed very recent, historically speaking, which is why it doesn't qualify as "long-term significance." If it did, then we might have to conclude that the environmental group Ceres is primary, since it's received much more news coverage from 2006 to the present. P Aculeius (talk) 18:06, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
It is funny that the New York times started in 1851. You do know that around 1845 Ceres was demoted from a planet to an asteroid? From 1801 to ~1850 Ceres was a planet. -- Kheider (talk) 18:33, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
I don't know what's funny about it. It just happens to be the only major newspaper of national importance that I know allows searching of this type without a special archival subscription (or buying each article separately to see what it's about, hardly practical when trawling for mere mentions over a hundred and sixty-five years). And Ceres was never "demoted" from a planet to an asteroid. If you read the above, William Herschel coined the term "asteroid" for Ceres and similar bodies in 1802, the year after Ceres was discovered. It just happens that by the 1850's it was clear that there were many asteroids, of which Ceres was simply the biggest. Nobody "demoted" Ceres, though. There was no sharp distinction between planets and asteroids during this period. P Aculeius (talk) 19:53, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
By 1845, numerous asteroid were being discovered and that is what truly lead to the demotion of Ceres to "one of many asteroids". Herschel coined the term "asteroid" out of spite for "Planet Ceres" becauce he was biased towards his own discovery of planet Uranus. Herschel probably disliked planet Ceres as much as you seem to. -- Kheider (talk) 20:18, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
Significance does not mean newspaper coverage. Newspapers have a very skewed view for both (recent) events and things the common people can relate to. --JorisvS (talk) 18:35, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
No, it doesn't. But neither do Google hits, Wikipedia links, redirect pages, or even page views, all of which are much more likely to be skewed by factors other than awareness by the general public, than is news coverage in a single, reputable publication over more than a century and a half. What that coverage does show, however, is that Ceres, the goddess, was well-entrenched in public consciousness over that entire period.
That's why there are so many works of art depicting Ceres, from antiquity to modern times, only a tiny number of which have been mentioned in the news; dozens of ships of various nationalities named after her; as well as people, towns, regions, fraternal organizations, companies, art galleries and environmental coalitions. Not to mention the first "planet" discovered between Uranus and Neptune. It also shows that from 1851 to the announcement of the Dawn mission in 2007, there was no significant attention given to the asteroid; and all but one of the stories since then have been about the Dawn mission.
Unmanned space missions fade from public consciousness pretty quickly, no matter how lovely the photographs they send back or how useful the data is to astronomers. If you were to rattle off names like "Viking, Mariner, Explorer, Pioneer, Voyager, Huygens, Dawn," or "New Horizons," how many people could confidently tell you where each went or what it did? At best a high percentage of people might have a vague recollection of Voyager. If you ask them to name a few space missions, other than "Apollo" or "the Space Shuttle," chances are most people won't come up with any of these names. Within a couple of years of the main news coverage of Dawn ending, most people won't remember what it was and they won't have any special recollection of Ceres. I can't tell you whether you'd get a better response from "have you ever heard of the Roman goddess Ceres" or "have you ever heard of the asteroid Ceres?" But until 2007, I suspect the overwhelming number of responses would be for the first, and I believe that's likely to be the case ten years from now. P Aculeius (talk) 19:53, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
Wow, excellent work, although I suspect you may have missed some references to the celestial body by searching for the "asteroid Ceres" rather than the "planet Ceres" (as it was regarded until the mid-19th century, and newspaper references to it likely would have outlasted its scientific classification as such) or the minor-planet designation "1 Ceres". Nevertheless, the point is well-made. I think younger people like myself (a college student) perhaps put too much stock in the first few pages of Google results when it comes to determining significance. The disparity between your findings and my Google results is striking. (Bing has a less dramatic focus on the celestial body for me-- perhaps Google has learned my interests?)
It is true, however, that newspapers represent just one skewed perspective on usage. This inspired me to do a query of Google Ngrams, which gives the frequency of the occurrence of phrases in English books over time through 2008. I queried "goddess Ceres", "asteroid Ceres", "1 Ceres", and "planet Ceres" (which will also return references to "dwarf planet Ceres") in the range 1800-2008. I couldn't think of any other ways to specify the goddess in two words. In any case, the results show that while the goddess loses to the combined frequency of the three celestial names at some times in the past and since about 1975, the difference is not dramatic. Combining your survey of the Times with my Ngrams query and my general findings in online searches, I don't clearly see the celestial body as the primary topic-- it is definitely a dab situation. I will change my !vote above to "oppose". A2soup (talk) 19:12, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
Searching for "goddess Ceres" vs. say "asteroid Ceres", I think would provide a skewed result, since for all but a tiny bit of the relevant time frame (~ 2500 years), one would refer to the goddess simply as "Ceres", the qualifying "goddess" would have been unneeded. Paul August 20:21, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
That's very likely true, but I needed to distinguish them somehow. Here is a somewhat more sophisticated query (press the search button on the page that comes up if it doesn't work at first), looking at the frequency with which "Ceres" is modified by "goddess", "planet", "asteroid", and "1" according to Google's automated grammar parsing. Relative to the initial query that only searched for definite phrases, this query turns up more results in which "Ceres" is being used in a goddess context than in an astronomical context. This backs up your contention that the less the specification of "Ceres" is constrained, the more likely it is to refer to the goddess, even in the last 10 years. A2soup (talk) 20:52, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
I could not get your new table to load, but I have the concern that any book talking about asteroid Ceres will mention the goddess it is named after. -- Kheider (talk) 20:56, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
I don't think that any book would also mention the goddess, at least not in a way that would show in the Ngram results, but that is definitely a potential source of error in the Ngram queries. I don't think it is likely to be a greater source of error than the asteroid-favoring bias that Paul August mentioned above, though, but all this is obviously pretty speculative. A2soup (talk) 22:10, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
"temple of Ceres" is also a pretty good ngram for the goddess. Dragons flight (talk) 22:24, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
I don't think your search procedure resulted in a very complete list. Here are some NYTimes articles mentioning the asteroid Ceres prior to 2001: 1874 [2], 1891 [3], 1930 [4], 1941 [5], 1963 [6]. Those aren't intended as an exhaustive list, just a note that older stories do exist. I also don't think there is a lot to be learned from articles that merely mention things named Ceres, unless they also mention either the Goddess or the asteroid. I don't think stories about a ship named Ceres or a town named Ceres, necessarily confers notability on its namesake any more than stories about the deceased princess of Wales increases the notability on the goddess Diana. Dragons flight (talk) 19:35, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
Regarding a complete list, he describes looking at the first 200 results, so I think he was going for a representative sample rather than an exhaustive survey. Whether the top results of the Times archive search are unfairly biased against the asteroid is a different question, but I don't see any reason to suspect that would be the case. A2soup (talk) 19:46, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
I wasn't looking for an exhaustive list, precisely. I didn't search for "goddess Ceres" or "asteroid Ceres." I searched for all references to "Ceres" at any date, and noted uses for the first 20 pages of results. That took over three hours, and the results were well-distributed over most of the period of time, so I considered it a fairly representative sample. There may well be more mentions of the asteroid here and there, but there are probably a lot more references to the goddess, works of art depicting her, people and places and things named after her, too. And I didn't see a simple way to count all of the articles in any of these categories and know that none had been left out. That's why I stopped at 200, and summarized those. P Aculeius (talk) 20:03, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
With respect to the point about news coverage of Princess Diana conferring notability on the goddess, I'm not claiming that it does. But a list of prominent people named after the goddess would not be unusual in Wikipedia. A more relevant point would be that the news coverage of Diana over nearly thirty years would easily eclipse the goddess, but still not make the late Princess of Wales primary for the topic. Diana, Princess of Wales, has far more long-term significance based on news coverage and current cultural awareness than the asteroid Ceres does. But it's still very recent compared with the goddess, and if one of them has to be primary, it should be the goddess, not the princess named after her. Of course, one could simply decide that there are too many significant uses to make any of them primary. But the topic of this survey is whether to make the asteroid primary and the goddess secondary. And that should yield the same result, recent coverage of the Dawn mission notwithstanding. P Aculeius (talk) 20:10, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
I agree that looking at the first 200 results is a reasonable sampling approach in the absence of something better, though we can't really know whether the NYTimes relevance algorithm biases the early results in some way relative to a truly random sample. The fact that your sample got no stories about the asteroid at all prior to 2001 makes me a bit suspicious, though I couldn't say why a bias might exist. Dragons flight (talk) 20:35, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. The above arguments have convinced me that the dwarf planet is indeed the primary topic. Rreagan007 (talk) 21:50, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Weak oppose I think this is a line drawing exercise. Large numbers of astronomical objects are named after ancient deities. Which gets primary topic should not be a popularity contest, but should be decided with some consistency. We give primary status to planets. The five known in the ancient world were identified with their deities. Uranus and Neptune and Pluto were also planets when Wikipedia started and their article originated. I wouldn’t change Pluto because of its reclassification, in part because that is still somewhat controversial and in part because there is another candidate for primary: Disney has a dog in this fight. What pushes me into the no change camp is our treatment of the Galilean moons of Jupiter. All are disambiguated (moon). I would argue that these moons are at least as important as Ceres, historically and scientifically.--agr (talk) 22:34, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
    I would think those four moons of Jupiter should probably be primary topics. I wouldn't make my mind up based on potential errors in other articles. Go with what's best for readers on the topic of Ceres. Fyunck(click) (talk) 06:20, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
    I disagree with your decision, but holy cow that might be the cleverest thing I've ever read at Wikipedia!! Good job!! ArnoldReinhold, you deserve a cookie! Red Slash 00:54, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
    In the future, an argument might be made for setting some (or all) of the Galilean moons as primary topics. In those cases, the mythological characters referenced are mostly important mortals rather than Gods, suggesting somewhat less historical prominence than a case like Ceres. It is also true that all of the moons have more page views than their corresponding mythological entity, though the difference varies from a rather low 2:1 to about the same 4:1 shown here. Anyway, that's an argument for a different time and place. Dragons flight (talk) 03:06, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
    Thank you Red /. With large collections of article names for similar topics, I think it best to follow a standard convention. Currently all articles about named solar system moons except Earth's are titled Xxxxx (moon). Changing that opens the door to endless controversies like this one, with discussions about popularity, cultural significance and even the validity of ancient religions. There will likely be many more dwarf planets and I think our readers are best served if their articles all are titled Xxxxx (dwarf planet). I except Pluto for the reasons given above and I say weak oppose because I can at least see an argument for an exception for Ceres. But I'm still concerned about opening floodgates to endless space rocks vs goddesses arguments.--agr (talk) 16:49, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
