Talk:Dwarf planet/Archive 6

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Administrative or scientific?

Under break three above, three editors opined that dwarf planet is not a "scientific" concept, but an "administrative" one. That is, a body is not a DP because it fits physical/dynamical criteria, but because the IAU says that it's a DP. I find that proposition dubious, but if true, we would need to revise quite a few articles to reflect this. Is there any consensus that this is the case? That is, is the IAU's "gatekeeper" role definitive? Or, conversely, is there any consensus that it is the IAU's published physical/dynamical definition of a DP that defines which objects are DPs? — kwami (talk) 19:42, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

Again, that isn't the point. There is no way we can use any one source, or even a plurality of sources, to determine whether or not an object is a dwarf planet. To do so is synthesis. We are not scientists and Wikipedia is not a science journal. It is not our job to make calls on scientific matters. We report. That's it. The IAU is the only organisation with the authority to make the call. So we wait for them to do so, even if they don't. Serendipodous 19:54, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

Then that is the point. That is exactly the point I was making. We cannot report what the journals say, but only what the IAU says. — kwami (talk) 20:10, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
And the IAU has not said they are dwarf planets. Serendipodous 20:31, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
As I understand IAU's function, it's not a sanctioning body, so its pronouncements have no de jure force. It's only got the power of a professional association: that is, members agree to abide by its decisions. Thus, IAU definitions aren't strictly scientific (in the way, say, Newton's laws are). It's authoritative, because astronomers agree it is, but not on its own. So, it would appear rewriting may be needed... Unless I've gotten it wrong... :( 19:49, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
I have no problem with the IAU defining the category. And lots of scientific categories are arbitrary: just look at biological taxonomy. My question is this: once the category is defined, is an object a member of that category because it fits the definition? Or is it only a member of that category if the IAU accepts that it's a member? One is scientifically decided, the other is not. — kwami (talk) 20:10, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
No, because there is no way we can say for certain that an object does fit the definition. One astronomer may say so; a hundred astronomers may say so, but there will never be absolute agreement. A line has to be drawn somewhere. For better or worse, in astronomy that line is drawn by the IAU, and the IAU has not drawn the line for these four objects. Serendipodous 20:39, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
Yes, we cannot be absolutely certain to know the TRUTH™, not about anything (which has not been a reason to just leave it to some organization to say how things work/are instead of engaging in science!!). It is why WP's inclusion criterion has to be verifiability. I suggest you study that page carefully. The statement that these are DPs is verifiable, and so far anything even just questioning this isn't. The only thing verifiable to put alongside the claim that these are DPs is that "these objects do not appear on the list maintained by the IAU".--JorisvS (talk) 20:59, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
But if we are to be true to Brown's list, we would have to say that they are nearly certainly DPs - the qualifier is important because the source deemed it necessary. --Ckatzchatspy 06:16, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
Don't get bogged down just by the name Brown uses for this category. He has also added a description of what being in this category means. I'll repeat it: We are confident enough in the size estimate to know that each one of these must be a dwarf planet even if predominantly rocky. To me the category is more important than the name it carries. --JorisvS (talk) 09:29, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
To suggest that the definition is not a scientific one but an administrative one is just crazy. There are observable criteria for what is a dwarf planet. An object is a DP because it satisfies these criteria, not because it is or isn't maintained on some list. And for those confused over what the IAU is: definitely not a governing body. --JorisvS (talk) 20:38, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
"The statement that these are DPs is verifiable" It is, unfortunately, not so simple. If there was agreement on which bodies were, & were not, DPs, we wouldn't be debating it. Nor, IMO, is WP the place to be settling it. Nor are we qualified to. What verifiability, in this instance, appears to amount to is battling cites, & that seems to me a bad idea. I would rather we err in favor of caution: name bodies by what they're known to be & leave the debate alone until it's a settled issue. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 22:27, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
No no no! Whether we debate it is irrelevant: Only debate in our sources counts! We have astrologers over at the astrology talk page all the time insisting that astrology is legitimate science. By your argument, "if astrology weren't legitimate science, we wouldn't be debating it", and therefore we must present it as if there were an actual scientific debate on astrology.
If you can show debate in the sources, we will need to reflect that. However, if there is no debate in the sources, then it is OR to put our debate in the article. — kwami (talk) 22:34, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
Blog are not reliable sources especially when they make controversial claims. And this blog is just a personal blog of M. Brown where he expresses his personal (often provocative) opinions. As to sources Britannica also lists only 5 dwarf planet. Ruslik_Zero 09:55, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
Wrong again. It's Britannica that's not a RS, as you'd know if you read our policy. Websites can be used if they're by a respected authority who is considered a RS when he's published. They aren't preferred, but are used when the material isn't published. And yes, Brown uses his blogs for opinion, but I hope we can all distinguish opinions from statements of fact? These are statements of fact. — kwami (talk) 23:43, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
Again, Brown has made it clear that he recognizes the IAU list as official, and has also made it clear that he published his list to shake things up with respect to the IAU. In addition, we have not addressed why this list should be treated any differently than his last one, in 2007(ish), at which time we also used the IAU list as our guide for inclusion. --Ckatzchatspy 06:19, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
"Only debate in our sources counts!" My point exactly. It's not settled in the sources, & we shouldn't be trying to settle it, or treat it as settled, here. Which appears to be what's happening. IMO, the only viable option is to state something on the lines of, "This is debated by astronomers" & make no assertions as to membership in categories that aren't firmly & unequivocably established. Which is to say, unless there is no debate where a given candidate belongs, leave it out. Otherwise, we're taking sides, & that is de facto POV. Not to mention divisive of the WP community, as the above discussion, IMO, clearly shows. Gentlemen, a little calm? Before we start calling for our seconds & our pistols? ;p TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 06:31, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
So far, all of you have failed miserably in showing the supposed debate in the sources. If you had, we wouldn't be having most of the debate here! --JorisvS (talk) 09:11, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

Can we take a poll here, to at least see where we all stand?

