Talk:Astronomical object

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Work list[edit]

Here is the list to work on article assessment. I used the contents of this article and made a subsection for each column. The first thing we should do is to assign importance to each subject, and split this large list accordingly. Then we can work on the most important objects. This could also mean, I think, to add the names of the natural satellites for the planets in our solar system. Awolf002 17:55, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Solar system[edit]

Simple objects[edit]

Stars by proximity[edit]

Stars by spectral type[edit]

Stars by luminosity class[edit]

Stars by stellar evolution[edit]

Intrinsic variables[edit]

Extrinsic variables[edit]

Compound objects[edit]

Star systems[edit]

Stellar groupings[edit]

Galaxies by morphology[edit]

Extended objects[edit]

what's that?[edit]

why this "list" or grid or anything is in article namespace? it seems that it is not an article..--Monk 13:25, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

As long as it's here, how about adding an introductory paragraph or two? Rfrisbietalk 19:23, 24 August 2006 (UTC)


The table needs some revision, because the 2006 redefinition of planet classifies Pluto as not a normal planet, but a dwarf planet. --Gray Porpoise 21:02, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

I have already updated the table by adding a dwarf planet section and the dwarf planets Ceres and 2003 UB313 as well as moving Pluto into that category. --Daniel Schibuk 13:34, 25 August 2006 (UTC)


Any thoughts on reorganizing this page on this layout → , thanks, CarpD 9/6/06 I can give a shot at it, but it will take a little time...

Anythoughts on this layout. Ignore the color...
Filament List of Filaments
Void Region List of Void Regions
Cosmic microwave background radiation
Cosmic infrared background radiation
Galaxy Cluster List of Galaxy Clusters
  • Galaxy Cluster
  • Galaxy Supercluster
  • Galactic Satellite (system)
Thanks, CarpD 9/8/06
The page needs significant revision, but the organizational structure that you have proposed looks like it would create many problems. (I also strongly disagree with the organization of the proposed list and many of the items in the list; for example, the CMBR should be above filaments and voids, and the infrared background can probably be identified as originating from individual high-redshift galaxies once telescopes become advanced enough to resolve the galaxies.) I would prefer that the page be broken up into blocks labeled "Solar System", "Stars" (with exoplanets, planetary systems, and star systems folded into that list), "Star Clusters", "Interstellar Medium" (with nebulae folded into that list), "Galaxies", and "Extragalactic Structures". I also see no need to keep the bizarre block structure currently used by the astronomical object page; a list format may work just as well.
Please do not create a "list of filaments" or "list of voids" page. Such things generally are not identified. Creating such lists damages Wikipedia's usability as a reference for astronomy. (It would hurt rather than help.) George J. Bendo 07:51, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
List of solar system objects page already exist. I don't think that the Solar System is that special to warrent a section of its own in the Astronomical Objects page. Astronomical Objects is an ordinary list of things.
Also, the current list of voids and filaments, are they not recognized? [Atlas of the Universe], the list of Void names on Richard's page is not recognized? [The Great Wall], on I ask, since I am unfimiliar with things beyong the galaxy.
As for the Cosmic Microwave and Infrared, I can reorganized it. Thanks, CarpD 9/9/06
Maybe the "List of solar system objects can be presented in a more generic way, with categories labeled "inner planets", "gas giants", "asteroids", etc.
On the subject of filaments and voids, most of these objects are really hard to identify well, few have clear identifications, and very few have real names. (We also do not want to be like HurricaneDevon and start making up our own names. That damages Wikipedia's credibility as a reference.) Even identifying groups and cluster members is difficult; see what I wrote on the M74 group of galaxies page or under environment on the Sombrero Galaxy page. Also, the Atlas of the Universe and its references contain inconsistencies on structure identification. (Moreover, the Atlas of the Universe is not a scientific reference, although it is a very good effort at attempting to illustrate these structures for the general public, and it does contain very good scientific references.) George J. Bendo 18:54, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
OK, let's try again. Also, do you prefer the Universe spanning the whole left column, or only for the extragalactic items?
Cosmic microwave background radiation
Cosmic infrared background radiation
Void Region List of Void Regions
Filament List of Filaments
Galaxy Cluster List of Galaxy Clusters
  • Galaxy Cluster
  • Galaxy Supercluster
  • Galactic Satellite (system)
Galaxy types List of Galaxys
Cosmic microwave background radiation
Cosmic infrared background radiation
Void Region List of Void Regions
Filament List of Filaments
Galaxy Cluster List of Galaxy Clusters
  • Galaxy Cluster
  • Galaxy Supercluster
  • Galactic Satellite (system)
Galaxy types List of Galaxys
As for the Solar System, if it is requested to be on this page. Then it will be a seperate grid of only the Solor System objects. Thanks, CarpD