I would not support Eris (dwarf planet) as being the primary simply because Eris has never been accepted as a planet. Ceres on the otherhand was treated as a planet from 1801 until around the 1850s. -- Kheider (talk) 17:26, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
Most, not all. Enceladus lacks "(moon)", as do all the preliminary satellite designations like S/2000 J 11 where there is not yet an assigned mythological name. I'm pretty sure that previous general discussions about WP:DISAMBIG have rejected adding parenthetical expressions to titles solely to maintain naming consistency across a series. Dragons flight (talk) 17:56, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
I would also add that the flip side of the "label all moons with (moon)" argument would be to require "(mythology)" on all Roman gods / goddesses, since most of their articles have it already. Exceptions among the main deities would include Apollo and Minerva. I don't agree with requiring parenthetical expressions on all members of an article series, but if that is what you want, then it is worth noting that it could go both ways. Dragons flight (talk) 18:23, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Strong support. Three points: first, LOL at the idea that a made-up fake goddess is somehow going to matter more in the future than an actually existent planet. Second, WP:PRIMARYTOPIC says pageviews are a strong factor in determining primary topic, and there you have a blowout. Third: I generally think that things that are real are more significant than things that are not. Red Slash 00:54, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Strong support per both the pageview and long-term educational significance criteria of WP:PRIMARYTOPIC Red Slash 01:26, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
I take issue with your third point (and the same reasoning seems to underlie your first point as well). In an encyclopedic context, Ceres the goddess is just as "real" as Ceres the asteroid. This debate can get metaphysical quickly, and this isn't the forum for it, but the argument that physical existence makes something more worth documenting doesn't hold water. Should Titania be a dab or the largest moon of Uranus instead of the Shakespeare character because she's a made-up fake fairy queen? Should Merlin be a dab or or any of the "real" things bearing that name instead of the made-up fake wizard? No, and I would argue that the "made-up fake" nature of these entities doesn't count against them at all in terms of their primacy. A2soup (talk) 02:30, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
As the purpose of this discussion is to seek consensus, or perhaps even build it, I fail to see what can be accomplished by using the most provocative and insulting language possible. Our ancestors held Ceres in reverence as a great goddess for well over a thousand years; and for centuries since then scholars and artists have viewed her as a powerful symbol and personification of nature; hence the countless depictions of Ceres in art and literature, the use of her name as a family name and even a personal name, the countless ships and organizations that take her as their symbol and patroness. If the other people participating in this discussion held the same opinion as you, we wouldn't even be having a debate. And if astronomers did, we wouldn't have an asteroid named Ceres to be discussing; it'd be called "Sol 4.5" or something. I can't imagine anyone calling the god of Israel a "made-up fake god" and getting any community support; but that's just how disrespectful those words come across to me. But just to end this post on a lighter note, I've re-imagined our solar system with names given by people who don't want to wreck up the place with made-up fake gods. Moving outward from the sun, and including (formerly) Ceres and Pluto: Pee-wee, Flash, Dirt, Red, Tiny, Spot, Jug-Ears, Blue, Bluer, and Pipsqueak. P Aculeius (talk) 13:51, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
 ;-) Paul August 13:59, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
I strongly and sincerely agree with Paul's statement here, and very much hope that the closing admin consider primarily the comments based on policy and guidelines first and foremost, and take into account the rather remarkably off-topic nature of some of the comments, and consider those sometimes extremely dubious statements and their irrelevance to the substance of this discussion in their closing. John Carter (talk) 17:45, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
Incidentally, I tried looking into the surname Ceres, and what little I could find tended to suggest it was mostly a coincidental or indirect association rather than a intentional reference to the Goddess. They offered histories of the surname that go through other surname like de Serres (French) and Syres (Scottish) not directly related to the Goddess, and that writing it the same way as the Goddess is probably a more modern variant rather than something that would have existed in antiquity. Though it is perhaps unsurprising that few, if any, people would use her name as their own at times when she was actually worshiped. Being called Mr. or Mrs. Goddess would probably be seen as a bit pretentious if not heretical. Dragons flight (talk) 17:25, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
Actually, the Greeks made extensive use of theophoric personal names, like Demetrius (souce of modern names like "Demi" and "Dimitri"), while "Cerealis" ("devotee of Ceres") was a common Roman surname. But modern surnames rarely derive from classical ones; from the sixth century until 1000–1200, hereditary surnames were exceptional in western Europe, and almost exclusive to the aristocracy. Even then they weren't used everywhere, or consistently for hundreds of years. And at that time, nobody was worshiping Ceres directly, as the emperors of the late fourth and fifth centuries had all but outlawed traditional religious practices, closed pagan temples, removed the altars of the gods from public places, and made it untenable for non-Christians to hold public office. A sort of pseudo-worship within the bounds of Christianity returned during the Renaissance, mostly restricted to the arts. And that's the period when hereditary surnames started to be common throughout Europe, so it's not at all unlikely that someone would call himself after an ancient god or goddess. After all, personal names like "Minerva" came into use, and we know that "Ceres" was used at least occasionally as a personal name. But I'm not saying that everyone named Ceres is proven to be named after the goddess; but it seems unlikely that few or none of them are. P Aculeius (talk) 18:58, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Ceres the goddess is an important part of the culture of the ancient Romans, a culture which had an incalculable effect on first Western and then worldwide civilization. Look at Ceres (mythology)#Legacy. There are statues of Ceres on government buildings in a country that never worshipped her, put up by people who surely never considered her to actually exist because of of her cultural significance and what she represents. She appears in the works of Shakespeare, who I think we can safely say did not put her there because he was secretly a worshipper of the Roman pantheon. Ceres the asteroid is a rock. A big rock, sure, but a rock. In space. Frankly, it's stunning that we even need to have a discussion as to which has superior long-term educational significance. The answer should be obvious.
As to the pageview ratio, if we allowed a 4:1 ratio to overwhelm long-term significance, Pink would be about the singer. There's also the many move requests for Madonna (entertainer) as primary topic based on pageviews of around 4:1 in favor of the singer which never go anywhere (if you've never been, pack a lunch, you'll be a while: 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014). As to "existing" vs "not existing", I suppose that means that James Bond (Canadian football) has more significance than the fictional spy as well. As does space rock 9007 James Bond, named after the fictional spy. You know, because they're real. Egsan Bacon (talk) 19:19, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
  • This "space rock" (as you insultingly call it) is a differentiated dwarf planet that use to have a subsurface ocean. This gives the dwarf planet significant educational value as a planetary embryo. -- Kheider (talk) 19:36, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I'm moving your comment down here. Please do not break my comment into two pieces. And I call it a space rock because it is a rock and it is in space. Therefore, it is a space rock, and it really isn't as important as some here seem to think it is. I appreciate that, for some, the circles they spend time in may make it seem like astronomy issues have more widespread interest in society than they actually do, but it just isn't so. Egsan Bacon (talk) 19:57, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
I suppose you would call Earth a space rock. -- Kheider (talk) 20:10, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
Actually, it is not a rock. A good percentage of Ceres is ice, not rock. --JorisvS (talk) 20:31, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
This discussion is an example of the overlap between astronomy and religion. -- Kheider (talk) 20:43, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
(In regards to Egsan Bacon's comments about the primary link for Madonna and Pink): Singers will always die and often begin to be forgotten by the general populous 100+ years after their deaths. Ceres the dwarf planet will be around long after your statues of Ceres have weathered away. Singers have nothing to do with what should or should not be the primary link for Ceres. -- Kheider (talk) 19:51, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
I am actually not at all sure I have ever seen a more completely and utterly irrelevant comment in an RfC. It might surprise some here to realize that we do not necessarily expect each and every article here to survive in their current form or by their current name until the deaths of planets. Nor are we necessarily supposed to take into account our opinions of the possible views of individuals several hundred years in the future. Our purpose at this time is to make the encyclopedia most immediately and obviously useful to people living on the planet Earth in the current day. As we cannot even be sure that there will be a history of humanity extending several centuries into the future, there is no reason as per policies and guidelines to write for the primary purpose of those purely hypothetical individuals of the far future. I realize from the history of this discussion that one or more individuals have a very strong opinion regarding their favored outcome of the discussion, and that is fine. However, those individuals might be at some point wish to read WP:POV and related pages and part of that bias would certainly be presumptions about the content of the current day and its usefulness or lack of same into the far future. John Carter (talk) 20:12, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose- As I understand the original request, it is proposed to make one of two equally prominent subjects in the Ceres dab page, the "primary" subject. When a user types "ceres", it is unknown whether their intention is to seek the name or the object, so it is up to the user to select their target at the disambiguation page. Therefore, I oppose the change and I suggest we leave the Ceres dab page as it is: stable and useful. Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 20:47, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
That will probably be the result of this discussion this year. But I suspect if anything remarkable about Ceres is discovered in the next 1-2 years, we will need to revisit the "significance issue". Without a doubt interest in the dwarf planet will snowball over the next 6 months. The science mission does not even start until April. -- Kheider (talk) 21:04, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
Indeed, it seems that many of the points of disagreement in this discussion will resolve themselves in a few years. This move will surely be revisited then. A2soup (talk) 23:55, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
Comment- This issue can be alleviated- if the dwarf planet is moved, there can be a hatnote saying "For the goddess, see Ceres (mythology. For other uses, see Ceres (disambiguation)". This is common practice for topics that have a clear secondary topic in addition to the primary one.Chessrat (talk) 09:01, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. Initially leaned oppose due to long term significance of classic mythology, before seeing that argument soundly defeated. Ceres is on par with Pluto. Most of the planets are named after Romanized Greek mythological figures. However, on careful thought, these mythological figures are neither more "long term" nor more "significant". It is probably a good thing for astronomical appreciation if Ceres were given higher prominence vis a vis the asteroid belt. Venus (mythology) has tremendous human cultural significance, Ceres (mythology), somewhat less so. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 07:02, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
  • We cannot assume that everything called Ceres was named after the goddess, Ceres Nunataks in Antarctica was named after the dwarf planet, Ceres, Fife in Scotland derives its name from the Gaelic for "west", and in some contexts it is an acronym. PatGallacher (talk) 01:56, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose There is no primary topic. I think that (at least in the UK) if you asked a sample of people in a poll what "Ceres" was/meant, the goddess would be better known. Clearly the planet is a big thing with those interested in astronomy, but most people won't have heard of it. Johnbod (talk) 13:38, 18 March 2015 (UTC)