A "dwarf planet" is an object that the IAU has declared to be a dwarf planet
The IAU definition is HE+Not cleared neighborhood+not a satellite, not "whatever object we place in this category". Just read the resolution! --JorisvS (talk) 09:11, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
We have read the resolution, and the subsequent press releases, and have come to the same conclusions as Brown and Tancredi. Tbayboy (talk) 12:22, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. The sources indicate that that's how it has been interpretted. Tbayboy (talk) 12:22, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
A "dwarf planet" is an object that meets the IAU's definition of a dwarf planet
  • kwami (talk) 23:50, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Logically, --JorisvS (talk) 09:11, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Support— that's how the IAU resolution defined it. --Roentgenium111 (talk) 15:13, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
So I take it Mike Brown is now God? His opinion is to be taken as holy writ above all others? Or will we have to gather together every single paper ever published on this topic before we come to a conclusion? Serendipodous 15:18, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
Who are you ranting at? My post (and indeed this whole section) is not about Brown, but about the definition of a dwarf planet. --Roentgenium111 (talk) 23:26, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
Neither of the above (please give a brief summary)

I think there's a confusion here between "what solar system bodies can be called dwarf planets" and "what solar system bodies have been categorized as dwarf planets." The first is just an informal description. The latter is a list of bodies which have been so categorized by the appropriate IAU subcommittee. This is spelled out on the IAU web site on the Web page where it says

[quote]Q: How will an official decision be reached on whether or not to call a newly discovered object a planet, dwarf planet, or a Solar System body? A: The decision on how to classify newly discovered objects will be made by a review committee within the IAU. The review process will be an evaluation, based on the best available data, of whether or not the physical properties of the object satisfy the definitions. It is likely that for many objects, several years may be required to gather sufficient data. [/quote]

and later

[quote]Q: Are there additional dwarf planet candidates currently being considered? A: Yes. Some of the largest asteroids may be candidates for dwarf planet status and some additional dwarf planet candidates beyond Neptune will soon be considered. [/quote]

Don't forget that the IAU is not an arbitrary body imposing things on astronomers, but is the organization of professional astronomers given this responsibility by their peers. Seldenball (talk) 20:01, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

(edit to keep this from being archived) --Ckatzchatspy 05:41, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

RfC: What is a dwarf planet?

I've asked for WP:astronomy to weigh in, but we're not getting much input. We have a fundamental disagreement, and could use input from editors familiar with WP sourcing policy.

The IAU defined a new class of object, "dwarf planet" (here "DP"), to handle Pluto when it was demoted from planetary status. They created a physical definition of what a DP is, and also started a review process to determine whether a body fits that definition.

So, if we have RS's that a body qualifies, but the IAU hasn't weighed in, is the body a DP for our purposes? This seems to be a philosophic difference of whether science depends on evidence and sourcing, or on formal acceptance of that evidence. An analogy would be, if a new fossil is discovered, and a respected expert (perhaps the discoverer) says it's a bird, is it only "potentially" a bird, or a "bird candidate" until it appears in a definitive catalogue of fossil birds? Or can we here on WP accept it as a bird based on verifiable statements of the expert, who may have not yet formally published its classification as a bird? — kwami (talk) 13:35, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

  • Comment: Rather than agonizing over whether or not a particular body can be called a dwarf planet "officially", it seems simpler and more informative to be inclusive with notation. Currently, the article has several separate tables which could stand to be merged down into one, possibly two. Different row shadings, with legends, can indicate the "official"-ness of each body's classification. siafu (talk) 15:57, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
It's a good idea to merge these tables, whatever the outcome of the RfC discussion.--Roentgenium111 (talk) 16:36, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia evidence in other science areas suggests to go by the "experts", not the official body: e.g. we consider the chemical elements ununtrium, ununpentium et al. to be "discovered" in spite of them not being accepted yet by the relevant official body (IUPAC). (In fact, an IUPAC commission has even explicitly asserted that evidence for their respective discoveries is not yet conclusive, which the IAU has not done for the dwarf planets in question, AFAIK.) --Roentgenium111 (talk) 16:36, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
Then, again, still, I would disagree with WP policy. Discoveries are one thing; facts are another. I take a scientific discovery to be true (factual) only after it's been independently confirmed; the discoverer could be wrong on any number of things. (And I recall the famous case of the announced discovery which had failed to take account of the system noise... For which I still applaud the scientists involved for openly admitting the error.) Since I have no way of knowing the credentials of those involved, I really have to rely on the professional bodies. In this case, there is neither acceptance by that body nor confirmation, AFAICT. (I will admit ignorance of the details, so I may well be wrong on that last.) So I would oppose accepting an unconfirmed discovery (as noted above). I expect, again, to be in a minority... TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 18:02, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
To be clear, is this debate about the potential inclusion of as-yet-undiscovered bodies, or about the inclusion of bodies that have been known for some time (including their physical characteristics) that just haven't yet been designated by the IAU? siafu (talk) 19:21, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
The second. It's about the status of Sedna, Quaoar, Orcus... --Roentgenium111 (talk) 20:05, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
Plus OR10. Four more. Those are the ones we have sources for. All the rest vary from "probably" to "might be". — kwami (talk) 20:56, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
In that case, the analogies seem a bit off (e.g., the fossil analogy). For bodies that have been known for quite awhile, the mass, size, and orbital elements (a, e, i, Omega, nu) are generally "known", so it seems entirely fair to include them, with some sort of note or reference on which ones have and haven't been indicated as dwarf planets by the IAU. siafu (talk) 17:50, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