Most of the modifications in the above tables did not address my criticisms. I suggest this:


No strangely-structured color-coded tables. No Cosmic Infrared Background (which is not phenomenologically like the CMBR and should not be listed as an "object"). No links to lists of filaments and voids (which would be incredibly unhelpful). Just a list of stuff in general terms. Why can't we do something like that? George J. Bendo 17:19, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

OK, I was just following what the page already have, tables. But if tables are not wanted, then I will do without. And, isn't Cosmic Infrared Background probably made up of several infrared sources. Same as saying several stars together forms a Galaxy. So, would it not be considered an object? Thanks, CarpD 9/11/06
Thank you for agreeing to change the page layout. The analogy that you made with the Cosmic Infrared Background (CIB) is not quite correct. The CIB appears to be a uniform background simply because telescopes are not yet advanced enough (or large enough) to resolve the individual galaxies. Once most of the galaxies are resolved, it may no longer be considered a "background". In contrast, the stars in a galaxy are still stars regardless of whether they are resolved or unresolved, and the galaxy is still a gravitationally bound object regardless of whether the stars are resolved or not. In other words, the CIB is not a physical object, but stars and galaxies are. Does this make sense? George J. Bendo 08:16, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Is CIB like Infrared Cirrus? Thanks, CarpD 9/12/06


Please do not revert without discussion. Mrwuggs 16:14, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

I agree that these should not be in the article, because they are pure speculation, as admitted in:
Nemesis (star)
Lilith (hypothetical moon)
Fifth planet
Nibiru (hypothetical planet)
Gaga (hypothetical moon)
Planet X
Or clearly false, as in
Mercury's moon
Vulcan (hypothetical planet)
Neith (hypothetical moon)
Tiamat (hypothetical planet)
so I have reverted. do not readd this information.
ST47Talk 18:14, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
Several hypotheticals are still present in the list. I think that the hypothetical and obsolete/false objects should be moved off to their own list, or visually separated on this one. To be honest, I'm not completely sure what exact role this article plays at all. -- Consumed Crustacean (talk) 22:07, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

The description at the top of the page states that these objects include hypothetical and proven astronomical objects. In addition, hypothetical astronomical objects is a subcategory under astronomical objects, and as Consumed Crustacean has pointed out, you have left several hypothetical objects on the list. There is already a list of hypothetical astronomical objects, so they do have their own list, but it still does not change the fact the hypothetical objects are still clearly part of this category. I think Crustean is right, and they should be marked differantly than the other bodies, perhaps in another color. Mrwuggs 22:46, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

It doesn't outright state that. It doesn't really state anything about what the devil this article is for, it just goes on some tirade about fringe science vs. bad science and such. I don't know what to do about the thing, there's a restructuring talk section right above this one, but it looks like no one followed through with it. Might have to adopt some ideas from it. I think, because lists containing everything else already exist, that it would be nice to keep this as a table. It should be wikified for easier editing though. Blergh. -- Consumed Crustacean (talk) 22:58, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

Don't panic![edit]

Don't panic-I've deleted the link to The new order of celestial bodies, you don't have to do anything! Asteroidz R not planetz 19:52, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

How many planets are in the Solar system?[edit]

According to the Internationnal Astronomical Union, the new definition of a planet is "a celestial body that 1) is in orbit around the Sun, 2) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and 3) has cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit.