The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

In Classification: "By the 1860s books seldom referred to Ceres as a planet"[edit]

There's a "citation needed" on this. See the Hilton ref (on the immediately preceeding sentence). The sentence is not correct as is, but I'm not sure how to phrase it. For a starter, though, it would be more correct to say "by the 1870s", since the change took place during the 1860s. Also note that one important astronomical almanac listed the asteroids as a sub-category of planets until 1932. There was a quick differentiation into "planet" and "minor planet"/"small planet"/"asteroid" that took place during the 1860s (thanks to the new numbering system published in 1854), but the idea that a minor planet was not a planet took longer. There's not really any specific date, even decade, when Ceres ceased to be a planet. Tbayboy (talk) 01:26, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

I took a stab at it. Feel free to try a different wording. A2soup (talk) 02:44, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
Seems logically worded now. But I thought I'd clarify something in here. Ceres never ceased to be a planet. We just stopped considering it one! It didn't become a planet in 1801, either. Whatever it is, it was long before 1801, and probably will be long from now. But as stated, there was never a date when people stopped considering it one. In fact, the term "minor planet" wasn't superseded until the adoption of the term "dwarf planet" in the last few years. So we've been able to call it a planet all along! But it must have been much earlier than 1870 when it became apparent that Ceres wasn't the same kind of thing as the other planets. Even in 1807, when Vesta was discovered, it was rather obvious that there was something different about "asteroids," as William Herschel called them.
When we went to school, "how many planets are there in the solar system" was a typical question, and we all knew that the answer was nine, just like it had been since the 1930's. But I don't think people asked that in the early 1800's. Each new discovery suggested that there was more out there. Ceres was discovered only twenty years after Uranus, and then Pallas turned up the same year. Three years later came Juno, and Vesta three years after that. If they were all planets, that meant we'd gone from six to eleven in twenty-six years. For a while there was calm, but another asteroid turned up in 1845, then Neptune in 1846, then three more asteroids in 1847, followed by a ceaseless parade after that. So if you counted them all as planets, there was no way to know how many there were. But I don't think there was ever a point when planets and asteroids were distinguished; it was just a gradual process. P Aculeius (talk) 03:16, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
When Ceres was discovered is was thought to be the missing "planet" between Mars and Jupiter based on the Titius–Bode law. Ceres and Pluto are the only dwarf-planets that were treated as planets for many decades. The term minor planet (and later dwarf-planet) was created to separate these numerous objects from the major planets that clear their orbits of similar-sized-objects. -- Kheider (talk) 18:02, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
  • The discovery of 5 Astraea in 1845, followed quickly by numerous other asteroids that could not be resolved into a disk, is what brought an end to Ceres as a (major) planet around the 1850s. I thought the Google Books Ngram Viewer was an excellent way to quickly summarize this with computer results. -- Kheider (talk) 02:59, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
Except it seems like "asteroids" was early used (except by Herschel!) to designate a group of planets, much like we might say "gas giants". Also, in that era, English wasn't yet the lingua franca of science, and French and German sources were each as significant (or more so) than the British, and the American sources were minor players. Does the Google search incorporate that? Tbayboy (talk) 04:23, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
Obviously the Google count is for books written in English, but this is the English Wikipedia. I have yet to see a better summary source for published books from that period. The term asteroid did not start taking off until the 1850s when it was obvious Ceres was truly one of many. -- Kheider (talk) 04:39, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
Yes, and since this is the English Wikipedia, the usage at that time in another language may be nice to know, but surely would not be relevant for the decision on what the primary topic of the word is in English. Double sharp (talk) 10:42, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
This section isn't about the asteroid versus goddess issue. This is about when Ceres ceased to be considered a planet, which is a scientific issue that cuts across many languages, same as the current planet definition. Tbayboy (talk) 13:39, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
I should really read the section titles...struck out the above comment. Double sharp (talk) 15:18, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

Additional DAWN reference(s)[edit]

To quote: (CNN) NASA's tractor-trailer sized Dawn spacecraft will snuggle up to Ceres on Friday, getting close enough to be pulled into orbit and to complete the first mission to a dwarf planet. "I'm just delighted that Dawn is now on the doorstep of Ceres," Jim Green, director of NASA's planetary science division said in a news conference on Monday. Ceres was discovered in 1801 (Pluto wasn't found until 1930) and was the first object found in our solar system's main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. ... ... ... [As you all know, right?]

Headline-1: NASA spacecraft nearing mysterious dwarf planet Ceres

QUOTE: "Ceres was demoted to an asteroid because 19th century astronomers couldn't be sure it was round. But it was bumped up to a dwarf planet when that category was created in 2006." -- AstroU (talk) 13:28, 3 March 2015 (UTC) -- PS: FYI for future editing.

As the discussion above already indicates, Ceres was neither demoted in the 19th century nor promoted in 2006. News blather isn't a reputable source for scientific or historical fact, no matter how many television personalities in search of a headline repeat it. Although the term "asteroid" was coined to describe Ceres and similar bodies soon after its discovery, it continued being referred to as a planet for some decades, and the term "minor planet" was widely used until being superseded by "dwarf planet" in 2006. But that's just a substitution in terminology, not a promotion. And nobody ever "demoted" Ceres in the first place. Astronomers simply stopped calling it a planet in the same sense as the "elite eight," and almost everyone else was blissfully unaware of its existence. Perhaps if people didn't assume that the IAU or any other organization creates reality when its members vote on what to call something, we wouldn't need to talk about things like "promotions" or "demotions" that suggest important distinctions for something that hasn't changed at all in the course of human civilization. P Aculeius (talk) 14:00, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
The term "minor planet" (asteroid) was used to separate Ceres and other asteroids from the major planets much as the term "dwarf-planet" was used to separate Pluto and other dwarf-planets from the major planets. From a cultural standpoint both of these events are notable. When I went to school I was not taught that there were 10000+ known planets in the Solar System because "minor planets" are treated different than (major) "planets". And Yes, Ceres received a much deserved promotion to spherical dwarf-planet in 2006! -- Kheider (talk) 14:31, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The technical terms dwarf planet and minor planet are not at all synonyms. There are currently five dwarf planets (plus several candidates) and roughly 670,000 known minor planets. In astronomical parlance, a "minor planet" is any natural object that directly orbits the sun but is neither a planet nor a comet, which includes essentially all of the asteroids. The creation of the new category "dwarf planet" was definitely meant to distinguish a specific new classification of objects, and is not somehow a redefinition of "minor planet". Dragons flight (talk) 14:36, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

Dealing with news reports[edit]

As Dawn approaches and begins its primary science mission around Ceres, there will be lots of news coming in over the next days, weeks, and months. While Wikipedia is not a newspaper, I do think one of its strengths is its ability to incorporate breaking findings into its articles. My concern in this case is where those breaking findings (which have already started to trickle in) will go and how they will be organized. Right now, they seem to be ending up at the end of the lead, which I think is a bad trend. While this article will inevitably be shaken up a lot in the coming months, we should try to keep some semblance of FA-class organization and balance. Accordingly, I propose confining the newsfeed-like reports from Dawn to the exploration section, where they can be presented in roughly chronological order, with potentially some grouping by subject (e.g. the bright spots). That section needs a cleanup/rewrite anyways.