The blog post of M. Brown is just a political statement of a scientist who discovered all these bodies and wants them all to be classified as dwarf planets. IAU likely has another opinion. There are currently no evidence that these bodies are in hydrostatic equilibrium and everything that Brown wrote in the blog are just speculations. The blog has not been peer reviwed and (not surprisingly) contains some serious errors. So, I can conclude that it is not a reliable source and can be used neither in this article nor in any other. Ruslik_Zero 19:00, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
That is pure speculation on your part. We follow our sources, not your theories on what may lie behind the sources.
As for it being an attempt for fame, as you imply, why wouldn't he be pushing for them to be planets, as Stern is with Pluto? But again, that's irrelevant. We have no sources that Brown exaggerates the evidence or is otherwise an unreliable source. — kwami (talk) 19:08, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
What speculations? That the diameter of Quaoar is listed as 980 km, when in fact it is 890 km? (probably typo) The latter value was published by Brown himself in 2010. Or may be the diameter of Orcus, which is listed as 950 km in the blog, while according to the article written by Brown it is 900 km. (Taking into account the latest measurements it can be as low as 800 km.) You are wrong that we follow sources. We follow reliable sources. Unfortunately this blog is not among them. Ruslik_Zero 19:32, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
Your speculation that it's "just a political statement" and therefore somehow unreliable. We accept Brown as a RS. Per our sourcing policy, it's perfectly acceptable to use informal publications by such authors. Whenever I say "sources", the "reliable" part is to be understood.
The diameters vary because the website is more up-to-date. As he said, he will revise the figures as new info comes in. (And no, it's not a "blog". He linked to it from a blog.) Now, he does not include error estimates online, which makes it less complete that formal publications. More up-to-date, less complete, plus his professional opinion as to how likely they are to be DPs. — kwami (talk) 20:53, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
So, the pros: it's from Mike Brown and it is more recent. The cons: there's no error estimates, it's not a formal publication, there's no endorsement from the IAU (the body which has made pronouncements on every official DP to date, and which Brown clearly believes maintains the official list), there's no verification from other scientists, and it's part of his desire to loosen up the IAU's procedure. Again, why exactly are we rushing to rewrite now when we did not under similar circumstances in 2007? Why is there such a problem with describing Sedna et al as "highly likely" DP candidates? --Ckatzchatspy 05:36, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, that's pretty much what I think. Serendipodous 10:54, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
I'm fine with that as long as we're consistent: if we say that Eris is "highly likely" to be a DP. The only bodies for which this is actually known are Pluto and Ceres. — kwami (talk) 11:46, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
We are consistent. Eris is known to be more massive than Pluto and has the same diameter. If you have a problem with the IAU selection process I suggest you contact them and ask them to take action. -- Kheider (talk) 13:05, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
That's not the point. We don't know it's in HE, we assume it is. Of course, it's virtually certain, but "virtually certain" is not certain enough for some editors here. Our sources note that only Ceres and Pluto have been resolved well enough to observe that they are (or at least appear to be) in HE. Eris, Haumea, Makemake, Sedna, OR10 etc. are only inferred to be in HE based on those and other more-closely observed bodies. If from that we can say that Haumea "is" in HE, then we should be able to say that Sedna "is" as well. If we can only say that Sedna "may" be, then we should only say that Haumea "may" be. Unless, of course, HE is an administrative category and not a physical parameter.
Also, Eris does not have the smaller diameter. The diameters are equal to within the precision of the measurement. As for being more massive, that means it's less likely to be in HE: rocky bodies are not as plastic as ice. — kwami (talk) 13:16, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
That is the point Kwami. There are objects that are known to be dwarf planets, and objects that are assumed to be. Among those that are assumed to be, there are those the IAU has decided to class as dwarf planets and those the IAU has not. Since there is no rational way to gauge how much assumption is assumption enough, it's best to follow the IAU, as we have done since we began this project, rather than the opinion of any single astronomer. Serendipodous 13:22, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
In fact, for the same strength of the material, the denser an object the more easily it attains HE. On the other hand, the strength of rock is much larger than that of ice. --JorisvS (talk) 13:39, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
"Since there is no rational way to gauge how much assumption is assumption enough" – my god, Serendipodous, of course there is! We follow our sources. Why is that seemingly impossible for you to understand? Our sources decide, not us!
We would leave it to the IAU, if the IAU were a source, but they aren't. They haven't addressed the issue at all. If and when they do, then we will use them as a source. — kwami (talk) 13:49, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
You haven't cited sources. You have cited a source. That's it. What you ask for in response is impossible to find, as no scientific paper worth its salt would unequivocally say that these four objects are not dwarf planets. As for the IAU, the fact that they have chosen not to rule on this IS their position. Until they rule one way or the other, that is all we have. Anything else is just "he said/he said". Serendipodous 14:35, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
Every estimate for Eris shows it to be 2300 to 3000km in diameter. (Yes, the ~3000km estimates were too high) But we know Eris is only somewhat more dense than Pluto and that rocky bodies 900km in diameter are round. Eris is obviously a well measured dwarf planet, claiming otherwise is ridiculous. -- Kheider (talk) 13:46, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
We have sources that Ceres and Pluto are known to be round. Perhaps you have a source that Eris is known to be round, I haven't seen one. But you're saying that it's "obvious". That's OR. We follow our sources, we don't do our own research here. — kwami (talk) 13:49, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
"This now means that the family of dwarf planets in the Solar System is up to five. They are now Ceres, Pluto, Haumea, Eris and Makemake." Tbayboy (talk) 16:57, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

