Talk:Sirius

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Sirius A and B images[edit]

All the images in this article show the companion star, Sirius B, positioned apparently close to the main star, Sirius A, including in the Hubble image. Depending on the relation of our point of view to the system's orbital plane, this may be a fairly common observation when viewed from Earth. However, the distance seperating the two bodies is listed here as range between 8.1 and 31.5 AU. These distances are vastly greater than the proximity the images would suggest.

My concern is that the reader may get the impression the two stars are positioned very close to each other as depicted in the images. Some may also assume this apparent close proximity is the only reason the two appear as a single star with the naked eye (in other words they would both be visible if there were greater separation), when this may not necessarily be the case, and when in fact the separation is significantly greater than it appears in these images. For the two to be visible with the naked eye, the separation may have to be far greater than 31.5 AU. I don't know. But I'm wondering if we should add something somewhere in the article to clarify that the two are actually not nearly as close as they are depicted in the images.Racerx11 (talk) 14:38, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

Yes, I think that would make sense. We would probably need to add a note computing the ratio of the separation to diameter of Sirius A. At the minimum of 8.1 AU, that should be about ×1018.—RJH (talk) 18:29, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Orbital parameters[edit]

I have made some edits to the orbital parameter info table at the top. First, I have reverted a spurious edit from 2009-10-13 where the orbital period has been changed from 50.09 years to 49.9 years without reference (also in the text). Then, I have replaced the citation of Gatewood & Gatewood 1978 by citing van den Bos 1960, the original reference, Gatewood and Gatewood are citing themselves. Maybe the data should be updated by a more recent parameter set by Benest & Duvent (1995), but van den Bos seems to be some kind of standard so far. Benest & Duvent also do not provide uncertainties to their fit. It is yet unclear to me, why Gatewood & Gatewood use a semi-major axis of 7".56 while van den Bos find 7".50. Maybe some mistype or whatever. 7.50 is nevertheless closer to the value from Benest & Duvent of 7.501.

Anyway, I will have to update the orbit figure of Sirius B since it is still based on the obviously wrong period of 49.9 years (which I didn't know at that moment).--SiriusB (talk) 14:28, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

Yes, the present data matches the values listed in the USNO's Sixth Catalog of Orbits of Visual Binary Stars (2006), so that's probably fine. Thanks. Regards, RJH (talk) 14:52, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

Detection of weak magnetic field on Sirius[edit]

Petit, P. et al. (August 2011), "Detection of a weak surface magnetic field on Sirius A: are all tepid stars magnetic?", Astronomy & Astrophysics 532, Bibcode:2011A&A...532L..13P, doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201117573 

Regards, RJH (talk) 22:21, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

Closest stat that can be seen with the naked eye?[edit]

This claim is not true, one can see the Alpha Centauri binary star system with the naked eye and it roughly half the distance to earth as Sirius. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 112.160.102.179 (talk) 12:13, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

The article qualifies the claim by limiting it to observers north of 30 degrees latitude. Alpha Centauri is never visible for much of the Northern Hemisphere.--Trystan (talk) 13:19, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

Too unclear[edit]

I do not see the point in having an article like this in Wikipedia. This project supposes to make things easier to common people. This article seems to be written for astronomers only. I really miss Carl Sagan and his campaign to make astronomy near to the people. The authors of this article are just hedonist guys copying hermetic books from their lazy library. Regards, Prof. McClain. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 175.100.93.5 (talk) 02:56, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

Well it's unfortunate that you feel that way. I can see by your IP address that you're writing this from Phnom Penh in Cambodia. I didn't know you folks followed Carl Sagan. Regards, RJH (talk) 16:19, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
On the contrary, I find this article has just the right amount of unclarity. μηδείς (talk) 18:38, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Errrr, Medeis, you've lost me....... Casliber (talk · contribs) 20:31, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
The section header suggests the article is "too unclear". I disagree. It has just the right amount of unclarity. μηδείς (talk) 20:42, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Frankly, I am not an astrologer, and even I had no problem making out the article. As for funny headers, my local library has a sign posted "Please do not overstuff the toilets." It prompted me to ask the reference librarian just how stuffed they wanted the toilets μηδείς (talk) 20:45, 18 June 2012 (UTC).
Aaah right. Casliber (talk · contribs) 20:52, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Looks like this is the anon.'s only contribution. It may simply be flame bait, rather than an attempt at meaningful dialogue. Regards, RJH (talk) 20:34, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

Blue shift[edit]

"Sir William Huggins examined the spectrum of this star and observed a noticeable red shift. He concluded that Sirius was receding from the Solar System at about 40 km/s. Compared to the modern value of −7.6 km/s..."