I can't help but nitpick the definition now that I've read it in full. "Celestial bodies" are the class of astronomical bodies that exclude Earth. Therefore, by this definition, Earth is not a planet. I propose moving "Earth" out of the list of planets and into a new category under "Planetary System" labeled "Other". It should remain there until the IAU gives a class of planetary objects that does include Earth.

Fedos 01:29, 10 March 2007 (UTC)fedos

The Earth is part of the cosmos, and is a "significant mass". It's a celestial body. There is no exclusion of Earth. Any anyways, if you read the definition, it specifically includes Earth. And besides all of that, see Wikipedia:Attribution and Wikipedia:Original research. -- Consumed Crustacean (talk) 04:54, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
Your definition of celestial body contradicts this page, which specifically says that Earth is not a celestial body; it doesn't fit with any dictionary definition, either. Also, the list is not part of the definition, it is an explanation of the definition. Even if it were, your argument is invalid. I cannot define a tree as a "woody plant with a single stem" and then immediately after say "here's a list of some common trees: Pine, Birch, Rhododendron". See, rhododendron's have multiple stems, therefore either my definition is wrong or my list is wrong. Being in the list does not exclude it from having to meet the definition. So, in the case of the IAU definition, either the list is wrong or the definition is wrong; and if the definition is wrong, we're stuck without a definition of what's a planet and what's not. Also note that Earth has not cleared its neighbourhood, neither has Mars, Jupiter, nor Neptune (Clearing the neighbourhood) -- Fedos 15:06, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Neptune has certainly cleared their neighbourhoods. Neighbourhood here means the neighbourhood of the orbit of the planet around the sun, and the "clearing" is of asteriods. It matters not whether there are objects that are gravitationally bound to the planet itself (moons, that is). WLior 19:28, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
If Earth has cleared its neighborhood, then so has the Moon! Since the definition of "celestial body" on this page clearly excludes Earth, then either the exclusion is incorrect or the 2006 IAU definition of "planet" will have to be altered in 2009 by changing "celestial body" to "astronomical body". Also, the Moon clearly is NOT excluded by the 2006 IAU definition of "planet". Read more about that here. --Paine (talk) 10:17, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
The exlusion of Earth might be wrong. Once I asked a professional astronomer what was her opinion about Earth being a celestial body or not. For her, Earth was clearly a celestial body. Besides, from every other astronomical bodies, the Earth appears in their sky, so from their viewpoint Earth is clearly a celestial body. Maaf (talk) 02:12, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
Eehehe! I think this "cleared the orbit" stuff is meeting most opposition, I think the little group of planet dynamicists were p*ssed because their lambda factor or such wasn't originally used in IAU's propositions. They absolutely had to marketroidize in this factor into the definition, despite our knowledge of its lack of importance. ... said: Rursus (bork²) 19:43, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Exclusion of Earth from the definition of Celestial Body is not a consensus[edit]

Many sources, such as "", "", and the IAU in their definition of planet(, consider Earth as a celestial body. Hence I think it would be more appropriate to modify the last sentence in the first paragraph of this article to reflect this fact. We could for instance, modify it from: "The terms astronomical objects and astronomical bodies differ from celestial objects and celestial bodies only in that the latter terms do not include the Earth.[2]" to "In a strict sense, the terms astronomical objects and astronomical bodies differ from celestial objects and celestial bodies only in that the latter terms do not include the Earth.[2] However, many sources don't make this distinction, considering Earth as a celestial body.[references]" or something similar. What do you think? Maaf (talk) 22:38, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

I think perhaps we're being too nuanced, when "astronomical object" and "celestial object" are really just synonyms.—RJH (talk) 23:28, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

I've updated the definition of "Celestial body" with a text similar to that I proposed here before. Maaf (talk) 22:44, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

Astronomical objects and bodies[edit]

The article states the following:

Astronomical objects can be easily confused with astronomical bodies. The term "body" indicates a simple object, such as a planet. On the other hand, an astronomical object could be an asteroid belt.