What do people think of this plan? I would also love to hear any alternative strategies and/or additional suggestions for keeping this article looking good over the coming months. A2soup (talk) 06:53, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

Why not a subheading under Exploration titled something like Dawn mission discoveries? Editors could add fully sourced new findings there. Some will eventually be superseded by newer discoveries in which case they'll be removed, and if enough sources confirm the info over a longer period of time the stuff could be added to the proper sections. After the furor fades and the new info drys up, this could simply be a section for highlights of the mission. Anyway, my thoughts on it. Fyunck(click) (talk) 08:17, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
Another possible suggestion for the "Ceres" article (as well as the "Dawn" article?) may be a "Timeline" (section or new article?) - similar to the present "Timeline of the Opportunity rover" (for the "Opportunity rover") and the "Timeline of the Curiosity rover" (for the "Curiosity rover") articles - in any case - hope this helps in some way - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 13:38, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
I think that a subsection for the Dawn mission seems like an appropriate place to mention new discoveries, at least until the majority have trickled in and can be evaluated for importance. Eventually anything of major significance will probably need to be incorporated into the lead. But since announcements could be made prematurely and then contradicted by subsequent data within a few weeks, and the relative importance of each discovery needs time to be weighed, confining them to a section or subsection devoted to the Dawn mission seems like a good idea for now. But I think a timeline would be less appropriate for Ceres than it would be for Dawn. A timeline for Ceres would probably begin with its discovery in 1801, and have almost nothing else on it until Dawn (maybe "Hubble takes pictures" or "Ceres included on list of Dwarf planets as defined by IAU"), and since Dawn is likely the last source of new information for the foreseeable future, it'd also end there. So it'd read like a timeline of Dawn, plus one or two other items at the beginning. A timeline makes more sense for Dawn, since it'd be more compact, with events spread out along its history, including many items not directly relevant to Ceres. P Aculeius (talk) 13:49, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

Why do bright spots depend on angle?[edit]

In the movie of the Feb 19 images, the crater containing the twin bright spots (center of our lead img) looks ordinary until it's directly in front of Dawn, at which point the bright spots suddenly appear. You can even see that the dimmer "twin" lies within a small crater within the larger crater; both spots appear to lie dead center in their craters. Any idea what would cause them to be visible below (and to the east), but not to the west? Is it just a matter of illumination? — kwami (talk) 00:25, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

I was wondering about that, too. Fresh ice down the side of a slope, acting like a mirror? I think snow would be too diffuse with its light scattering, making it less angle sensitive. Before those images, I thought Ceres might be like Callisto, with white spots where impacts punched through a thin, dark surface covering to expose fresh ice, with that (now those) bright spot(s) just being the largest. But the two spots don't seem to have much company, suggesting either that they're from a freak event, or a short-lived effect. Whatever, it's nice to see that Ceres is going to give us (well, the astronomers) a mystery. Tbayboy (talk) 01:41, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
Or, maybe they do have company, but in craters further north or south that aren't in a direct angle with the sun.
For days, I'd assumed that the clip wasn't a full rotation, with the point where the bright spots appear being the start of the series. It was only today that I noticed that the crater really did come around again. — kwami (talk) 01:50, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
See Emily Lakdawala's blog: some Dawn people think they might be active plumes. Tbayboy (talk) 00:28, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
The spots show in near infrared. A thermal phenomenon is happening there beyond simple albedo, so I think that confirmation of outgassing plumes will be in the menu soon. BatteryIncluded (talk) 00:52, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

Where do you watch?[edit]

I believe the 'SLOOH' observatory community will have a 'live' video broadcast and commentary tomorrow, Friday 3-6-2015.[7] Are there alternative websites for the Ceres event?
As suggested, I check the DAWN/exploration article subsection. -- AstroU (talk) 01:53, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

Aviation Week sends out a note, very interesting and informative (with excitement) -- AstroU (talk) 13:43, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

Unreferenced sub-surface ocean of water ......[edit]

I removed the statement ( and may harbor an internal ocean of liquid water under its surface ) from the lead until it is put into the body of the article with a citation from a Reliable Source. Ceres is too small to have an internal heat source at its core to heat up the mantle to form an ocean, it is too old and too far from the sun to have residual heat remaining from its formation to keep the ice melted, and unlike the moons of Jupiter (and Saturn), there is no constant gravitational tug from a gas giant to internally heat it and melt the ice into an ocean. If there has been some more-or-less recent well-grounded theory on why Ceres could have such an under-surface ocean of water like Europa almost certainly has, I have personally never come across it. If someone has a good journal or other reference, please summarize and re-add it to the article with a proper cite. I would ask that editors please refrain from some offhand remark by an astronomer who might be just speculating from a news-media outlet - that is not the same thing as proper research appearing in a journal such as Nature. A while back, someone made the statement in one of the TP archives about Ceres having an ocean and it was questioned, but the originator never responded. HammerFilmFan (talk) 06:42, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

See the 2 references I just cited. WolfmanSF (talk) 08:06, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for providing a Reliable Source citation for the previous un-referenced statement. Interesting - but I doubt this planetoid has enough volcanism to provide the necessary heat. The probe may determine this. HammerFilmFan (talk) 12:40, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
Volcanism is not necessary. In fact, surface volcanism would tend to release heat instead of retaining it. --JorisvS (talk) 13:04, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
Not on the surface - undersea volcanism, such as is suspected on Europa.HammerFilmFan (talk) 11:52, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
Unfortunately, that instrument was cut to reduce cost. But subsurface oceans are theorized even for TNOs, where pressure is high enough for liquid even at low temperatures. — kwami (talk) 00:52, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

Original texts by Giuseppe Piazzi on Italian Wikisource[edit]

Please be informed that you can find/read the 2 original texts announcing the discovery of Ceres by Giuseppe Piazzi on Wikisource in Italian language.

Can you please use/add these texts to the article as source or bibliography? Thanks. --Accurimbono (talk) 14:28, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

Page protection[edit]

might wanna protect the page briefly Saturn star (talk) 02:18, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

Three bright spots?[edit]

Looking closely at the February 25th image, one can see a small third spot at about 10:00 to the smaller one. Is this an artifact or a faint one previously unseen? If you look closely, although it cannot be resolved, you can also see it in the global map in the gallery, elongating the smaller spot somewhat. exoplanetaryscience (talk) 17:43, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

The 2nd spot is centered in a secondary crater that lies within the large crater that the primary spot is centered in. I'm guessing the feature you see might be lighting contrast caused by the geometry of that secondary crater. — kwami (talk) 19:09, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
By the way, on the same topic, I've been wondering about the origin of the spots, and suddenly it occurs to me an explanation of them. Those bright spots aren't the only light albedo areas on the asteroid, and perhaps an explanation of them is that earlier Hubble observations of the asteroid detected water vapor on the asteroid- and other observations, as it says in the article, imply a subsurface ice ocean. Perhaps the bright spots are either areas where craters have broken through to the ice below (and subsequently the ice is taken away by the solar wind, and that this crater is relatively young, perhaps only a few hundred thousand years. The other, less-defined bright regions would be older craters, with ice that is already in the process of eroding away. However, on the topic of two bright spots, I see no secondary crater where the smaller is. Perhaps low resolution? Also the third spot that appears to be there, now that I look in detail, appears to be merely the end of a small cliff on the right of the crater, which appears to be the edge of a small crater embedded in the larger one, originally thought to be the crater the large bright spot is in, but now it appears there is a smaller crater embedded in it, in which the bright spot resides. Perhaps the smaller bright spot is in an even smaller crater on the edge of that one, too small to be resolved yet.
While on the topic of discussing features of Ceres, I noticed quite a few large circular shapes on Ceres; I am hesitant to call them craters, however. The first is to the right of the large crater people have been talking about. Most defined at the top, it can be roughly discerned by slightly brighter colors than the surrounding area, and appears quite old considering it is covered by many others. Also, to the left of it, between the large, shallow crater, and a deeper, smaller crater with well-defined edges, is a dark area that appears circular-shaped. Now move to the area to the upper right of the two bright spots, and there is a dark circular shape. Also a crater? Lastly, below that, a dark, large circular area, most defined at the upper left side. Could any of these be craters? exoplanetaryscience (talk) 19:29, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
With any luck there'll be a lot of high-quality photographs coming in soon, and then we'll have a much better idea what's out there. Of course, we can't really speculate on which ones are craters and which ones just look a bit like craters, or exactly how many bright spots there are... that'll be for NASA or other astronomers to describe and publish. Although, I seem to recall that there are Wikipedia policies that you don't need to cite the obvious, and that a photograph (or any work) is a valid source for its own contents. So I don't think there'll be a problem with simply describing what's visible in the photographs, as long as it doesn't call for speculation! P Aculeius (talk) 00:22, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
You can see the smaller crater containing the 2nd bright spot in the animated img., in the video frame just before the spots appear. — kwami (talk) 01:53, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

