Template:Infobox planet

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Other templates that redirect here: {{Planet}}, {{Infobox minor planet}}, {{Infobox Planet}}, {{Infobox Moon}}, {{Infobox Nonstellar body}}

This template has been designed for the presentation of information on non-stellar astronomical bodies: planets (including extrasolar planets), dwarf planets, moons and minor planets. Some parameters will not be applicable to individual types; these may be omitted without any problems to the template's function.

Usage notes

  • This template expects that the <references /> tag will be present in articles setting the minorplanet parameter to yes. Pages without a <references /> tag will show Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page for a group named "note", but the references will not show without a <ref group="note"> tag; see Help:Cite errors. at the bottom of the page.
  • When parameters relating to minor planets are used (e.g. mp_name), several subheadings and wikilinks within the template are made specific to minor planets. For standard formulas for computable values and sources of physical data, see Template talk:Infobox Nonstellar body#Computed values and Standard asteroid physical characteristics.
  • The Proper Orbital Element "Proper orbital period" (in Julian Years and Days) is calculated within the template from Proper Mean Motion and so does not require a parameter.
  • For bodies orbiting bodies other than the Sun, include the parameter |apsis= (appropriate suffix). This will replace various parameters' default "-helion" suffix to the suffix set by the |apsis= parameter. For example, setting |apsis= astron converts the labels "perihelion", "aphelion" and "Argument of perihelion" into "periastron", "apastron" and "Argument of periastron" respectively.

Recommended parameters

For a list of all parameters, see All parameters below.

Exosolar planets

Discovered by discoverer
Discovery site discovery_site
Discovery date discovered
Orbital characteristics
Eccentricity eccentricity
Inclination inclination
Semi-amplitude semi-amplitude
Physical characteristics
Mean radius
Volume volume
Mass mass
Mean density
Albedo albedo
Temperature single_temperature
{{Infobox planet
| name               = <!--(Common/agreed name)-->
| image              = 
| caption            = 
| apsis              = astron
| discovery_ref      = <!--(Any appropriate <ref>(s) to append to the name)-->
| discoverer         = 
| discovery_site     = 
| discovered         = <!--(Date)-->
| discovery_method   = 
| alt_names          = <!--(Any alternative names for the body)-->
| periastron         = 
| apoastron          = 
| semimajor          = 
| avg_speed          = <!--(Average orbital speed)-->
| eccentricity       = 
| period             = <!--(Orbital period)-->
| inclination        = 
| angular_dist       = 
| long_periastron    = <!--(Longitude of periastron)-->
| time_periastron    = <!--(Time of periastron)-->
| semi-amplitude     = 
| mean_radius        = 
| surface_area       = 
| volume             = 
| density            = 
| mass               = 
| surface_grav       = <!--Equatorial surface gravity-->
| moment_of_inertia_factor = 
| escape_velocity    = 
| albedo             = 
| single_temperature = 