Serendipodous, of course no-one is going to say that they can't be DPs. But we could easily have a source that says we can't be sure. Hold on, Brown: your conclusion is not supported by the evidence. Or: a magnitude of 1 is certain, but anything above that is not, so it's a legitimate cut-off point. Do you have such a source? Until you do, we have two sources saying they're DPs, and no sources to the contrary.

As for leaving things to the IAU, I disagree fundamentally. You're turning science into a bureaucratic process rather than a scientific one. Hypothetically, the IAU becomes so sclerotic that they never address the issue again. We send a probe to Sedna and find that it's unequivocally in HE. According to you, it's still not a DP because the IAU hasn't ruled on it. — kwami (talk) 05:35, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

When people are not sure they remain silent. And contrary to your assertion any classification work is a bureaucratic process. Success of any classification depends upon its acceptances by a scientific community. This has nothing to do with truth or scientific soundness of it. Classification can be rejected by the community by purely irrational reasons. So, you can call any object dwarf planet only if there is a consensus in the scientific community that they are dwarf planets. IAU is simply an organization that speaks on behave of the scientific community and its position reflects the existing consensus. If you look into published journal articles, the five official dwarf planets are frequently called as such while nobody has called Quaoar a dwarf planet, even Brown himself. There is no evidence that this is going to change because Brown has made a political statement. Quaoar will become a dwarf planet when either IAU declares that it is or if it is routinely called a dwarf planet in peer reviewed sources. Ruslik_Zero 10:51, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
That is of course completely false. When people don't know, they commonly say 'we don't know'. You comments illustrate a profound ignorance of science: "Quaoar will become a dwarf planet when either IAU declares that it is or if it is routinely called a dwarf planet in peer reviewed sources." No, Quaoar is a DP or is not a DP depending on whether it fits the def of DP. The only question is on whether we can establish that. You sound like a legal system which takes 'innocent until proven guilty' literally: That if you murder someone, you didn't actually commit the crime unless found guilty; if you are never caught, then you never committed the crime. There is such thing as reality, and we use sources to establish what our understanding of that reality is. — kwami (talk) 19:18, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
Since you are now resorting to personal attacks in order to continue you dishonest POV pushing, I am not going to participate further in any discussions with you. Ruslik_Zero 19:24, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Include even if not IAU - If a WP:Reliable source describes a body as a "dwarf planet" then it should be in this article, even if it has not passed the IAU litmus test. The reason is that it is the encyclopedic thing to do: the article should contain a comprehensive summary of all material on the DP topic: it should not use the IAU litmus test as a filter to hide potentially useful information from readers. If the astronomy community views the IAU as the gold standard, then the best approach is to identifying these non-IAU bodies as "not yet identified as DP by IAU". That designation in the article would be an objective thing to do, and still convey good info to the readers. Thus the article could potentially include two lists: DPs that are IAU approved, and those that are not. If a fringe source claims a body is a DP, but the mainstream does not, then WP:Fringe comes into play, and that should be omitted from the article, or else mentioned only in passing and clearly marked as fringe. --Noleander (talk) 19:39, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
    • To me it is acceptable to include information about whether an object is a dwarf planet or not, as long as you do not misrepresent the opinions of the astronomers and do not engage in WP:OR. If a particular astronomer has proposed an object as a candidate dwarf planet, then the article should state as much and not leave out any of the essential details. But until a consensus is attained at the IAU, or if there is widespread consensus in the international scientific community (which I understand is essentially the same thing), the article should not be definitively stating the object is a dwarf planet. There's no need to try to get ahead of the scientific community on this; Wikipedia is already under enough negative opinion. Regards, RJH (talk) 16:33, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
Agreed about not misrepresenting our sources and no OR, that's basic. To that end I had proposed saying something like "xxx is a TNO ... . Given current certainties, it must be a dwarf planet (even if predominantly rocky),{refs Brown+Tancredi&Favre} though it has not been included in the list maintained by the IAU.{ref IAU list}". This is what the sources have told us so far, I have not seen any source voicing any doubt over such certainties. As I responded to you above, it's not about candidates. --JorisvS (talk) 16:54, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
Currently the articles about Orcus, Quaoar, Sedna and 2007OR10 state that "they are thought by Michael Brown to be certainly dwarf planets". I think it is the most precise and actually the best statement in present circumstances. Ruslik_Zero 18:32, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
Then I must ask the question: Have you taken a look at Tancredi&Favre? Links to the article are scattered in various locations around here already. --JorisvS (talk) 18:43, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Ruslik, we have been calling Orcus, Quaoar, Sedna and 2007 OR10 "strong" candidates since 2006 (2009 for OR10). We should not rush to call them outright DPs when even Mike Brown is leaving himself wiggle room with "near certainty". All four of these candidates are estimated to be smaller than the IAU dwarfs, and we still do not have true knowledge of the mass of Sedna or OR10 since they do not have known moons. -- Kheider (talk) 19:03, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
So, Kheider, from your response I can only conclude you haven't. Ruslik, what about you? --JorisvS (talk) 19:11, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
I read their paper ~2 years ago. But sadly the main paper is not available to the public, just this brief. Never-the-less, even Mike Brown claims only "near certainty". Wikipedia should not give them the same weight as the larger 4 trans-Neptunian IAU dwarfs. -- Kheider (talk) 20:10, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
This is relatively old paper. Some assumptions the authors used are known to be wrong. Their classification is based on photometric observations. However it is known now that Orcus is viewed pole on. Not surprisingly it has zero photometric variability. So, it is dangerous to base classification on photometry only. Quaoar was not known to be an iron rich rocky object and they did not make any estimates of the critical size for such composition. Ruslik_Zero 18:51, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── But that's also true for Eris, Haumea, and Makemake. He uses the same wording for all: "near certainty" and also "must be even if rocky". And we have other sources that only Ceres and Pluto are observed to be in HE. Our articles currently reflect the bureaucratic delay at the IAU rather than our knowledge of these objects. That's just not encyclopedic. — kwami (talk) 23:31, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

But to the best of our knowledge Eris, Haumea, and Makemake are all larger than Orcus, Quaoar, Sedna and 2007OR10. -- Kheider (talk) 01:24, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
True. But HE is a point, not a scale. (At least not for our purposes.) For classification, it doesn't matter how much over the HE limit a body is. In Brown's opinion, and we have no source to the contrary, all nine bodies "must" be in HE even if rocky. I can certainly see color-coding the table in this article according to direct observation, IAU acceptance, or mathematical modeling, as a reader suggested above, and noting in the ledes of the DP articles whether or not the IAU has formally accepted them as such, but the basic point is still WP:SOURCE: we reflect what our sources say. And our sources say 9 objects are DPs beyond a reasonable doubt. — kwami (talk) 01:42, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment I'm responding to the RfC, and have no previous involvement with the article. This thread does seem rather confused, so I hope I'm not posting at the wrong point within it. Anyway, it seems to me that, if we have genuinely reliable sources stating that an object meets the criteria to be a dwarf planet, then it is acceptable to list it as such, with a note to the effect that this has yet to be confirmed by the IAU. The only reasonable counterargument I can see to that would be if the IAU were the only possible reliable source for whether or not an object meets the criteria - which seems to me somewhat unlikely. Certainly, if the IAU has not made a ruling, we should mention that it hasn't, but beyond that, surely the only question is whether or not the source is truly reliable? Which, if I'm understanding this correctly, is beyond the scope of the RfC as stated - it certainly isn't something I feel competent to judge on myself, not being highly experienced with the astronomical literature. Anaxial (talk) 19:04, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

Comment After reading this thread, it is clear to me definitively labeling certain celestial objects as Dwarf planets is sufficiently contentious to require a balanced presentation of opposing views. In such case, Wikipedia should not endeavor to take a position one way or the other. Instead we should simply state "So an so calls such and such a Dwarf planet in some reliable source. (with a reference) This is contradicted by so and so who instead states such and such is not recognized as a dwarf planet, because of some factor." We present the facts and let the reader decide, as always. My76Strat (talk) 05:18, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

There is just one tiny problem with that: The lenghty discussions here have so far not produced any RS with which we could properly source a "This is contradicted by ..." part. If they had, they would have already ended long ago. --JorisvS (talk) 09:39, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

1999 TC36 probable dp?

Mike Brown calls 1999 TC36 a probable dwarf planet? Hilarious! It is a triple-component system. With a diameter of ~285km, TC36 is at best "possibly" a dp as are the centaurs 2060 Chiron and 10199 Chariklo. How many more probable dps will turnout to be unresolved binaries? Some of them might even be contact binaries! -- Kheider (talk) 14:38, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