Stuff like this is original research and does not belong in the article. The resolution of the images taken thus far is still very low and only the largest features are big enough to be able to give clear hints about their true nature (and hints may still of course be deceptive). The pair of brightest spots are not among these. --Njardarlogar (talk) 12:46, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

Interesting SpaceDaily article about the latest on the bright spots. Serendipodous 14:19, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

FWIW - "Three" bright spots? => possibly? - please see the latest image below => File:PIA19064-Ceres-DwarfPlanet-Region5-BrightSpots-20150414.jpg (also, added to the "Ceres (dwarf planet)" and "Dawn (spacecraft)" articles) - please note that this "bright spots" image was cropped/rotated/upsized from the "Original Image" taken by Dawn from 22,000 km (14,000 mi) on 14 April 2015 - hope this helps in some way - in any case - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 17:58, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

Ceres - bright spots - region "5"
Region "5" bright spots imaged by Dawn
from 22,000 km (14,000 mi) on 14 April 2015

LATEST Close-up images of the Ceres "Bright Spots" (more than three?) is as follows:

Bright spots imaged by Dawn
from 13,600 km (8,500 mi) on 4 May 2015
Bright spots imaged by Dawn
from 7,500 km (4,700 mi) on 16 May 2015

In any case - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 16:36, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

An interesting note on that, is in the gif of the spots, it can be seen a line of ejecta visible here at 10:00 is a real thing, which may be something of note. That shows that the stuff, whatever it is, is something on top of something else, rather than something showing under another thing. exoplanetaryscience (talk) 03:21, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

p.s. I cropped out an animation of the crater with the white spots. Tom Ruen (talk) 03:28, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

Ceres spots animation May 4 2015.gif
Cool! Thanks. — kwami (talk) 04:11, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
FWIW - Adjusted spots animation image location (from left to center) / size (default to 400px) - seems better (but *entirely* ok w/ me to rv/mv/ce of course) - yes, animation is cool - iac - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 12:20, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

Resonance with Jupiter?[edit]

This page says that Ceres is in a near 1:1 orbital resonance with 2 Pallas, though that is likely just a coincidence. However, on Pallas' page, there is a confirmation about the 1:1 resonance, but there is also mention of a couple near resonances with Jupiter (5:2 and 18:7). Doesn't it seem likely then, that Jupiter is responsible for the resonances of both objects? Has there been any research on this? 2620:72:0:52F:15:12A9:209:AF12 (talk) 15:02, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

A 5:2 Jupiter resonance is about 4.74 years, and 18:7 is about 4.61. Ceres' orbit is shorter than both, but closer to 18:7. However 18:7 is such a weak resonance (about 0.007) that it's likely this resonance is coincidental. Similarly, Pallas takes slightly longer than Ceres to orbit, and its inclination relative to Ceres suggests that (don't quote me on this) they were perhaps once gravitationally interacting, but are no longer. However, curiously , Pallas's orbit puts it exactly on the 18:7 Jupiter resonance, deviating by a value so small that gravitational perturbations between it and other asteroids would be larger than the distance between it an an 18:7 resonance. This could be the cause of its high inclination, instead of gravitational relations with Ceres, or it could be a combination of both. exoplanetaryscience (talk) 20:12, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

Discovery contradiction?[edit]

There seems to be some contradicting information on the Ceres page. The first paragraph states: "it was the first asteroid to be discovered, on 1 January 1801 by Giuseppe Piazzi in Palermo, though at first it was considered a planet. "

Then under the DISCOVERY heading, later in the article, we read: " 1800, a group headed by Franz Xaver von Zach...Although they did not discover Ceres, they later found several large asteroids.[30]"

My point is that if the team found several large asteroids in 1800, without finding the planet Ceres, then Ceres can not be the first asteroid discovered, as stated in the first paragraph.

If the statement in the first paragraph simply implies that it was the first asteroid discovered by G.Piazzi, then that should be moved to the wiki article for G.Piazzi, as his accomplishment is irrelevant to the Ceres article. It is more important in the Ceres article that its position of discovery with other asteroids is clear and accurate.

At least, the contradiction or perceived contradiction should be clarified so that it clearly implies other asteroids were discovered before Ceres. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:46, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

Read again. They didn't find any asteroids in 1800. — kwami (talk) 23:11, 11 May 2015 (UTC)


The web is saturated with the claim that the bright spot seen by Dawn was seen previously by Hubble. But Dr. Phil Plait, who worked many years on Hubble, reports that "Joel Parker, who was part of the team that observed Ceres using Hubble, has told me that the bright spot seen in the Hubble image is not the same as the bright spots in the Dawn images, and in fact the new bright spots weren't seen by Hubble."[1] I assume this is correct for two reasons: (1) Plait has a long history of being quite accurate and correcting his errors quickly, that is what he is doing here, as he earlier said that Hubble had seen these spots; and (2) Parker was on the team and he should know. I can think of no better place to try to stop this mistake than here. If you think Parker is wrong, then please find a reference at least as good. It should speak to Parker's assertion and be later than May 11th else you will just be parroting the error. Nick Beeson (talk) 14:08, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done - added mention of this (w/ ref)[1] in the "Ceres (dwarf planet)#Observations by Dawn" section of the "Ceres (dwarf planet)" article - *entirely* ok w/ me to rv/mv/ce of course - iac - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 15:06, 12 May 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ a b Plait, Phil (11 May 2015). "The Bright Spots of Ceres Spin Into View". Slate. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 

That doesn't quite make sense. Region 5 was visible to Dawn at lower resolution than Hubble (see [8] and [9]), so why would not Hubble have seen it? A more detailed explanation would be nice. --Njardarlogar (talk) 09:44, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Agreed, details are good. Like it's possible the features are not persistent and change over the years, so a different spot was visible in 2004. Tom Ruen (talk) 13:03, 17 May 2015 (UTC)


Hegelians say that Hegel predicted/discovered/dreamt-up Ceres. It is probably some numerological nonsense. Can anyone investigate? (talk) 10:23, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Looks like you just volunteered. Nyth63 11:09, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
See Talk:Georg_Wilhelm_Friedrich_Hegel#Astronomy and Talk:Georg_Wilhelm_Friedrich_Hegel/Archive_2#Whim. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:22, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

33rd largest[edit]

I don't think the comment about Ceres being the 33rd largest object in the solar system belongs in the article. Keeping an ordinal accurate is an exercise in frustration. That number is going to change continuously as more discoveries are made and more precise measurements become available. If we have to specify something, we should say it is the largest non-planetary non-moon object inside the Kuiper Belt, and mention that there are at least a dozen moons larger than Ceres. Tarl.Neustaedter (talk) 21:29, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