Minor planets

name symbol
Discovered by discoverer
Discovery site discovery site
Discovery date discovered
MPC designation mp_name
Orbital characteristics[2]
Epoch epoch
Uncertainty parameter uncertainty
Observation arc observation arc length
Aphelion aphelion
Perihelion perihelion
Eccentricity eccentricity
Inclination inclination
Known satellites satellites
Earth MOID earth moid
Mercury MOID (see All parameters)
Proper orbital elements[3]
p_semi_major AU
360 deg / yr
1 yr
(365.25 d)
Precession of perihelion
perihelion_rate arcsec / yr
Precession of the ascending node
node_rate arcsec / yr
Physical characteristics
Dimensions dimensions
Mass mass
Mean density
Albedo albedo
Surface temp. min mean max
Kelvin 150 200
Celsius −73
Spectral type
{{Infobox planet
| name               = 
| symbol             = 
| image              = 
| caption            = 
| discovery_ref      = <ref>....</ref>
| discoverer         = 
| discovered         = 
| discovery_site     = ''discovery_site''
| mp_name            = <!--(Minor planet name)-->
| mp_category        = <!--(Minor planet category)-->
| alt_names          = <!--(Alternative names)-->
| orbit_ref          = <ref>Osculating Orbital Elements</ref>
| epoch              = 
| uncertainty        = [[Uncertainty Parameter U]]
| observation_arc    = [[Observation arc]] length
| aphelion           = 
| perihelion         = 
| semimajor          = 
| eccentricity       = 
| period             = 
| avg_speed          = <!--(Average orbital speed)-->
| inclination        = 
| asc_node           = <!--(Longitude of ascending node)-->
| mean_anomaly       = 
| arg_peri           = <!--(Argument of perihelion)-->
| p_orbit_ref        = <ref>Proper Orbital Elements</ref>
| p_semimajor        = 
| p_eccentricity     = 
| p_inclination      = 
| p_mean_motion      = <!--(Proper orbital mean motion)-->
| perihelion_rate    = <!--(Proper perihelic precession rate)-->
| node_rate          = <!--(Proper nodal precession rate)-->
| satellites         = 
| moid               = <!--(Earth moid only)-->
| mercury_moid       = <!--(see "All parameters" section)-->
| dimensions         = 
| mass               = 
| density            = 
| surface_grav       = <!--(Equatorial surface gravity)-->
| moment_of_inertia_factor = <!--(Moment of inertia factor)-->
| escape_velocity    = 
| sidereal_day       = 
| axial_tilt         = 
| pole_ecliptic_lat  = <!--(Pole ecliptic latitude)-->
| pole_ecliptic_lon  = <!--(Pole ecliptic longitude)-->
| albedo             = 
| temp_name1         = 
| mean_temp_1        = 
| max_temp_1         = 
| temp_name2         = 
| max_temp_2         = 
| spectral_type      = 
| abs_magnitude      = <!--(Absolute magnitude)-->

See here for means of semi-automating this template's transclusion as regards minor planets.

  • For satellites of minor planets, include the parameter |apsis= astron (see above).

Notes on usage

From Wikipedia:WikiProject Astronomical objects/Infoboxes

Most of these entries should be measured in SI units. Some of them, however, should have more "human-accessible" units, in addition to SI units: several such cases are indicated with a second unit name in brackets. In the case of times (orbital periods, rotation), it is best to give all periods in days for comparison purposes, and provide a translation (in parentheses) into years, days, hours, etc.; whatever is most appropriate for the duration being described.

This template is very flexible. Moons with no atmosphere whatsoever could skip the atmospheric composition section entirely, for example (though atmospheric density would still be listed). Moons also wouldn't have their orbital radii listed in AU, since AUs are such large units. For planets, use "perihelion" and "aphelion" instead of "periapsis" and "apoapsis."

In the case of "number of moons" and "is a moon of", only one of these rows will be used by any given object. There aren't any moons with moons (yet), though perhaps "co-orbital with" might be a useful row to add in a few cases.

On orbital characteristics: The orbital circumference should be computed from the semi-major axis using Ramanujan's approximation for ellipses. The ratio of that circumference to the period then gives the average orbital speed. The minimum and maximum speeds follow from Kepler's laws: v_{max} = 2\pi a^2 \frac{\sqrt{1-e^2}}{T a (1-e)} and v_{min} = 2\pi a^2 \frac{\sqrt{1-e^2}}{T a (1+e)}. Note that, by convention, all orbital parameters are given in the primocentric reference system (heliocentric for the planets).

On proper orbital elements: The formulae used by the template to convert from proper mean motion to proper orbital motion are:
Oyears = 360 / M   and
Odays = 365.25 x Oyears

On physical characteristics: The surface area and volume of non-spherical objects (e.g. moonlets, asteroids) must use the proper ellipsoid formulae, because even slight departures from sphericity will make a large difference, particularly for the area.

On the subject of obliquity: Obliquity is the angle between the object's axis of rotation and the normal to the plane of its orbit. Do not confuse this with the Tilt listed in the JPL pages, which is a measure of the angle between the local Laplace plane and the primary's equatorial plane. In fact, most inner moons have synchronous rotations, so their obliquities will be, by definition, zero. Outer moons simply have not been seen from close up enough to determine their true obliquities (although Phoebe, recently seen by the Cassini probe, is an exception; see Talk:Phoebe (moon) for the derivation of its obliquity).