"Probably: All icy satellite larger than 400 km are round, so we expect these objects to be round if the size estimate is correct." Obviously, the size estimates will be incorrect of those that turn out to be binaries. On the other hand, according to Tancredi&Favre (link above under "arbitrary break 3"), 1999 TC36's light curve is quite flat... (maybe whence the "(measured)" in Brown's list?) --JorisvS (talk) 17:47, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
1999 TC36 component A1=286 +45
so it is only a "possibly" that it is an icy dwarf planet. 415km is the effective system diameter. As a result of the example set by TC36, any object estimated to be less than 800km in diameter should not be auto-upgraded by Wikipedia. -- Kheider (talk) 18:11, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
Wow, "auto-upgraded by Wikipedia"?? We were only talking about calling those things dwarf planets which the sources we have say must be dwarf planets (all far larger than this 800 km I might add). --JorisvS (talk) 19:54, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
No, not everything on Mike's "near certainty" list is "far larger than this 800 km". You are talking about how Wikipedia defines the lower limit for listing something as a dwarf planet. This is not something that Wikipedia should define. A recent estimate in 2010 shows Orcus is 850 ± 90 km in diameter. Orcus could easily be less than 800km and should not be treated on Wikipedia as an auto-dp based on Mike Brown's website that is automatically updated (with less than peer-reviewed data). -- Kheider (talk) 20:39, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
Kheider, even if more TNO's turned out to be yet-unknown binary systems (which can be excluded for Orcus et al. because they have already been resolved by the Hubble Space Telescope into a single small disc), two objects smaller than 400 km can only add up to a total "effective diameter" (as calculated from the apparent magnitude) of √2 × 400 km ≈ 566 km, not 800 km. (You need four 400km bodies to get the same amount of reflected light as for an 800 km body, not only two!) So every TNO above 566 km would still be a (double) dwarf planet even if it turned out to be a binary.--Roentgenium111 (talk) 21:11, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
For unlikely nearly-equal-sized trinaries (but with different masses), "√3 × 400 km ≈ 692 km". So I still think we should be careful making Wikipedia declarations using a personal website for objects estimated to be below ~800km. (I do agree that Orcus is a well studied binary plutino that is icy, and I do not see how it would not be a dwarf planet.) But I am still concerned with Wikipedia making dp-declarations based on a personal website. What harm is there in letting professional astronomers reply to Mike's declarations? There is no need for Wikipedia to try leading in this matter. -- Kheider (talk) 22:57, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
Then why don't you base it on the light-curve data of Tancredi and Favre? (Which are the dwarfs in the Solar System? or the short version for those who can't access the full-length version) --JorisvS (talk) 23:42, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
This statement is false because Proteus is not round. I would say that this political declaration is rather sloppy work from the scientific point of view. At least I was disappointed when read it. Ruslik_Zero 12:54, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
Proteus is not (known to be) an icy moon (i.e. primarily composed of water ice), so Brown's sentence IS correct as far as I can see. And I don't see how the small difference between 400km and "larger than Proteus"' 420 km would make any real difference for the "political declaration" you assume Brown to have made. --Roentgenium111 (talk) 20:54, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
Vast majority of TNOs are not known to be icy too. So what? Why does Brown claim that because Mimas is (almost) round all TNOs larger than it should be round as well? May be they are all rocky? Ruslik_Zero 18:57, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
He doesn't claim that, he only (implicitly) says they're probably icy (and therefore probably round). That's why he uses the "nearly certain" category only for objects large enough that they would be round even if they should be rocky, i.e. above 800 km. --Roentgenium111 (talk) 19:53, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
In this case Proteus is also probably icy and not round, which means that (icy) TNOs of comparable size may be not round too. Ruslik_Zero 17:37, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
Why should Proteus be "probably icy"? Since Neptune formed much closer to the Sun than where it currently is, it can easily have carried Proteus along from there, where rocky objects are the norm, whereas the TNOs formed where they still are, essentially. --Roentgenium111 (talk) 23:11, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
Correction. Neptune likely formed between Jupiter and Saturn, so the moons of Neptune should be icy. -- Kheider (talk) 00:28, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Are you sure that rocky bodies cannot form at that distance? E.g. Saturn's moon Phoebe (moon) is known to be 50 % rocky (and its article states that it is believed to be a captured centaur, i.e. it originated outside of Jupiter). And Proteus' density means that it must contain at least significant amounts of rocky material. --Roentgenium111 (talk) 13:03, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

There is also a binary in there which clearly does not qualify. This is, of course, why we disprefer self-published material. But when the author is reputable, we do allow it as a RS if the material is not otherwise available. — kwami (talk) 05:40, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

You can treat a source as a reliable when it is convenient for you and as not reliable when it is convenient. A source is either reliable or not reliable: this black and white. Anything also is POV pushing. If this source is regarded as reliable than the article should state that 1999 TC36 is a likely dwarf planet based on the assertion Brown made, which will be silly. Ruslik_Zero 10:35, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
Oh, come on. Do you actually believe any of the words you write? We go off all of our sources. We don't pick and choose as you want to do. We bring all sources that address the issue and summarize their claims. — kwami (talk) 19:18, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
It seems to me that any source that defines an object as likely or probably is admitting their own uncertainty. Wikipedia is not here to echo the uncertainty of another, let alone validate it with a label. In such an example, our neutrality policy would only allow us to expound the uncertainty, factually stating that more information is necessary. I only see three possibilities, it either is a DP, and we have data to prove it fits the definition, or it is not a DP and we have data to prove it fails some criteria, or it is not scientifically known and more research is necessary. It should not be too hard to source a body into one of those three categories. IMO -- My76Strat (talk) 19:31, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

Repeated changes to DP articles while RfC is in progress

I'd appreciate some assistance - and/or feedback - with respect to others asking Kwamikagami to please stop changing the text on the DP and related articles while this RfC is under way. Kwami insists on repeatedly editing pages to reflect his perspective on the matter even when it has been reverted by multiple editors, and I'm finding it frustrating to have to continually restore the pre-existing versions when he does. (In case anyone was thinking of suggesting AN/I or 3RR, I'd like to add that I'd prefer to find a way to resolve this locally before going to those forums.) --Ckatzchatspy 18:20, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