Yet astronomical body redirects here. --Harald Khan Ճ 13:51, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Now the article says:

Astronomical objects can be easily confused with astronomical bodies. The term object indicates a simple object, such as a planet. On the other hand, an astronomical body could be an asteroid belt. These terms differ from celestial objects and celestial bodies only in that the latter terms do not include the Earth.

Planetary radar astronomy says[1]:

Radar is a powerful technique that has furnished otherwise unavailable information about solar system bodies for three decades. The advantages of radar in planetary astronomy result from...

The usage here is body is a planet.

I think astronomical object and astronomical body are synonyms, or perhaps that body implies a named object. HarryAlffa (talk) 18:23, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree to c:a 99%. The distinction between "object" and "body" is maybe based on some presumption of the supremacy of the electromagnetic force, such as "bodies" being rigid thingies that prevails under the intense bombardment of axe-hits from an angry orc (just an example ― don't practice at home!), while a galaxy having a lower ontologic rank, since angry orcs can easily separate one gas-cloud from another by a steady axe-blow. To such a reasoning, however significant for orcs, can be objected that at larger scales (so called astronomical scales) the gravitation becomes more important. That said, the remaining 1% regards optical double stars, who may be regarded as objects (in the meaning "a studied apparition"). ... said: Rursus (bork²) 15:18, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Yes the contents of the table appear to contradict the definition of object. By that definition, the 'Compound objects' and 'Extended objects' columns of the table don't appear to belong on this page. Also, the table includes the asteroid belt and the Oort cloud, whereas the above definition excludes those from being astronomical objects. The revised definition now seems backwards from what I'd expect. In fact, since an astronomical object to range from a planet up to a galaxy, I think that an astronomical body is either a subset of the astronomical objects, or else they are used interchangably. I'd certainly never expect the asteroid belt to be described as an astronomical body; that's what I'd use for the individual asteroids.—RJH (talk) 22:12, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

List of Broken Links[edit]

Hot Neptunes Oceanic planets Lithium dwarfs Methane dwarfs C-type stars S-type stars Shell stars Peculiar A-type stars Metallic A-type stars Thick disk stars Pulsating variables Symbiotic variables Rotating variables Unresolved binaries Circumstellar matter Galactic bars Galactic rings Thin disks Thick disks morphology Giant ellipticals Outer planet crossers White giants —Preceding unsigned comment added by Perseus101 (talkcontribs) 01:46, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

For bookkeeping:
18 May 2008 21 Jan 2009
Hot Neptunes FIXED!
Oceanic planets Ocean planets FIXED!
Lithium dwarfs L-type dwarf FIXED!
Methane dwarfs T-type dwarf FIXED!
C-type stars FIXED!
S-type stars FIXED!
Shell stars FIXED!
Peculiar A-type stars FIXED!
Metallic A-type stars FIXED!
Thick disk stars REMAINING!
Pulsating variables REMAINING!
Symbiotic variables FIXED!
Rotating variables REMAINING!
Unresolved binaries REMAINING!
Circumstellar matter REMAINING!
Galactic bars REMAINING!
Galactic rings REMAINING!
Thin disks REMAINING!
Thick disks REMAINING!
morphology REMAINING!
Giant ellipticals FIXED!
Outer planet crossers REMAINING!
White giants (removed)
Do we need an article on White giants? The term is not used AFAIK. Terms used are giant star and for sure red giants. ... said: Rursus (bork²) 13:01, 21 January 2009 (UTC)