All parameters

{{Infobox planet
| name                   = 
| symbol                 = <!--([[File:...]])-->
| background             = 
| image                  = <!--([[File:...]])-->
| caption                = 
| apsis                  = 
| discovery_ref          = <ref>...</ref>
| discoverer             = 
| discovery_site         = 
| discovered             = 
| discovery_method       = 
| mp_name                = 
| pronounced             = {{IPAc-en|<!-- IPA string -->|}}
| named_after            = 
| mp_category            = 
| alt_names              = 
| orbit_ref              = <ref>Osculating Orbital Elements</ref>
| orbit_diagram          = <!-- image link, just like in prose. ex.: [[File:1992 TC orbital diagram.jpg|260px]] -->
| epoch                  = 
| uncertainty            =
| observation_arc        =
| aphelion               = 
| perihelion             = 
| periastron             = 
| apoastron              = 
| periapsis              = 
| apoapsis               = 
| semimajor              = 
| mean_orbit_radius      = 
| eccentricity           = 
| period                 = 
| synodic_period         = 
| avg_speed              = <!--(Average orbital speed)-->
| mean_anomaly           = 
| inclination            = 
| angular_dist           = <!--(Angular distance)-->
| asc_node               = <!--(Longitude of ascending node)-->
| long_periastron        = <!--(Longitude of periastron)-->
| time_periastron        = <!--(Time of periastron)-->
| arg_peri               = <!--(Argument of peri[helion/astron/...])-->
| semi-amplitude         = 
| p_orbit_ref            = <ref>Proper Orbital Elements</ref>
| p_semimajor            = 
| p_eccentricity         = 
| p_inclination          = 
| p_mean_motion          = <!--(Proper orbital mean motion)-->
| perihelion_rate        = <!--(Proper perihelic precession rate)-->
| node_rate              = <!--(Proper nodal precession rate)-->
| satellite_of           = 
| satellites             = 
| moid                   = <!--(Earth MOID only)-->
| mercury_moid           =
| venus_moid             =
| mars_moid              =
| jupiter_moid           =
| saturn_moid            =
| uranus_moid            =
| neptune_moid           =
| dimensions             = 
| flattening             = 
| equatorial_radius      = 
| polar_radius           = 
| mean_radius            = 
| circumference          = 
| surface_area           = 
| volume                 = 
| mass                   = 
| density                = 
| surface_grav           = <!--(Equatorial surface gravity)-->
| moment_of_inertia_factor = <!--(Moment of inertia factor)-->
| escape_velocity        = 
| sidereal_day           = 
| rot_velocity           = <!--(Rotational velocity)-->
| axial_tilt             = 
| right_asc_north_pole   = <!--(North pole right ascension)-->
| declination            = <!--(North pole declination)-->
| pole_ecliptic_lat      = <!--(Pole ecliptic latitude)-->
| pole_ecliptic_lon      = <!--(Pole ecliptic longitude)-->
| albedo                 = 
| single_temperature     = 
| temp_name1             = 
| min_temp_1             = 
| mean_temp_1            = 
| max_temp_1             = 
| temp_name2             = 
| min_temp_2             = 
| mean_temp_2            = 
| max_temp_2             = 
| spectral_type          = 
| magnitude              = <!--(Apparent magnitude)-->
| abs_magnitude          = <!--(Absolute magnitude)-->
| angular_size           = 
| adjectives             = 
| atmosphere_ref         = <ref>...</ref>
| surface_pressure       = 
| scale_height           = 
| atmosphere_composition = 

Computed values

This section documents how some minor planet parameters may be computed when they're not directly measured. More detail can be found in Standard asteroid physical characteristics.

Average orbital speed

This is very simply the orbital circumference divided by the orbital period.

The exact circumference of an ellipse is 4 a E(e), where a is the semi-major axis, e the eccentricity, and the function E is the complete elliptic integral of the second kind. This gives

v_o = \frac{4 a E(e)}{T}

E is close to  \pi / 2 when e is small.

An approximation using a taylor series expansion is

v_o = \frac{2\pi a}{T}\left[1-\frac{e^2}{4}-\frac{3e^4}{64} - \dots \right]

AstOrb Browser computes a velocity using Ramanujan's approximation for an ellipse's circumference:

v_o \approx \frac{\pi}{T} \left[3(a+b) - \sqrt{(3a+b)(a+3b)}\right]

Where b is the orbit's semi-minor axis:

b = a \sqrt{1-e^2}\,\!