If the editing behavior is indeed WP:DISRUPT, we might want to ask the editor to take a cool-down break and let the discussion come to a balanced consensus before making more reverts. Regards, RJH (talk) 19:46, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
I've had to tag the section with the DP tables as disputed because Kwami is repeatedly rewriting it to suit his perspective, even while the RfC is under way. I've also had to self-revert - unfortunately leaving the article with Kwami's material - as this is becoming ridiculous. --Ckatzchatspy 01:41, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
I'd also appreciate some input with regard to the content. There is clearly disagreement as to the way in which we should present the material, and the active discussion is addressing that matter. However, Kwami has repeatedly rewritten and reverted the material to present his perspective, despite objections from several other editors. I'd like to presume that there is consensus to revert his material to follow the convention we have used for the past five years, with the implicit understanding that this does not prejudice the outcome of this discussion. Thoughts? --Ckatzchatspy 20:37, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
We follow our sources. We have sources now we didn't have five years ago. Science doesn't stand still. If you want to include your perspective, you need to provide sources that support it. I really don't understand what's so difficult about that concept. — kwami (talk) 05:48, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
You are once again missing the point. You proposed a different way of presenting the material, one which is under active discussion here. However, you are repeatedly reinserting your material before the discussion has concluded, and despite opposition to your changes. --Ckatzchatspy 07:21, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
I support reversion in such a case and would revert if necessary even I more-or-less agreed with the addition. The reversion should be, as far as practicable, to the status quo ante, not to somebody else's preferred change. Anybody edit warring to include a particular point of view, particularly while discussion is taking place, is being disruptive and should be discouraged as necessary. In this case, the moral high ground of "that is what the sources say" is far too simplistic a justification for a change as the disagreement is about what the sources are in fact saying and how to express that. --Mirokado (talk) 12:06, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
Sure, if we actually had competing sources. But Ckatz hasn't produced anything. — kwami (talk) 12:10, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
The competing sources have been shown. You just ignore them. Tbayboy (talk) 12:21, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
I haven't seen them either. --JorisvS (talk) 12:35, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
They're shown above. Some of them several times. Tbayboy (talk) 12:51, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
I've gone through the articles linked above. I can't find it, aside from a few articles refraining from calling them DPs. Since I might have overlooked something, could you point me the passages you're referring to? --JorisvS (talk) 13:37, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
Okay, I'll put up a new section tonight (EST) with the sources collected. Then you can pick it apart :-) Tbayboy (talk) 14:00, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
The consensus is clear: it's not Wikipedia's job to categorise objects into DP/not-DP. We err on the side of caution: we do not demand our presents early. The IAU is the obvious arbitrating source. Rothorpe (talk) 13:08, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
What consensus? --JorisvS (talk) 13:37, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
Widespread, general agreement (see Wiktionary), everyone but you & Kwami. Rothorpe (talk) 15:00, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
Orcus, Quaoar, Sedna, and 2007OR10 (smaller) should not be treated as on equal footing to Eris, Haumea, and Makemake (larger). -- Kheider (talk) 15:11, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
Rothorpe, I don't understand what you mean by "see Wiktionary". According to Wiktionary, these four are dwarf planets. And of course it's not our job to do this. That's why we follow our sources. Why is that so difficult for people to understand? We follow our sources. If you can provide contrary sources, please do so.
Kheider, we should of course note that the IAU has not recognized these four. But by their own definition, that's not required for them to be DPs. We follow our sources. — kwami (talk) 00:37, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
I was responding to 'What consensus?' and referring to Wiktionary's definition thereof. Also according to Wiktionary, Sedna is merely a 'trans-Neptunian planetoid', there is no entry for Orcus or Quaoar and the 'dwarf planet' entry just lists the uncontroversial five. Rothorpe (talk) 01:35, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
You're using Wiktionary as a source? Really? When their source is us? How about Webster's Quotations? They use WP as a source too. Tell you what: I'll make an assertion in some obscure WP article that Sedna is a full planet, wait till Webster's Quotations picks up on it, and then use that as proof that we should change the Sedna article to match. — kwami (talk) 03:44, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
You said (00:37): "According to Wiktionary, these four are dwarf planets". But it does not say that. So now you attack it. Rothorpe (talk) 16:13, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

Note Per the above discussion, there appears to be consensus to maintain the existing IAU-based structure of the article while this RfC is under way. Accordingly, I have reverted Kwamikagami's changes that modified the list of DPs to incorporate the four other objects. The tables now present the IAU 5 as dwarf planets and the other four as "nearly certain". Kwami, per previous requests, please allow the discussions to continue until the matter is resolved. --Ckatzchatspy 04:22, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

You've also modified it to imply that the IAU three are known DPs when they're not. I think it's silly to break up the table when there are much more legible ways to go about this, but if we're going to break it up, we should distinguish between known and suspected DPs. — kwami (talk) 06:08, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Suggestion List the DPs and prospective DPs in a table with a column 'Recognised by IAU'. There is no need for us to make any decisions, we can just state the facts. Martin Hogbin (talk) 14:30, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
I would support that. In fact, that's just what I've done: different colors for different levels of acceptance. — kwami (talk) 00:01, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

(edit to keep this from being archived) --Ckatzchatspy 05:41, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Sources for gatekeeping

Per my comment to JorisvS above, here are the sources and arguments for the existence of the IAU as gatekeeper of the category of dwarf planets. Quotes in italics, except any bolding is mine. And DP = "dwarf planet". My comments follow, doubly indented.

The original IAU resolution establishing DPs, in particular footnote 2:

An IAU process will be established to assign borderline objects into either dwarf planet and other categories.
There's no need for an IAU process if there's no official IAU list.

The Tancredi/Favre paper, where they quote the above footnote and then say:

In order to contribute to the establishment of this classification procedure
So they interpret it as a formal, administrative category, else there would be no need to mention the footnote and have this sentence.

The IAU press releases for Makemake and Haumea. They both follow the same template; from the latter:

The International Astronomical Union (the IAU) today announced that the object previously known as 2003 EL61 is to be classified as the fifth dwarf planet in the Solar System
There's no need for an ordinal if there isn't a list.


This now means that the family of dwarf planets in the Solar System is up to five. They are now Ceres, Pluto, Haumea, Eris and Makemake.
And there's the list. What's your source that says that isn't a list?

Mike Brown's blog entry "Free the Dwarf Planets", where he asserts there is a list and that the IAU has set itself up as gatekeeper. In the comments, when asked why he thinks there's a list, he links to the Haumea press release above.

So it's not just Wikipedians interpretting it that way.

"THE DIVERSE SOLAR PHASE CURVES OF DISTANT ICY BODIES II. THE CAUSE OF THE OPPOSITION SURGES AND THEIR CORRELATIONS", which labels the IAU DPs as DP, and refers to the others only as large TNOs. In particular, see table 1.

An example of a paper following the IAU's lead.

"Nonextensive distributions of rotation periods and diameters of asteroids", which again lists Pluto as DP, but not Sedna. See table 1.

And another example. Aside: and both are listed as asteroids!

