Talk:Canis Major

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Uuurgh! What are the ABSOULTE Magnitudes of Muliphem and Furud?! I can only find the apparent magnitudes, and I've been searching for half an hour!

My understanding is that Sirius is called the "dog star," not because of the hot, dog days of summer, but because it is part of the Canis Major, one of Orion's hunting dogs. Please help me with this. Thanks. (Douglas Arvidson, author of the Sci-Fi/adventure novel, THE EYE OF THE STALLION)

"Hot, dog days of summer" seems too modern a source, but who knows? Otherwise read Poeticon astronomicon (an external link to an English translation at the end), I don't remember the why of "dog star", but I believe it's therein. Said: Rursus 16:48, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Adding Star Table List[edit]

Can you add a table list of stars in this constellation with the columns Bayer designations{BD}, Flamsteed designations{F}, Names and other designations, right ascension, declination, apparent magnitude{App Mag}, absolute magnitude{Abs Mag}, distance (Ly), spectral type, and comments in order of apparent magnitudes.

Sirius equalled Canis Maior[edit] antiquity. I removed an unnecessary speculation, saying that "(or perhaps only the star Sirius)" regarding what the Romans and the Greeks regarded as the dog of Orion. We nowadays make a distinction between the constellation and the brightest stars, since for us such a distinction makes sense, we have a myth and we have a lot of physical information about the real stars. For the people in the antiquity, only the myths were available. They generally regarded the brightest star as the representative of the constellation myth. Said: Rursus 19:44, 13 July 2008 (UTC)


See here and here and here Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 07:05, 19 March 2014 (UTC) sorted. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 05:27, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

@StringTheory11: - any other stars or galaxies you think we need include...this page is getting a bit large.....Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 05:27, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

Hmm, Z Canis Majoris looks really interesting, and worthy of inclusion, as does HD 45677 (FS CMa). There's several others that maybe would be good to mention, but as you mentioned, it's already a bit long, and these are the only two that I think really need something about them. StringTheory11 (t • c) 05:56, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
Ok - yes both look interesting at first look of refs - will try to buff for DYK and then summarize for constellation article. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 07:23, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

Reference consistency[edit]

Minor comment on refs: to be included in the "references" list (and cited Harvard-style), the criterion appears to be that the source is a published monograph. However there are several books in the notes that don't follow this principle. For example notes 21,23, and possibly 78, 79, 80 (maybe some others). Have i missed hte pattern here? Is something else determining how the referencing is being done?hamiltonstone (talk) 09:34, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

The criterion is if I use more than one page from a book. Then I will list it at bottom and cite different pages used when used. If I use a only 1 or two (adjacent) pages of a book, will just leave in body of notes. Some of this predated my involvement maybe....Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 12:24, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
Ah, OK. Just as long as there is a consistent system. I was figuring that otherwise it would get asked at FAC :-) hamiltonstone (talk) 12:37, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Canis Major/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Hamiltonstone (talk · contribs) 13:10, 12 May 2014 (UTC) Reviewing...