Surface gravity

Main article: Surface gravity

For a spherical body of mass m, and radius r, the gravitational acceleration at the surface, is given by

g_{\rm spherical} = \frac{GM}{r^2}\,\!

Where G = 6.6742×10−11 m3s−2kg−1 is the Gravitational constant, M is the mass of the body, and r its radius. This value is very approximate, as most minor planets are far from spherical.

For irregularly shaped bodies, the surface gravity will differ appreciably with location. However, at the outermost point/s, where the distance to the centre of mass is the greatest, the surface gravity is still given by a simple formula, a slightly modified version of the above that uses the largest radius r_{\rm max}

g_{\rm outer} = \frac{GM}{r_{\rm max}^2}\,.\!

because all the body's mass is contained within this radius.

On a rotating body, the apparent weight experienced by an object on the surface is reduced by the centrifugal force, when one is away from the poles. The centrifugal acceleration experienced at the equator is

g_{\rm centrifugal} = -\left(\frac{2\pi}{T}\right)^2 r_{\rm eq}

where T is the rotation period in seconds, and r_{\rm eq} is the equatorial radius (usually also the maximum radius used above). The negative sign indicates that it acts in the opposite direction to the gravitational acceleration g.

The effective surface gravity at the equator is then

 g_{\rm effective} \approx g_{\rm gravitational} + g_{\rm centrifugal}
= g_{\rm gravitational} - |g_{\rm centrifugal}|\ .

Escape velocity

For surface gravity g and radius r, the escape velocity is:

v_e = \sqrt{2gr}

This value is much less sensitive to the factors affecting the surface gravity, mentioned above.


For asteroid albedo α, semimajor axis a, solar luminosity L_0, and asteroid infrared emissivity ε (usually taken to be ~0.9), the approximate mean temperature T is given by:

T = \left ( \frac{(1 - \alpha) L_0}{\epsilon \sigma 16 \pi a^2} \right )^{\frac{1}{4}}

Where σ is Stefan-Boltzmann constant. See also Torrence V. Johnson, Paul R. Weissman, Lucy-Ann A. McFadden (2007). Encyclopedia of the Solar System. Elsevier. p. 294. ISBN 978-0-12-088589-3. .