I agree. And there is a possibility that known objects turn out to be larger or smaller and displace Ceres. Moreover, I can't see the information value of saying it. --JorisvS (talk) 22:18, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
What is the point of keeping a list of every type of object all listed together by size if if you are not going to have a way of succinctly stating where they show up in that list? Of course the list is going to keeping changing. A large number of lists in wikipedia are like that. They are just updated as new information is available as is any other wiki article including this one as evidenced by the new imagery being added. That is not a good excuse to not have rank or index. Nyth63 22:45, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
"where they show up in that list" is the size itself. Tbayboy (talk) 23:37, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Maintaining such a list as a page by itself is good and useful, especially when you can show all the objects of similar size to help draw comparisons and perhaps include information on the uncertainties in list order. However, including a rank index on each associated page adds little value and would need to be frequently maintained. I don't really see the point. Dragons flight (talk) 23:46, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Again, the argument that adding the rank would add little value is weak and I disagree strongly. It would be very useful to have a simple number to look up in the table. I see that the name column has just been changed to sortable and that is somewhat helpful. The further argument that it would need to be frequently maintained is also weak and sounds like laziness to me. Any updates to information in the table is maintenace including changing the order if new size information requires it. It would be a very minor addition to change a couple of rank numbers. Nyth63 11:37, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
So how would you use it? --JorisvS (talk) 11:58, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Calling it thirty-third largest (numbers should normally be spelled out, not written as numerals in text, unless they're inordinately large) does make Ceres sound a bit trivial. But it's a useful comparison. And stringing together odd hyphenated adjectives like "non-planetary non-moon object" is confusing and technical. A sentence like that could be worded much better, without leaving the reader uncertain as to why a "dwarf planet" is "non-planetary" (and frankly, "non-moon" strikes me as an absurd adjective to apply to "anything that isn't a moon"; surely we can do better).
May I suggest a compromise along the lines of: "Ceres is the largest body orbiting the sun that is not classified as a major planet, a moon, or a Kuiper Belt object, and the thirty-third largest known body in the solar system." Here, I've used "major planet" to avoid confusion about how a "dwarf planet" isn't planetary (or a planet); you just can't call it a planet in one sentence and not in another. And rather than combine dissimilar adjectival phrases such as "non-planetary non-moon" and "inside the Kuiper Belt" (which itself is confusing, since although it's within the area circled by the Kuiper Belt, so is the rest of the solar system; it's not in the Kuiper Belt, which could be inferred from inside), I've converted this into the same type of reference. I'm not happy with using "body" twice, but with "Kuiper Belt object" becoming standard terminology, I'm not sure there's a better alternative to avoid repeating the same word three times in the sentence. P Aculeius (talk) 13:04, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Eris is not in the Kuiper belt either, at least according to the definition of the Minor Planet Center, which is used on Wikipedia. And then there is the nearly completely uncharted territory beyond the scattered disc (e.g. the sednoids) with likely larger objects. All these populations are trans-Neptunian, whose antonym is "cis-Neptunian". Moreover, "orbiting the Sun" already disqualifies "not classified as a moon". Incorporating this, it becomes "Ceres is the largest cis-Neptunian body orbiting the Sun that is not classified as a major planet, and the thirty-third largest known body in the Solar System." --JorisvS (talk) 13:18, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I believe any mention of the ordinal in rank is futile and an invitation to future editing hassles - take out the "thirty-third largest" mention. Tarl.Neustaedter (talk) 16:31, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I don't really mind. I was opposed to the original way in was put in the article (still am), but I can see some value in this "compromise" wording, with the difference in those numbers (largest cis-Neptunian non-planet, but only 33rd overall), though the exact value does not mean much. --JorisvS (talk) 17:07, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────While the overall rank, may seem trivial, I feel that it can provide a little perspective in the overall scale amongst all the objects in the system. Maybe it would be better mentioned later in the article rather than in the opening section? Nyth63 19:42, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Another point is that by creating a size ordered combined list, they are already being de facto ranked. Omitting an index column from the table is just forcing the reader to manually count the rows in the table. An inconvenience that can be easily resolved. Nyth63 19:59, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Please, let's avoid hypertechnical terms such as "Cisneptunian" (much less barbarisms like "cis-Neptunian") that can't possibly be used without requiring immediate explanation. Equally hypertechnical is the notion that "moons don't orbit the sun." Of course they do. Any satellite of a body orbiting the sun is also orbiting the sun. "Trans-Neptunian" is also a technical term that would require immediate explanation. The goal should be to make the sentence immediately understandable to any reader with even the slightest acquaintance with astronomy; so if some of the other dwarf planets aren't Kuiper Belt objects, then we need to refer to all of them in a way that doesn't require further explanation.
There are, of course, multiple options. For instance:
  • "Ceres is the largest of the minor planets within the orbit of Neptune, and is currently the thirty-third largest known body within the solar system, following the sun itself, the eight major planets, the fifteen largest moons, and several minor planets beyond the orbit of Neptune."
  • "Ceres is the largest of the minor planets within the region of the solar system occupied by the eight major planets, and is currently the thirty-third largest known body in the solar system.
  • "Ceres is the largest asteroid, and the largest of the minor planets within the orbit of Neptune. It is approximately the thirty-second largest body known to orbit the sun, following the eight major planets, the fifteen largest moons, and several minor planets beyond the orbit of Neptune."
I note that while the mean diameter of Ceres has been pinned down to a very narrow range, the List of Solar System objects currently includes three other bodies that could be either larger or smaller than Ceres, due to the current margin of error. So in fact it could be anywhere from thirty-first to thirty-fourth, including the sun; but I think it makes more sense not to include the sun itself, since including it requires yet more explanation, which could easily be avoided by including the phrase "orbiting the sun" or something similar. P Aculeius (talk) 21:23, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Ranking does not give any perspective: it doesn't show the distribution of sizes. A ranking in the top 5 or 10 can signify some notability (hence "the largest object in the asteroid belt"), but otherwise it signifies little. There are significant gaps in the size distribution at the top end, but Ceres is past those gaps and just one of the smoothly shrinking tail of the distribution. It's ranking is not notable, and ranking by itself has no utility; nobody has to count rows to find the ranking, because there's no reason to know the ranking. And, no, a sorting is not a de facto ranking (sort by name, or sort from smallest). Tbayboy (talk) 03:19, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
I disagree. We're making a point of saying how large Ceres is compared with other solar system objects, and how it's the largest asteroid, and the largest minor planet inside the orbit of Neptune (my understanding is that there's no definitive list of "dwarf" planets, and no consensus as to whether Pallas or Vesta should be included; if not, then Ceres would be the only dwarf planet inside the orbit of Neptune). So it's perfectly relevant to note that this still doesn't make it all that large compared with the major planets or their largest moons. I agree that there's a point beyond which the exact number of larger objects becomes relatively unimportant, but this isn't it; not when you're talking about the largest or one of the largest objects within certain classes of objects, which is still considered a sort of planet, albeit "minor" and "dwarf." P Aculeius (talk) 04:09, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
The largest centaurs could turn out to be dwarf planets. Dwarf planets and especially minor planets are not considered 'a sort of planet'.
Writing "Cisneptunian" would be like writing "Transneptunian". The normal way to write it is "trans-Neptunian" and also easier to parse for those less than familiar with the term(s). Moreover, the initial capital letter is wrong regardless, and it is properly "Solar System" and "Sun" because these are proper names. --JorisvS (talk) 08:07, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm afraid you're taking a stance against grammar, logic, and common sense in each of these arguments. You can't call something a "minor planet" or a "dwarf planet" and then ignore the word "planet" as if it weren't part of those designations. It makes absolutely no sense to say "the largest dwarf planet is smaller than all of the planets," because then you have to stop and explain why you used a term that seems to mean one thing when you apparently mean something contrary. You can't use an ambiguous term in an unclear context and call it useful.
It also makes no sense to object to placing Ceres in context of its size relative to other objects in the solar system solely because other objects not yet discovered or precisely measured might turn out to be larger. If that proves to be the case, then you modify statements like this to reflect new discoveries. You simply provide the best description you can based on the latest available information.
Grammatically speaking, you do not hyphenate words beginning with prefixes such as trans or cis. If the words formed with these suffixes are proper nouns, then they're capitalized. Grammar knows nothing of words with capital letters in the middle; capital letters go at the beginning, or not at all. So you can have Cisalpine Gaul, transparency, Transylvanian wine, etc. But you do not have cis-Alpine, trans-Sylvanian, etc. The reason there are arbitrary coinages such as "Trans-World Airlines" is because they're not properly formed words. I suppose "Transmundan" or "Transterran" didn't strike anyone as marketable.
Both sun and solar system are common nouns that may be treated as proper nouns at the writer's discretion. This is especially true of the sun, which like earth and the moon are often not capitalized even when used as proper nouns. But it is also true of "solar system." Percival Lowell and Arthur C. Clarke didn't capitalize it; Carl Sagan sometimes did and sometimes didn't; and some people capitalize "solar" but not "system." Insisting that other people use the style you prefer is pedantry. P Aculeius (talk) 13:33, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
So a sea lion is a kind of lion? That's what you're arguing. And those words are adjectives, not nouns, let alone proper nouns. And "Sun" and "Solar System" refer to specific objects, not classes of objects, which makes them proper nouns/names. --JorisvS (talk) 16:08, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps you're unaware, but by the IAU definitions a dwarf planet is not a planet. They voted to explicitly create the exclusion that a dwarf planet is not a kind of planet. Minor planets (defined as those things with minor planets numbers, which includes dwarf planets) are also not planets. The terminology sucks (planetoid would have been better), but it's par for astronomers. E.g., how star-like is an asteroid? Tbayboy (talk) 17:29, 26 May 2015 (UTC)