Assuming the "modern value" is correct, the star actually has a blue shift, and the statement that he observed a red shift is incorrect. Wouldn't it be more accurate to say "he thought he observed a red shift"? 184.99.28.92 (talk) 02:59, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

Sirius as it appears in the night sky.[edit]

So there's a giant star-cross filter somewhere between Sirius and the Earth? Paul Magnussen (talk) 16:25, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

Maybe the infobox image is not that useful then....Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 20:30, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
...or at least the caption isn't --RacerX11 Talk to meStalk me 21:54, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

I have removed the words "as it appears" from the caption. Not sure if that's what you had in mind, but it seemed to me a harmless fix for the moment. We could add a disclaimer like "The cross-patterned spikes radiating from the star are photographic artifacts", but I don't feel that's necessary at all. Of course anyone is still welcome to replace the image with something better. --RacerX11 Talk to meStalk me 12:43, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

I guess we have a few pictures of a bright star on a dark sky. Not sure if we need all of them. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 13:42, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
You're right, we can remove it altogether. Most of our articles on stars just have a map for their infobox image. Do you think that's best? RacerX11 Talk to meStalk me 14:11, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
Yeah I think leave map image on its own Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 20:22, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

Wrong Hieroglyph[edit]

The hieroglyph shown at the start of "observational history" is a fake and should be removed. It is a crudely redrawn rendition of a drawing of three separate hieroglyphs that were originally in different rooms. It doesn’t take much searching to find that some historians individually and without much evidence ascribe to Sirius the Egyptian symbols of the pyramid, the dog, the cow and even the seven-petalled flower. It could even be that all of these are wrong, nobody really knows what the hieroglyph for Sirius was. Mollwollfumble (talk) 12:03, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

Hmmm, don't recall how that got in the article (whether I got it out of a book or someone else added it, I forget now). Need to re-check.....Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 13:43, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

The article states that Alvan Clark's 18.5" lens was made for Dearborn Observatory. It did end up at Dearborn, but the lens was made for the University of Mississippi. In fact, the glass for the lens was obtained in Europe by the University's chancellor, F. A. P. Barnard. The outbreak of the American Civil War prevented the lens from being delivered to the University of Mississppi, and it was obtained by Northwestern University. This is a widely known fact and should be corrected in the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 108.131.82.16 (talk) 02:38, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

First Sentence[edit]

The first sentence states "Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky." Shouldn't this say something more along the lines of "Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky as observed from Earth" or "Sirius is the brightest star in space that can be viewed from Earth?" If you agree, let me know and I can make the edit, thank you Triforces (talk) 17:37, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

No, because no-one can observe it from a significant distance outside the solar system so the rewording would be superfluous. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Historikeren (talkcontribs) 21:01, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

Shouldn't be there an article about Sirius B?[edit]

Consensus is to retain information on Sirius B at this article. DrKiernan (talk) 15:20, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

It is a binary system, but Sirius B is a different star with different characteristics. It should have its own article Tetra quark (talk) 04:13, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

Maybe - it would only be worthwhile if someone was willing to make the article and intending to put more into it right now than the parent article. Otherwise it would be pointless reduplication of content. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 05:33, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
@Casliber]: I wouldn't copy the information. I'd move it to the new article. I'm willing to create that new article Tetra quark (talk) 14:04, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
That would not be a good idea and I would revert it. The information in this article is (I see) at the right level of detail. It is a component of the Sirius system and hence needs to be a part of this article. If you were going to research and write quite a bit more from online sources then that would be great. There are loads of star redlink articles to write without disrupting established articles. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 19:54, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
The thing is that the Sirius article is about the star, not exactly the system. Sirius B is another star. As you may know, I have created the new article but it redirects to the main one as of now. Here is a link that doesn't redirect you: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sirius_B&redirect=no .....I guess I can rewrite that. Tetra quark (talk) 20:15, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

I strongly oppose this. When we say "Sirius", it is about the entirety of the star system. (Capella has four components, yet it is only on one article). Many stellar systems are only in one article (Antares, Rigel, Algol, etc.), so I think Sirius B would remain as a section of the article Sirius. Problem here is if we created Sirius B article and get the full coverage of studies there, it would not gain notability because it is much less famous than Sirius A. To have the context, in the infobox of Sirius itself states "Sirius A/B". Plus, the white dwarf Sirius B is greatly tied with Sirius A. So I suggest to make it as a section on Sirius article. SkyFlubbler (talk) 21:05, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