Template parameters
Parameter Description Type Default Auto value Status
Name name name of planet string empty empty optional
Symbol symbol symbol of planet string empty empty optional
Background background background of planet string empty empty optional
Image image image of planet string empty empty optional
Caption caption caption string empty empty optional
Apsis apsis string empty empty optional
Discovery_ref discovery_ref <ref>...</ref> string empty empty optional
Discoverer discoverer discoverer of planet string empty empty optional
Discovery_site discovery_site string empty empty optional
Discovered discovered discovered string empty empty optional
Discovery_method discovery_method string empty empty optional
mp_name mp_name string empty empty optional
Pronounced pronounced string empty empty optional
Named_after named_after string empty empty optional
mp_category mp_category string empty empty optional
Alt_names alt_names string empty empty optional
Orbit_ref orbit_ref <ref>Osculating Orbital Elements</ref> string empty empty optional
Orbit_diagram orbit_diagram image link, just like in prose. ex.: [[File:1992 TC orbital diagram.jpg|260px]] string empty empty optional
Epoch epoch string empty empty optional
Uncertainty_parameter uncertainty string empty empty optional
Observation_arc observation_arc string empty empty optional
Aphelion aphelion string empty empty optional
Perihelion perihelion string empty empty optional
Periastron periastron string empty empty optional
Apoastron apoastron string empty empty optional
Periapsis periapsis string empty empty optional
Apoapsis apoapsis string empty empty optional
Semimajor semimajor string empty empty optional
Mean_orbit_radius mean_orbit_radius string empty empty optional
Eccentricity eccentricity string empty empty optional
Period period string empty empty optional
Synodic_period synodic_period string empty empty optional
Avg_speed avg_speed (Average orbital speed) string empty empty optional
Mean_anomaly mean_anomaly string empty empty optional
Inclination inclination string empty empty optional
Angular_dist angular_dist (Angular distance) string empty empty optional
Asc_node asc_node (Longitude of ascending node) string empty empty optional
Long_periastron long_periastron (Longitude of periastron) string empty empty optional
Time_periastron time_periastron (Time of periastron) string empty empty optional
Arg_peri arg_peri string empty empty optional
Semi-amplitude semi-amplitude string empty empty optional
p_orbit_ref p_orbit_ref <ref>Proper Orbital Elements</ref> string empty empty optional
p_semimajor p_semimajor string empty empty optional
p_eccentricity p_eccentricity string empty empty optional
p_inclination p_inclination string empty empty optional
p_mean_motion p_mean_motion (Proper orbital mean motion) string empty empty optional
Perihelion_rate perihelion_rate (Proper perihelic precession rate) string empty empty optional
Node_rate node_rate (Proper nodal precession rate) string empty empty optional
Satellite_of satellite_of string empty empty optional
Satellites satellites string empty empty optional
Moid moid string empty empty optional
Mercury_moid mercury_moid string empty empty optional
Venus_moid venus_moid string empty empty optional
Mars_moid mars_moid string empty empty optional
Jupiter_moid jupiter_moid string empty empty optional
Saturn_moid saturn_moid string empty empty optional
Uranus_moid uranus_moid string empty empty optional
Neptune_moid neptune_moid string empty empty optional
Dimensions dimensions string empty empty optional
Flattening flattening string empty empty optional
Equatorial_radius equatorial_radius string empty empty optional
Polar_radius polar_radius string empty empty optional
Mean_radius mean_radius string empty empty optional
Circumference circumference string empty empty optional
Surface_area surface_area string empty empty optional
Volume volume string empty empty optional
Mass mass string empty empty optional
Density density string empty empty optional
Surface_grav surface_grav (Equatorial surface gravity) string empty empty optional
Moment_of_inertia_factor moment_of_inertia_factor (Moment of inertia factor) string empty empty optional
Escape_velocity escape_velocity string empty empty optional
Sidereal_day sidereal_day string empty empty optional
Rot_velocity rot_velocity (Rotational velocity) string empty empty optional
Axial_tilt axial_tilt string empty empty optional
Right_asc_north_pole right_asc_north_pole (North pole right ascension) string empty empty optional
Declination declination (North pole declination) string empty empty optional
Pole_ecliptic_lat pole_ecliptic_lat (Pole ecliptic latitude) string empty empty optional
Pole_ecliptic_lon pole_ecliptic_lon (Pole ecliptic longitude) string empty empty optional
Albedo albedo string empty empty optional
Single_temperature single_temperature string empty empty optional
Temp_name1 temp_name1 string empty empty optional
Min_temp_1 min_temp_1 string empty empty optional
Mean_temp_1 mean_temp_1 string empty empty optional
Max_temp_1 max_temp_1 string empty empty optional
Temp_name2 temp_name2 string empty empty optional
Min_temp_2 min_temp_2 string empty empty optional
Mean_temp_2 mean_temp_2 string empty empty optional
Max_temp_2 max_temp_2 string empty empty optional
Spectral_type spectral_type string empty empty optional
Magnitude magnitude (Apparent magnitude) string empty empty optional
Abs_magnitude abs_magnitude (Absolute magnitude) string empty empty optional
Angular_size angular_size string empty empty optional
Pronounced pronounced {{IPA-en|<!-- IPA string -->|}} string empty empty optional
Adjectives adjectives string empty empty optional
Atmosphere_ref atmosphere_ref <ref>...</ref> string empty empty optional
Surface_pressure surface_pressure string empty empty optional
Scale_height scale_height string empty empty optional
Atmosphere_composition atmosphere_composition string empty empty optional

The HTML mark up produced by this template includes an hCard microformat, which makes the place-name and location parsable by computers, either acting automatically to catalogue article across Wikipedia, or via a browser tool operated by a person, to (for example) add the subject to an address book. For more information about the use of microformats on Wikipedia, please see the microformat project.

If the place or venue has an "established", "founded", "opened" or similar date that is specific to the day, use {{start date}} unless the date is before 1583 CE. If it has a URL, use {{URL}}.

hCard uses HTML classes including:

  • adr
  • category
  • country-name
  • extended-address
  • fn
  • label
  • locality
  • nickname
  • note
  • org
  • street-address
  • url
  • vcard

Please do not rename or remove these classes nor collapse nested elements which use them.


  1. ^ discovery_ref
  2. ^ orbit_ref
  3. ^ p_orbit_ref