I was trying to make a point with prose but some editors here appearently have no sense of drama or humor. Nyth63 17:14, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────This whole topic has devolved into a argument about grammar and not talking about the main topic. From college chemistry classes I though that trans meant across and cis meant on the same side but that was more than 30 years ago and besides, I don't think that the average reader will understand what those prefixes mean anyway. Nyth63 17:19, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Undoubtedly the main issue is that the definitions of planetary orbits, their physical characteristics, and other data, is outdated and overly complicated, and the only way to easily fix that would be a complete redefinition of the meanings of Minor Planet, Asteroid, Dwarf Planet, KBO, TNO, SDO, etc, etc. However that's left up to the IAU to solve, even though it doesn't seem to see a need for this, as its last major change to this definition that I'm aware of was the 2006 introduction of the word 'Dwarf Planet', succeeding in doing nothing but confusing it further. exoplanetaryscience (talk) 17:32, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Also I believe this may be of some use:
SolarSystemBodies.png exoplanetaryscience (talk) 17:34, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
This is a bit off-topic for this page, but I'm not sure that diagram is correct. I should comment on its talk page. Jonathunder (talk) 18:15, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
So what would be wrong with it? --JorisvS (talk) 18:34, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
My point was that we should avoid using confusing terminology in the sentence intended to place the size of Ceres in perspective. And that means clearly distinguishing between minor and/or dwarf planets and other types of planets, if necessary by referring to the others as "major planets." Wikipedia articles need to be written in plain English, not technical terms that require advance explanation. The last thing people need to read is, "for purposes of the second sentence following, the terms 'minor planet' and 'dwarf planet' do not refer to any type of 'planet', but to large spheroid objects smaller than 'planets' that are not in orbit around bodies other than the sun. The Wikimedia foundation takes no responsibility for this definition..."
So let me try again: Ceres is the largest of the asteroids, the largest of the minor planets within the orbit of Neptune, and the only object within the orbit of Neptune that has been officially designated a dwarf planet by the IAU. It is roughly the thirty-second largest known body orbiting the sun, following the eight major planets, the sixteen largest moons, and between six and eight dwarf planets beyond the orbit of Neptune. I know it's wordier than originally proposed, but I think it's clear and easy to understand. My previous reference to fifteen larger moons probably excluded Charon. P Aculeius (talk) 21:15, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Agree Now we just need a concensus on where to place it. Should it be in the opening paragraph or would it fit better under Physical characteristics? Nyth63 22:12, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Disagree Take out the ordinal. You don't want to have to go editing unrelated articles every time another object is discovered and moves around the list. We have fairly wide experience on Wikipedia with articles stating "the nth" on some list becoming maintenance nightmares. 33rd (or, as of today, 32nd) gives no useful information. Tarl.Neustaedter (talk) 23:33, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
  • I agree with Tarc. The 33rd highest mountain on earth is either Tirich Mir or Molamenqing, depending on definition, but neither article mentions that. The reader who is curious to sort things by size this far down should be referred to a list. Jonathunder (talk) 00:17, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
There is already a list at List of Solar System objects and parts of this discussion actually would be more relevant there but it ended up here as this was the most recentsy article affected. There were two attempts to add a rank/index/row column to the first table and it was reverted twice. Depending on the outcome here, there may end up being a further discussion over there. Nyth63 10:38, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
  • I say it is quite fine to rephrase it to avoid cis-Neptunian. Let me copyedit your version a bit: "Ceres is the largest asteroid, the largest minor planet within the orbit of Neptune, and the only object within the orbit of Neptune that has been officially designated a dwarf planet by the IAU. It is roughly the thirty-third largest known body in the Solar System, following the Sun, the eight major planets, the sixteen largest moons, and between six and eight dwarf planets beyond the orbit of Neptune.". Saying "in the Solar System" and rephrasing it accordingly avoids the issue of how "orbiting the Sun" is interpreted by the reader and communicates the equivalent in your interpretation of it anyway. I have kept the large ordinal, but I don't have a particularly strong opinion about including it or not. --JorisvS (talk) 07:46, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
That seems like a reasonable change. Let's see if there are any more opinions before we go ahead. P Aculeius (talk) 12:27, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
I don't like "major planets". It's either an invented composite term, or a misleading adjective, since the very presence of an adjective strongly implies that there are non-major planets. Simplification is fine, but not to the point of giving a false impression. Tbayboy (talk) 00:29, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
"Major planets" is occasionally used to clarify one is talking about the dominant eight. Just "planet" is fine, really, because that is the term most commonly used and defined to be a dominant body by the IAU anyway. --JorisvS (talk) 08:42, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
As previously explained, the point of this sentence is clarity, and using terms that require immediate definition or explanation defies that principle. It cannot read "...the largest of the minor planets..." or "...the only dwarf planet" and then say "smaller than the planets" without creating confusion. If you use a phrase that includes the word "planet" to describe an object, then you've just called it a "planet." You can't turn around in the same sentence (or the one after it) and use the word to mean something else without contradicting the previous description. The word can't have a clear meaning in one clause and a contradictory meaning in another clause. If "minor planets" and "dwarf planets" aren't treated as a subclass of "planets" then you need to explain such an illogical use of terminology every time you draw such a distinction. Using further description such as "major planets" neatly avoids the whole problem with one word. This article needs to be accessible to people other than the "astronomical literati." P Aculeius (talk) 12:16, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
By your logic, we should do the same when "sea lion" is mentioned (after all, we call it a lion); that we have to accompany it with a remark that it is not a kind of lion. Wikilinking is sufficient. If readers are confused because they naively read dwarf planets and minor planets to be a kind of planet, then they can follow the links and quickly find out. --JorisvS (talk) 16:39, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
Nobody thinks that a sea lion is some kind of lion. But if the article on sea lions said, "sea lions are smaller than most lions, but larger than some of the smaller species," that just might create confusion where none needed to exist. You're arguing about avoiding specificity because you think that average people ought to know the technical definitions of vaguely defined and contentious examples of astronomy jargon. I hate to have to keep repeating that Wikipedia is meant to be accessible, not a technical journal. Readers shouldn't have to look up the meanings of words that are plain English in order to figure out why a sentence appears to contradict itself. Your argument is "don't put that there, it might create undesirable clarity!" P Aculeius (talk) 19:23, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
That's your assumption about people's knowledge about biology. Yes, Wikipedia should be as accessible as possible, but it should also be readable to the initiated. I don't really object to using "major planet", but, on the other hand, that has even more strongly the possibility to suggest to the layman that dwarf planets and minor planets are a kind of planet when they're not, whereas using simply "planet" at least hints to them that they're not (and then they could follow wikilinks to get informed instead of wrongly assuming that). --JorisvS (talk) 20:23, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps a different approach is warranted. Precisely how would the editors who don't want to say that Ceres is about the thirty-third largest solar system body propose to compare its size with that of others? Ceres is the largest asteroid, the largest of the minor planets within the orbit of Neptune, the only body within the orbit of Neptune currently designated a "dwarf planet" by the IAU. It is smaller than all of the major planets, several moons, and several dwarf planets of the outer solar system. This strikes me as unnecessarily vague. Or, It is smaller than all eight major planets, the sixteen largest moons, and between six and eight dwarf planets of the outer solar system. In which case, we're merely omitting a number such as 32 or 33, although the reader could easily add up the numbers and come up with a figure from 31 to 34, depending on the number of larger dwarf planets and whether you count the sun. But this makes me wonder why we're trying so hard to avoid saying a number. In either case, it still doesn't obviate the need to update the article if and when new estimates of the sizes of other dwarf planets are made, or when new ones are discovered. But if we don't include a comparison like this, then we may as well put, "Ceres is larger than many solar system bodies, but not so big as others." P Aculeius (talk) 16:32, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Is 'Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt' not adequate? exoplanetaryscience (talk) 16:46, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Not really. The best visualization I have seen so far is this pretty picture but that image only matches to #16 and shows that the List has to be maintained with name changes and diameters irrespective of the overall size rank. Updating size ranks would add very little extra work on top of that. Nyth63 18:19, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
The entire point is Ceres' exact location in that list is uninteresting. That's it's way down in the list may be relevant, but exactly how far down is certainly not worth the effort of maintaining the ordinal as larger Kuiper Belt objects are discovered. Just add a pointer to the list, without specifying the exact rank. Tarl.Neustaedter (talk) 18:48, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
But it takes very little effort to place it on the list, and the fact that it's the largest of one class of objects, the largest example of another class for the major part of the solar system, and the only example of a third class of object in the same part of the solar system, make it very relevant what its size is relative to other objects. If this were one of innumerable smaller asteroids, the size of which were far more abstract, then of course it'd be impractical and unimportant to note where in the scale of the solar system it falls. But it's not. It's big enough to rate a dwarf planet. It once was ranked amongst the major planets. So how big it is relative to other solar system bodies is relevant and informative, and insisting that it's not relevant merely because it's not in the "top ten" is absurd. When I suggested, Ceres is bigger than many solar system objects, but not so big as others, I didn't expect to be taken seriously. But that's pretty much where insisting that the article not refer to Ceres' ranking relative to other objects leaves us. P Aculeius (talk) 21:22, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
My concern is that the ranking is misleading (thinking more of the list page than this Ceres page). E.g., 19 (Titania) is closer in size to 33 (Ceres) than it is to 18 (Eris) (and it gets much worse when you consider the physical size (volume) of the object). It's also not necessary within the Ceres article itself, since the images comparing it to the Earth, Moon, and other asteroids do that more effectively. (I like the 3D images used on the Solar System page.)
I had a idea on how it might be portrayed. Make a bar graph of diameter (Y axis) versus ranking (X axis) for the 50 or 100 largest objects in order, just a few pixels wide for each object, with Jupiter on the left (or the Sun or Earth, depending on how much upper blank space they leave). Then colour the bar that represents the object you are presenting (maybe also with a arrow above the bars pointing down to the highlighted entry). It might be easy to do with SVG. Tbayboy (talk) 00:09, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
Still don't see how it could be misleading. What false assumption could you draw from a ranking like that? As far as a mass diagram is concerned, there is already one in the article right below the info box. Not what you are looking for but it does not give rank information either. Nyth63 02:51, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
By that logic, we shouldn't say that Earth is the fifth largest planet, or Mars the seventh largest, or that Ganymede is the eighth largest body orbiting the sun, since all three are much closer in size to all of the smaller bodies than to the next object that's immediately larger. The fact that the gaps in size between different objects on the list are irregular is not relevant to the usefulness of knowing whether something is one of the largest dozen, out of the top hundred, or somewhere in the middle. Pictures showing a small selection of objects may have some usefulness, but unless they depict forty or more objects, like the chart you're suggesting, they won't give the reader any idea of how large Ceres is compared with more than a few arbitrarily-selected solar system objects. The fact that the bodies depicted in such a diagram would necessarily be arbitrary is itself an argument for its inadequacy as context, and for the inclusion of a verbal ranking. Lastly, attempting to create a complex diagram depicting as many as a hundred different objects to scale, whether photographically or as a bar chart, would not only be far more complicated than merely saying that Ceres is somewhere between the thirty-first and thirty-fourth largest body in the solar system, but would require far more work and updating by editors; which was one of the major objections to having a ranking in the first place. I'm sorry, but these arguments don't make any sense to me. P Aculeius (talk) 03:14, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
You are correct that it makes little sense to specify that Ganymede is the eighth largest body (it makes more sense to specify "largest moon in solar system"), but it is also much less dangerous. We can safely assume that rank will not become false in our lifetimes. That is not something we can say about Ceres being the 33rd (or 32nd) largest - indeed, about the only thing I can assure you about that rank is that within five years it will be incorrect. THAT is my problem with adding that statement to the article. Tarl.Neustaedter (talk) 16:01, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
If the criteria for inclusion in Wikipedia is that the information should not change in our lifetimes, then we might as well all throw up our hands and call it an experiment doomed from the start. I'll assume you didn't mean that seriously. You must be truly prescient if you can assure me that bodies larger than Ceres will be discovered in our solar system during the next five years, since it's been eight years since the last one was discovered. The largest body discovered in the last five years had a radius about a hundred miles less than Ceres. In fact, only six have been discovered in the lifetimes of most Wikipedia editors... seven, if any were alive before 1930. But let's suppose you're right, and one or two (or, horrors! even three or four) larger bodies are discovered in the next five years. Your argument is that keeping up with Ceres' ranking would place an unacceptable burden on future editors because it might become outdated in the next five years. But in the last five years, some 1,700 edits have been made to this article. So I fail to see the danger in the mere possibility that such a ranking might have to be updated in the next five years. And I think you've proven the absurdity of the argument by saying that, "it makes little sense to specify that Ganymede is the eighth largest body". It may well be the largest moon, but the fact that it's actually larger than one of the major planets (and that Titan is as well) is a very persuasive argument that their ranking in terms of all solar system bodies is relevant and useful information, as is the fact that Mercury ranks tenth, behind two moons. P Aculeius (talk) 16:21, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
The significant point there is that Ganymede is larger than a planet. So just say it. There's no need to drag in ranking. Tbayboy (talk) 17:14, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
The basic guideline for inclusion in Wikipedia is that information is relevant and useful. Whether information is necessary is the wrong standard. By that criterion, you should dispose of most of the content in most of the articles. P Aculeius (talk) 19:24, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I think we've beaten this horse to death. You can try arbitration or formal third opinion, but it's clear we don't have consensus. Tarl.Neustaedter (talk) 19:32, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