Oppose; Personally, I don't think any star in a system should have its own article (that would include stuff such as vB 10, which I think should be merged). Since the system is inexorably tied together, it makes sense to discuss the system as a whole in an article, and not have separate articles for the components. StringTheory11 (t • c) 21:11, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose the proposal presented at WT:AST. We should not cut all the material about Sirius B out of the Sirius article. We should have a binary article somewhere, which should contain some information about both stars. If we split off Sirius B, then Sirius A should also be split off into a separate article, and another separate article should exist for the star system. The primary member of the system would like as not have a separate sub-article from the star system article before the secondary member. But the star system itself should be the primary landing point, and should any component have separate articles, then there should be a star system article around to deal with the entire system. -- 67.70.35.44 (talk) 05:45, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Mega-Support Welcome to the odd world of astronomology, where we call Sirius "a star" because by unaided vision we cannot determine that there are two stars. Kind of like how we don't write articles about cell types in the brain, or other organs, since we can't visually distinguish neurons from glial cells in the cortex /irony. I have suggested before that we call it a system, this was shot down by the article's owners. What we probably need is an encyclopedia-wide RfC on whether systems with more than one star merit a small article on the system linking to larger articles on the separate stars (like we do with species in a genus) or whether we should keep one article, but reflect reality, and stop referring to Sirius as a star altogether, but call it a stellar system. In the meantime, at least we have a popular culture section. I support an RfC requesting a three way split, the system, and separate article on the stars. μηδείς (talk) 06:14, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the support. However, making three pages (sirius sytem, sirius A and sirius B) is not the idea I had in mind. When we say the word "Sirius", we are obviously referring to Sirius A, the brightest star in the night sky, not the system. The star was called Sirius long before Sirius B was even discovered. To sum it up, the main article should stay almost as it is. We just remove the section dedicated to Sirius B and paste it into the new article, which by the way I have already created (Sirius_B, however, I made this page redirect to the main article, so relax) Tetra quark (talk) 13:58, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
The thing is, we don't necessarily call it a star, we call it a star system, which it is. This isn't a scenario in which Sirius is simply an optical double star, in which case I would be all for having separate articles; rather, it is a true binary star system, where one cannot talk about one member without talking about the other as well. StringTheory11 (t • c) 04:19, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment for the Russian (my keyboard does not type those text). It is not liable for W UMa variables, or stars which physically touch each other. Stars in systems have close relations; if we created articles about their components we may make duplicate articles.
For Sirius, it has been called a single star simply because antiquity says it's a single star, until the white dwarf was discovered. Now basically, "Sirius" refers to the two stars. If we created articles about their counterparts (say Sirius A, Sirius B, etc) then that would be duplication. Also, the stars are not that massive in detail to have their own articles, after all, stars are just balls of hot gases and nothing else. SkyFlubbler (talk) 09:48, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose removal of material (unless anyone is proposing to build a bigger article on Sirius B - but that would mean keeping the same content here and having more in a daughter article (in which case I would support the creation of that article) Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 13:50, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Second Objection We must review first if people will view it. When you ask layman people about "Sirus B" they will just ask "What is it?!". My reason for this is because the article would be poorly viewed, unlike for the Sirius A. If we cut off all info on Sirius A and put it in B, surely people will never know what is B, because A is more famous and more viewed than B. SkyFlubbler (talk) 05:24, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose: For consistency (and all the other oppose reasons above). Information from the CMa A article would need to be copied to CMa B. As time passes, and information changes/gets reworded/etc., the 2 pages would not move in lock-step and there would surely be page-drift. The star template has all relevant information on it, and a new user is able to accurately interpret the facts from a single page. The only reason another article should be made is if CMa B is ejected from the system in the future.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  14:16, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Support creating an article on Sirius B, not just a redirect. But retain content in this page. Extra detail can be added to the article on the B that is not put on this page. Splitting is how Wikipedia grows. It does not matter that so huge numbers of readers want to find it, as long as there are some. Drift does not matter either, as long as facts are consistent. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 07:22, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment–If we did this on Sirius, we will ned to do it so for other stars as well. If we split Sirius B just because it has other characteristics from A, we must do that for other stars as well. Example is Antares A, a red supergiant and Antares B, a B-type main sequence. We must not split Sirius B because very few people will search for it, because very few people know about it. They know Sirius as "Dog Star, brightest star in the night sky" so splitting it would make confusion. We can split it if and only if it is only a visual companion, a coincidential alignment to our line of sight (i.e. Zeta Scorpii). If we did this for Sirius, other star articles must split also and that would cause a big problem for the entire WikiProject. Just because it has other characteristics does not necessarily mean it needs to have an article of its own. We must consider that we must deliver the data to readers as simple and as quickly as possible. If we split Sirius to A and B that would cause confusion. SkyFlubbler (talk) 13:41, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
    • I agree. Since ~50% of stars systems are actually binary, this would be a large task with minimal, if not negative, benefit. Our efforts are best spent elsewhere.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  15:36, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Conditional support– Split the article if you can also split others. If only the split is that Sirius B is a different star, do that on others. But take note: of all the 9,500 stars visible by the naked eye, 3/4 are binary systems. Just to be honest our own Sun is a very weird star because it has no twin. If split this one, split also the others, but note again: Capella has six components and that alone is a very hard task. The number of astronomy articles may reach 50,000 or more once we split all star system acrticles. It's your choice if you want also to do a big job of splitting star systems, especially to close and visible stars. The decision is yours, my friends. Whatever it is, I will help. But I am telling you: once you split this you will start a large task. SkyFlubbler (talk) 02:18, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose – With a split, a summary of the discovery and system information would still need to remain, and so this action would not significantly reduce the article size. Besides, the article isn't overly lengthy, so the primary benefit of a split would be to expand upon the details of Sirius B. But that seems unlikely at present. The content on Sirius B is already well padded with general details on white dwarf stars. Praemonitus (talk) 17:34, 28 December 2014 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