  • Writing is good, though with occasional moments of hilarity: "The bow and arrow depiction was replaced by that of a dog in Ancient Greece". Amazing that we know where the dog was. Perhaps "The Ancient Greeks replaced the bow and arrow depiction with that of a dog"? Not sure if "depiction" is the right word, either.
It is tricky as it has to be some visual word - "portrayal" I thought of but not really apt either. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 20:27, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
  • "Islamic scholar Abū Rayḥān al-Bīrūnī referred to Orion called it Al Kalb al Jabbār, "the Dog of the Giant"..." Couple of issues. There is a missing word somewhere here. Also, the title The Dog of the Giant is in quote marks, but 'the watchdog' and 'the Greater Dog' in earlier sentences are not so punctuated. What principle do you want to follow here? What have you used in earlier constellation articles, especially the ones that have made it through FA?
tweaked. normally if it is a direct translation directly after a foreign word or phrase, I'd have quotation marks, so added for first two. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 20:27, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Not an issue here at GA, but if taking to FA - there are a couple of sentences in the non-Western astronomy section that could benefit from reworking, both of them involving situations where the sources appear to be indicating there was more than one possible interpretation of a constellation.
  • Not sure on this one: should this sentence be in the history and mythology section? "Epsilon, Omicron2, Delta and Eta Canis Majoris were called Al Adzari "the virgins" in medieval Arabic tradition".
I have it in stars section as it is a small natural grouping to the naked eye and breaks up the star properties a bit. Essentially just a name rather than mythology much and I think it slots better there than going in hisotry section. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 20:27, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
  • When you have taken articles through FA, has anyone objected to references such as "spectral type F8Iab" without any wikilink for the technical text (ie. no target for the reader to click to to find out what F8Iab means)?
No, usually the first mention of spectral type is linked to Stellar_classification#Spectral_types. Somehow missed here and added now Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 20:27, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
  • " which cause its brightness to cycle from magnitude +2.93 to +3.08" this appears to be the only case where you have used the plus sign to denote positive magnitude.
whoops, removed. Some early editors did that and have generally removed them Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 20:27, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
  • "which has become 50% brighter between 1963 and 1978," should this be "which became", since it was nearly half a century ago?
aaah here's the thing - it has become brighter and remained so, I used that tense to try and indicate this. But have changed it anyway Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 20:27, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
  • "Despite being a dwarf that is 3.7 times as wide as the Sun, it is still 5.5 times as massive and shines with 940 times its luminosity." What? How can a dwarf star be three times the size and five times the mass? And even if it could, the "despite" doesn't make sense, since the three criteria seem correlated, and a word denoting contrast would thus be inappropriate. What's happening here? A missing decimal point perhaps?
Ok, I spliced the sentence the wrong way and have respliced it as meant. Essentially main sequence stars are known as dwarfs, even if the hot ones are much bigger and hotter than the sun. Never mind, I took out the contrastive as the distinction lost on lay reader. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 20:27, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
  • "its distance estimated at 1444–1450 light-years (443 or 445 parsecs) " why introduce the parsec conversion only on this occasion?
no particular reason - removed Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 20:33, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
  • "which has brightened by two magnitudes to magnitude 8 in 1987, 2000, 2004 and 2008". What? Does this mean brightened episodically from magnitude 10 to 8 on several occasions, including 1987...etc"?
yes. adverb added Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 20:33, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Article uses summary style and covers the subject well.
  • Article is neutral and stable.
  • Image licences are all in order. (Can we please not have the discussion again about Till Credner? :-)) However, you might want to take a look at the information on the page for File:CMa setting.jpg. On one part of the page it says "At the moment of exposure the plane was over about 8 degrees north latitude (Andaman Sea west of Thailand)." elsewhere on the page it says "At the moment of exposure the plane hovered above about 32 degrees north latitude (Pakistan)". This discrepancy was introduced by the uploader themselves here. Any bright ideas?
I guess they corrected themselves - will ask. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 20:38, 12 May 2014 (UTC)

Generally excellent article. hamiltonstone (talk) 13:10, 12 May 2014 (UTC)

Comment on multiple units of distance[edit]

  • The article uses at least 4 different units of distance: metre, light-year (ly), astronomical unit and parsec (pc). I noticed one conversion between ly and pc but in general the reader is left to fend for himself or herself. Are so many different units really needed? And if they are indeed considered necessary, it would help to convert all distances to metres or light-years or something that the reader can understand.
  • And while I'm here, what is the reason for not following the IAU's recommendation of symbol for the astronomical unit? Shouldn't it be au (not AU)? Dondervogel 2 (talk) 18:33, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
The former point is certainly true; I'll work on it. (Unfortunately, this is a common -- if understandable -- issue with astronomy articles.) The latter is one that certainly doesn't have consensus in the current active discussion at Talk:Astronomical unit. (And focusing on consistency within articles such as your former point is, in my opinion, a much better use of editors' time that harmonizing the symbol used for astronomical unit across Wikipedia.) —Alex (ASHill | talk | contribs) 19:17, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
@Dondervogel 2, which units in this article would you change? Generally we use appropriate units to help the reader get a sense of scale. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 19:36, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
Good question. Taking a quick look through the text I think the unit most commonly used is ly, which is good because lay readers are more likely to be familiar with ly than au or pc. Why not provide conversions to ly throughout? Dondervogel 2 (talk) 19:53, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
Choosing one of light year and parsec is certainly a good idea. But AU and ly are used for very different scales. In fact, looking at the article, the only use of AU is for describing the orbit of a stellar system and the size of a dust cocoon, both of which are probably most-sensibly described in AU. A conversion to m or light-years (not sure which is most helpful -- probably ly at least for 13,000 AU) would certainly help. And pc is never used without a ly conversion. —Alex (ASHill | talk | contribs) 20:18, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
I've done some cleanup. I don't actually see any occurrences of m (except a km I just added as a conversion of 50 AU because I don't think converting 50 AU to ly is terribly helpful; This issue -- the very different scales involved in astronomy -- is why we have the proliferation of units to begin with). Could you point me to the use of m? "m" is hard to search for! —Alex (ASHill | talk | contribs) 20:36, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
Note that pc is still used in the infobox, but keeping all constellation infoboxes the same unit-wise makes sense to me, and the two units are less disruptive in the table than in prose. —Alex (ASHill | talk | contribs) 20:38, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
The lede ends with "radius of a mere 5 km". I guess that one does not require conversion. I don't know if m is used elsewhere. Dondervogel 2 (talk) 23:55, 3 January 2015 (UTC)