You don't need consensus to keep the article as it is. You need it to make a contentious change. P Aculeius (talk) 21:29, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
Arbitration for a space-rock pissing contest against the [solar] wind? I've seen it all now. BatteryIncluded (talk) 23:28, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
Actually, it appears that there is only one or two vocal editors against including the ranking and everyone else neutral or in favor. And those few against have no strong response to the rebuttals of their arguments. This was not a formal RfC, the last wording that was suggested could be included and if it is removed again, the removing editor can be warned for disruptive editing. Then it could go to arbitration. As far as this being a space-rock pissing contest that is an unworthy comment by a late-coming editor who normally has a good editing track record. Odd. There have been numerous issues in Wikipedia that are more mundane than this taken to arbitration. The relative merit of the content does not always determine the need for arbitration but rather contentious editing as was done in this article by editors removing factual, good-faith edits. There is no dispute as to the approximate ranking of Ceres which is clearly documented in List of Solar System objects by size, but rather the relevance of the numerical value of that rank. Nyth63 02:07, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
No. Read WP:BRD. You were bold, you were reverted (by more than one editor), there has been discussion. There has clearly not been consensus, you may not simply add the disputed text in and claim those who disagree with you need to be sanctioned. In particular, see the first sentence in WP:BOLD,_revert,_discuss_cycle#Notes. There are options to take when consensus is not achieved, simply ignoring anyone who disagrees is not an advisable option. Tarl.Neustaedter (talk) 04:43, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
And for what it's worth, reading the discussion, I find six editors made comments in opposition to specifying the ranking, and two in favor. That's certainly not consensus in favor. Tarl.Neustaedter (talk) 05:18, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
I think that's really overstating it. At least three editors are willing to go with a compromise text, including one of those you're counting as a no vote. Some of the others have only posted once, and not in any detail. And again, you're applying the wrong standard. Wikipedia does encourage editors to "be bold," but it also clearly discourages "ownership" of pages. That means you don't get to remove valid, relevant, or useful information that's properly sourced and reliable, merely because you don't like it. Even if you can get a majority of people on the talk page not to like it. You need a good reason to remove valid content. Your argument is that there's no value in knowing that Ceres ranks thirty-second or thirty-third in size amongst known solar system objects. I joined this discussion as a neutral third party, and I said that while there may not be anything special about the number itself, it does provide a useful context for the size of Ceres, precisely because Ceres is the largest of at least three important classes of object, and was once ranked amongst the major planets. So far, I haven't heard any logical reasons to support the argument that it doesn't. The reasons given repeatedly throughout this discussion have been:
  1. That there's no value in the number thirty-three. Not a relevant point; the actual number isn't what's important; the fact that there is a number, which allows readers to compare the largest member of three different classes to different solar system objects, is what's relevant.
  2. That the ranking of solar system objects by size has no value at all. This is what you argued when I mentioned that Ganymede and Titan are the eighth and ninth largest bodies orbiting the sun, ahead of the planet Mercury. Your argument didn't even leave room for mentioning that Saturn was the second largest; you're simply denying the validity of mentioning rank as useful information. I don't think anybody else involved in this discussion would agree with you on this point.
  3. That the ranking of Ceres may prove to be inaccurate as more dwarf planets are found as large or larger than Ceres. Again, this doesn't go to the question of whether it's useful to know how far back in the rankings the very largest asteroid, minor planet, or dwarf planet within the orbit of Neptune is compared with other solar system objects. Not to mention the fact that the possibility that information may change with new scientific discoveries is not a valid reason to exclude it from Wikipedia articles.
  4. That editors will be burdened with keeping up the ranking as it changes in the future. This still fails to address the basic usefulness of the information, which is the main point of contention. Also false, since editors can and do regularly update information of this type when new discoveries are made. Considering the vast number of edits made to this article every year, no significant burden would be created.
And since none of these presents a valid reason why the information originally added by Nyth83 should be removed from the article, it really doesn't matter whether it's liked or disliked. You should respect his addition, or find a way to improve it, rather than simply trying to shout him down. So far, you've proven extremely hostile to compromise; it's your way or the highway. But Wikipedia is supposed to be a collaborative effort. Neither you nor any other editors have the right to delete valid, relevant, or useful information merely because it doesn't comport with your ideas. P Aculeius (talk) 19:16, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done - restored relevant entry to the main article as follows =>

It ranks 33rd in size among the known objects in the Solar System.[1][2][3]


  1. ^ Stankiewicz, Rick (20 February 2015). "A visit to the asteroid belt". Peterborough Examiner. Retrieved 29 May 2015. 
  2. ^ Troubadour (18 August 2012). "Getting to Know Your Solar System (18): Ceres". Daily Kos. Retrieved 29 May 2015. 
  3. ^ Clavin, Dan (18 February 2015). "Have You Ever Heard About The Dwarf Planet Ceres?". Press Room VIP. Retrieved 29 May 2015. 

seems ok - if otherwise, please discuss on "Talk:Ceres (dwarf planet)#33rd largest" - per WP:BRD & related - in any case - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 20:21, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

An edit was made, objected to, reverted multiple times by different editors, a long discussion was held without achieving consensus that the controversial edit should be added, and the claim is "seems ok" and edit is made again. The point is that this "valid information" is meaningless (how is a temporary designation as 33rd even relevant?) and a future maintenance nightmare. WP:BRD encourages being bold, but once an objection is raised, NOT to make it again until consensus is achieved.
I was just accused of trying to "own" the article. I don't believe I've ever even edited this article, so that ad-hominem attack fails. I'm objecting to the practice (which I have seen in multiple articles elsewhere in Wikipedia) of adding ordinals to all articles included in a list, so that when the list changes, every article in that list must also change. Adding that ordinal is a mistake. Tarl.Neustaedter (talk) 21:02, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
@Tarlneustaedter: AFAIK - seems changing an ordinal number in one (or multiple) articles on Wikipedia is reasonably easy in my experience - in this instance, go to "advanced search" (check the "all" option) and enter the key phrase "33rd in size" (or equivalent) => all instances of the phrase on Wikipedia appear - for adjustment as needed - hope this helps in some way - in any case - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 21:22, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
How about moving it to "physical characteristics" and adding the other rankings (29th in mass, 23rd surface gravity, both of which qualities seem more significant than diameter, and any others). Tbayboy (talk) 01:06, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but you're clearly trying to sabotage changes you personally disagree with by obscuring them through relocation and pointless duplication. Nobody ever once raised any of these ideas until after the matter was resolved, and doing it now flies in the face of all of the arguments you made against including any ranking in the first place, so it's obvious that these aren't intended to improve things. I'll see if the passage where it appears could be worded better, as I tried to suggest before, but beyond that the ranking needs to be left alone. P Aculeius (talk) 04:17, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
Actually, Nyth83 mentioned the article position above, early on. I understand the paranoia, though :-) Surface gravity is interesting in the context of someday placing a base, and mass is what matters, the power it has to affect other bodies. There's also apparent brightness (nice to know for budding backyard astronomers), intrinsic brightness, and discovery order. If ranking is desired, why only diameter? Maybe even a template infobox to hold all the info in one place, for easier maintenance and consistent presentation across the affected pages. Tbayboy (talk) 14:19, 30 May 2015 (UTC)