additional points separate from the survey on the split

If this is split, we will need to deregister the FA-status, as it will be a massive change to the article. (failure of the stability criterion, large changes in the content of the article) It should fall back to C-class or Start-class and start reassessment all over again (and the split off article should also not just copy "FA" over on its banners, but rated as Stub or Start class). -- 67.70.35.44 (talk) 11:42, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

Agreed, although I'd say B-class would be fine. StringTheory11 (t • c) 19:32, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
Presumably, if there is consensus for Tetra quark's proposal, it means carving up into three - a Sirius (star system) article, a Sirius A article and Sirius B article - and be hard to maintain as a threesome with much copying of information between three to keep them aligned - Tetra quark, where/how do you propose splitting. Is the system a disambiguation page? For instance, how would you propose carving up the System section - also, is all the cultural and visibility about the system or the brighter star? Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 21:15, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
My idea is not to have a page for the system. Let the Sirius article as it is (this article will actually be referring to Sirius A, which is a famous star for centuries) and create a new article for Sirius B, which is another star. We all know that we mean Sirius A when talking about Sirius. Tetra quark (talk) 01:28, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
I would disagree with your last statement. When we talk about "Sirius", we are talking about the system, not Sirius A. When we want to talk about Sirius A, we say "Sirius A", and when we want to talk about Sirius B, we say "Sirius B". StringTheory11 (t • c) 01:59, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
I still don't quite understand your point. We've known Sirius since prehistory, and now that we recently discovered Sirius B, now the word Sirius refers to the system? It doesn't matter if they are gravitationally interacting, they are two stars. It is almost like calling the Solar System "Sun". Tetra quark (talk) 12:53, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
now that we recently discovered Sirius B, now the word Sirius refers to the system? Yes. How we talk about things changes with the information we receive (hopefully, your thoughts, too, have been altered by the information in this discussion). Also, Sirius B was discovered in 1915.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  13:49, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
Tetra quark, why would we then excise material on Sirius B from this article then? The two stars are intimately linked. Just because wr have a Geography of Ireland article doesn't mean we excise all material on geography from the Ireland article. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 05:35, 28 December 2014 (UTC)

A comment on article prose size - the article currently has 28kb of prose, well under the size for considering splitting. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 21:44, 27 December 2014 (UTC)

NB:The term is Wikipedia:Content forking, which is what we're trying to avoid. The chance of this is greatly increased with multiple articles. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 21:47, 27 December 2014 (UTC)


The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


Requested edit[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Resolved after semiprotection expired

Please add a split template to the article subjectpage, since we are already discussing a split on the article above. -- 67.70.35.44 (talk) 11:33, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

Padlock-silver-open.svg Not done: According to the page's protection level and your user rights, you should be able to edit the page yourself. If you seem to be unable to, please reopen the request with further details. Neither that page, nor it's talk page have any kinds of protection on them and since they've been created already, you should be able to edit them. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 16:58, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
I already tried to edit the subjectpage Sirius to add the split template, it says "View Source" and This page is currently semi-protected so that only established registered users can edit it. when I click on View Source in case there was a caching problem ; the page also has a grey lock, indicating semiprotection (not red, indicating full protection, nor green, indicating move protection) I do see the protection log only indicating move protection, but I figure it must be cascaded protection or something. -- 67.70.35.44 (talk) 22:23, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
The page is indeed protected until tomorrow. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 11:10, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
Padlock-silver-open.svg Not done: The page's protection level and/or your user rights have changed since this request was placed. You should now be able to edit the page yourself. If you still seem to be unable to, please reopen the request with further details. Sam Sing! 17:17, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.