We should consider remaking the hierarchy according to our own tastes, but based on external ontologies, foremost:

and similar for other object types. ... said: Rursus (bork²) 13:08, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Proposed rename[edit]

As this page is primarily in the form of a list, albeit organized as a table, I'd like to propose renaming it to "List of astronomical objects". The existing "List of astronomical objects" is just a redirect to Lists of astronomical objects, which is somewhat different in nature. Any objections? Thanks.—RJH (talk) 20:26, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Argumentative and NPOV[edit]

This does not necessarily mean that science will not disprove their existence in the future. Some astronomical objects, such as Themis and Neith are, in light of more recent findings, considered not to exist at all. Others, like Pluto and Ceres, prove to be of an entirely different nature than first expected. In these cases, the scientific community must come to a consensus as to the new status of these objects. Astronomical objects thought to exist based on indirect scientific evidence are considered hypothetical.

Moved above to talk since it seems to be an argument as to what the definition of this article topic should be. This should be settled in talk. I would note that the parameters of "existence" do not need to be defined for the reader. Also I would note that this article topic has no reference as to a basic definition so may simply be un-encyclopedic. Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 20:26, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

That works for me. Thanks.—RJH (talk) 00:00, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm not so sure that this works for me. The article topic does not necessarily require a strict nor even "basic" definition to be encyclopedic. It is required to be a notable term in everyday usage, in this case with those who work in the field of astronomy. This topic and its associated terms, "Celestial body", "Celestial object", etc., appear to fill this bill just fine.
There has been a {{Cn}} template added to the first sentence with apparently another editor's comment as to "Why?" it was added. I didn't add the template, but my first guess as to "why" it might have been added was the term "significant". Sounds to me like that term could use some definition, don't you think? How big or small, or how bright or dim, or how massive and such does an AO have to be in order to be "significant"? A RS might help the article here.
 —  Paine (Ellsworth's Climax)  19:27, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

Not an "object"[edit]

Transiting planet is a propitious orbital alignment, rather than a type of planet. I'm not clear it belongs on the table. Likewise, optical binaries, visual binaries, astrometric binaries, spectroscopic binaries and eclipsing binaries are dependent on the location observer, rather than being a physical type of binary star. Similar provisos apply to asterisms and constellations. Do we need a separate table for these categorizations?—RJH (talk) 19:56, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Is the use of telescopes with cameras to photograph satellites and the space station called astrophotography ?[edit]

The ISS and HTV photographed using a telescope-mounted camera in 2011 by astrophotographer Ralf Vandebergh (left) and the International Space Station in a time exposure (right)

I want to add links from the sightings section of the International Space Station article to the Astrophotography article.

There are no references on any page to satellites in relation to people who are interested in photographing them, are satellites and the space station considered to be celestial objects or astronomical objects ? it says 'natural bodies' does that need redefining, or should astrophotography be identified as a misnomer, and if so, what is this activities technical definition ?

Where can defining statements be found in relation to man-made objects, and why aren't they mentioned on this page, I'm no expert in this field, I need expert definitive opinion on this matter, please help me if you know where it can be found. Quoting wiki won't help. Penyulap talk 21:22, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

To make it simple for everyone to discuss this together instead of on different pages, may I suggest discussing it here

Penyulap talk 23:28, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

This article is about astronomical objects, and the ISS is not an astronomical object. So it should not appear here. You should be asking at the astrophotography article. (talk) 07:20, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

Naturally occurring?[edit]

I'm not sure that this is a proper criterium, or even what this means. What if we set an explosion that breaks a comet into two pieces? What if we build a moon? Cheers, Greenodd (talk) 01:00, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

Those haven't happened. If they do, we can revisit the concern. Praemonitus (talk) 01:15, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

Should Stellar body redirect here?[edit]

Per topic. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 12:12, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

Star may be a better choice. Praemonitus (talk) 01:13, 1 April 2015 (UTC)