Tbayboy (talk) 00:57, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

This is called WP:SYNTH as is not an acceptable way to source our articles. We follow sources. Can you find a single source that claims that the definition of a DP depends on the IAU declaring it to be one? If we have sources that these bodies are DPs, and no-one can find sources to the contrary, then our sources say that they are DPs, and per WP sourcing policy we say that they are DPs. — kwami (talk) 03:48, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

And what you're doing is not synthesis? You've claimed, without any evidence, that the fact that the IAU has not ruled on these objects means that they are dwarf planets. You've decided, based on the personal website of a single astronomer with an acknowledged personal interest and thus in violation of WP:UNDUE, to recast Wikipedia's entire trans-Neptunian domain so that it runs counter to every other resource on the web. Serendipodous 11:56, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
I've said nothing of the kind. Have you read anything I wrote?
We follow our sources. Let me try that again: we follow our sources. We have a source that these are DPs. We have nothing that counters that. I'm not recasting anything on WP: we already acknowledge that many of these bodies will probably turn out to be DPs, it's just a matter of finding the evidence. Brown feels that the evidence is now good enough to conclude that four of them are DPs. That's hardly revolutionary, and hardly SYNTH.
A personal interest violates UNDUE? Seriously? How many scientists have no personal interest in what they investigate? The IAU has an interest in this too: does that mean we cannot use the IAU as a source for Eris, Haumea, and Makemake? We follow our sources. If and when the IAU addresses these, we'll use them too. Meanwhile we have Brown. — kwami (talk) 14:55, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
The 4 known trans-Neptunian dwarf planets have been measured to be large bodies (>1400km) and we know the proper mass of 3 out of 4 of them because they have moons with known orbits. OR10 and Sedna have unknown sizes, albedos, and masses and are only "nearly certain". Quaoar (rocky) and Orcus are measured and their masses are known, but they are much smaller bodies. This has all been common knowledge for several years. The "nearly certain" list should be a separate table until there is a more obvious consensus/acceptance. Mike's website listing was meant to stir the pot at the IAU, not on Wikipedia. -- Kheider (talk) 16:30, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
That "near certainly spherical" from Brown is a political statement (not a reliable source) is amply demonstrated by this. It appears that Quaoar is not spherical after all. Ruslik_Zero 18:02, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
Does he actually say "spherical"? His DP page (linked by kheider) only mentions "round", by which I think it's clear he means hydrostatic equilibrium. Quaoar being elongated only means that it's like Haumea, not potatoey (given the mass). Tbayboy (talk) 19:58, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
Really? I have always thought that they are synonyms. You are just trying to play an advocate of Brown. Ruslik_Zero 07:50, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
Really. They're not synonyms. See hydrostatic equilibrium and Haumea. Tbayboy (talk) 15:28, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
So, where is it written that "spherical" and "round" are not synonyms? Please, do not treat others as complete fools. Ruslik_Zero 15:38, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
It's written e.g. in Wikipedia, "Round": "Round or rounds can mean: The shape of a closed curve with no sharp corners, such as an ellipse, circle, rounded rectangle, or sphere." An ellipse or an ellipsoid is therefore round, but not spherical. Brown of all people would know that Haumea (which he lists in the same category as Orcus) is not spherical! --Roentgenium111 (talk) 23:21, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
In this case 2 Pallas is also a dwarf planet because it is round, without sharp corners. Ruslik_Zero 09:16, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Pallas is obviously a dwarf planet! Vesta is now a planet! -- Kheider (talk) 09:38, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Keider, "nearly certain" is also how he describes Makemake and Haumea. You may believe that they are significantly different, but that OR: we go by our sources. You may imagine that Brown did not intend this as a serious proposal, but again that is OR: we go by our sources. Our sources either say these are DPs, or they don't address the issue at all. — kwami (talk) 04:01, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
You still continue your POV pushing? Wikipedia goes by reliable sources, not all sources. The default position is that blogs are unreliable, unless proven otherwise. The burden of proof lies on an editor who wants to use a blog. You have not presented any evidence of this blog's reliability beyond that it was written by Brown, an expert in the field. But this is only a necessary, not sufficient condition for the blog to be reliable. Ruslik_Zero 07:50, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
Your criticisms show that you do not yet know what a dwarf planet is, to the extent that when Tbayboy pointed out your error, you accused him of "just trying to play an advocate to Brown". Perhaps you should read the article before offering your opinions here? — kwami (talk) 09:05, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
You ignored the comment directed at you and is instead accusing me of some errors that exist only in your imagination. Ruslik_Zero 12:45, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

(edit to keep this from being archived) --Ckatzchatspy 05:52, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

This is going nowhere

I think we can all agree that there is no consensus for this radical change. As such, I think we can hold off until more and better sources come in. Sooner or later these disputed objects will be officially called dwarf planets. Let's just cool our heels for now, shall we? Serendipodous 16:00, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

No. Science is not determined by what is "official". It is determined by evidence. And WP is determined by sources. Neither are democracies. This is like debating astrologers on the astrology article a couple months ago. We don't vote on reality. If s.o. can come up with a face-saving way of reflecting our sources (as Martin Hogbin suggested two sections up), fine, but reflect our sources we must. If people here refuse to accept that, and are going to edit war over it, then we need escalate this.
Are people willing to accept Martin's position (and that of I-now-forget-who before him)? — kwami (talk) 23:57, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
It is not the job of WP to make decisions as to what are officially DPs and what are not thus we can only present the facts as shown in reliable sources. We should list all objects that have been described as a DP in any reliable source but also indicate their status regarding recognition by the IAU. What alternative is being proposed, that we should completely omit some bodies that have been described as DPs? Martin Hogbin (talk) 22:31, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
It's the "official" part that's the problem. Science doesn't care about what's official. Yes, we should definitely include formal recognition by the IAU, but shouldn't use that as a basis for classification. When deciding whether to call s.t. a DP, we should go off one thing and one thing only: our sources. Official rec by the IAU counts as peer review. Official rejection by the IAU would also count as peer review for excluding a body. But the IAU declining to give an opinion is not evidence for or against anything. — kwami (talk) 07:18, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
As regards this page, I think Martin's idea is a good one. However, other reliable sources give different numbers of dwarf planets, so we would need to list about 14. As regards changing the pages of Sedna, Orcus, Quaoar and OR10 to say they are dwarf planets, I disagree. Serendipodous 07:05, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
It might be worthwhile to expand the list further. However, we already have a candidates article for that. I think it is useful to distinguish between objects which everyone who addresses the issue says are DPs, vs objects which are only probably DPs, if we aren't over-estimating their sizes and if they aren't rocky. Given our ignorance of the region, high-albedo rocky objects are a substantial possibility. I would prefer to use the candidates page for those objects where our sources are in disagreement. — kwami (talk) 07:14, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
I think it is reasonable to give IAU recognised DPs higher prominence within the article, by having them at the top of the list for example, but we must avoid making decisions ourselves about what is and what is not a DP. If the position is not totally clear then we must report that fact rather than trying to make a decision here.
Regarding individual articles, we should again state the facts - Xxxx has been described as a DP by Yyyy but has not been recognised as such by the IAU. Martin Hogbin (talk) 09:04, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Do we do that with all articles, or only for a select few?
Normally populations of astronomical objects like this are ordered by distance. There was a suggestion above to indicate different degrees of acceptance by color, and I think that would work. — kwami (talk) 10:53, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
You are starting to sound like a stuck record. No, Wikipedia does not go by what sources say. It goes only by what reliable sources say. And blogs are not among them generally. The burden of proof that a particular blog is a reliable source lies on the person who wants to use it, on you in this case. However, you presented no evidence that this blogs meets standards of reliability. Ruslik_Zero 09:45, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
As for justifying Brown's site, WP policy is as follows: Self-published expert sources may be considered reliable when produced by an established expert on the topic of the article whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications. Brown certainly qualifies here.— kwami (talk) 10:53, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
"May be" does not mean "should be". So, I still want to see the evidence. Ruslik_Zero 13:53, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
What "evidence"? The "may" refers to the fact that we don't use self-published sources when peer-reviewed sources cover the same material. Not, unfortunately, the case here. — kwami (talk) 15:40, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
"May" means that decision to use a blog should be made on case by case basis. The publications on the blog should have necessary attributes of scientific publication: independent reviews, appropriate attribution of the results of other scientists, style appropriate for scientific publication, appropriate citations for non-obvious claims etc. Does this blog (which looks like a political statement) possess these attributes? Ruslik_Zero 19:11, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
And "should" appears to mean "what I want". Do you have evidence that it's more than that? — kwami (talk) 19:28, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
These are ordinary requirements for scientific publication. Nothing special. If a blog to be used as a reliable for controversial claims, it must satisfy them. Ruslik_Zero 14:48, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

This argument now just seems to be about the format of the article. We seem to agree that we can include, somewhere in the article at least, objects which have been described by reliable sources as DPs but which have not been recognised as such by the IAU.

I think the solution is to ask ourselves how it will appear from the reader's perspective. Readers should be able to clearly see which objects have been recognised as DPs by the IAU. They should not expect to have to wade through stacks of prospective or possible DPs in order to find them. On the other hand they might expect to be able to find, maybe with a bit more effort, information on objects which reliable sources have proposed as DPs.

Remember, our job is not to make decisions, it is to present information in the way that is most useful to the reader. Martin Hogbin (talk) 17:17, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

If we want to divide up the tables, then we should divide them up: known DPs (2), IAU-accepted DPs (another 3), and otherwise accepted DPs (another 4 that there is no disagreement about). That would be six tables, and I think difficult to navigate. IMO it would be much clearer to put them in two tables and color code them. We have a hat link for additional candidates which we cannot be sure about. — kwami (talk) 19:28, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
This can be done with 1 table alone. siafu (talk) 21:22, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
I would also agree to this general approach. One table would be fine with a clear indication of status. Not just background colour please, for accessibility reasons (colour blind or screen reader users). --Mirokado (talk) 21:33, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Whatever approach is used the tables would benefit from greater consistency. If we only have the number of objects that are in the article at present then I would have thought that one table would be fine. Status could be indicated in plain English or by simple yes/no in headed columns. Maybe bold could also be selectively used for clarity. Martin Hogbin (talk) 22:53, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
All 5 of the IAU dwarfs should be treated as equals in one table and the lesser Trans-Neptunian objects (<1400km) listed in another. The true sizes of Sedna and OR10 are not known. -- Kheider (talk) 01:04, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
As per Kheider, and as per how we have been treating the material for at least the past five years. Five dwarf planets, with x others seriously considered to be meeting the standards. --Ckatzchatspy 03:08, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
That's a very unscientific POV. Why should we take the IAU to be the arbiter when they haven't even addressed the issue? Science goes by sources, not bureaucracy, and WP is the same. If and when the IAU addresses this, they will be relevant. Meanwhile they're not. — kwami (talk) 10:06, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
NO!!! The science says quite clearly that the 4 Trans-Neptunian IAU dwarfs are well known to be ~1400+ km. The "near certain" ones are could easily be much smaller! -- Kheider (talk) 14:39, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
Uh, have you reviewed the data? Two of them are smaller. Two are them are estimated to be about the same size. The difference is that their estimates are much less precise. Again, we go with our sources. If you can find a source that say we can't be sure these are DPs because the estimates are so imprecise that they may be below the cut-off, then of course we will take that into account. But unless you get published, you are not a source. In Brown's opinion, even given the lesser precision of these estimates, they "must" be in HE. And for the two smaller ones, of course, we have moons, so the estimates are much more precise. — kwami (talk) 14:57, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
You are again lying. Neither sizes no masses of two of them (Sedna and OR10) are known. They well can be 800-900 km in diameter. Insisting that your opponents prove negative is also dishonest. You know that it is not possible. Ruslik_Zero 15:12, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
Senda could easily be ~1200km (if not smaller), the albedo of OR10 is assumed. Ruslik is right, Kwamikagami you are distorting the known truth. -- Kheider (talk) 15:16, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
This isn't actually the point here. Just Wikipedia policy: Going by the sources. We have sources saying these are DPs, none saying these might not be (you are not sources). You may doubt the reliableness of the sources, that's fine to discuss. There is, however, no need to digress and try to establish the Truth here. --JorisvS (talk) 15:32, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
Kheider, you might want to read what I wrote. Did I ever say otherwise? For you, "could be smaller" becomes "probably smaller", and somehow that's my distortion? — kwami (talk) 15:34, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
@Kheider:The 1400 km limit you drew up has no scientific relevance that I know of, as we know that already objects above 800 km are in hydrostatic equilibrium no matter their composition. Nor has the IAU classified DPs by this criterion (otherwise Ceres would not qualify). For TNOs, the IAU seems to be using the "absolute magnitude <1" criterion as in their naming procedures, which corresponds to a minimal diameter of ~800 km, NOT 1400 km. If Orcus et al. had an albedo of 100% and thus H<1, they would probably already have been acknowledged by the IAU.--Roentgenium111 (talk) 16:40, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
Last time I checked, Ceres was known to be over 900km in diameter. Large known dwarf planets should be more notable than assumed-diameter smaller ones, thus I would like to see 2 tables. -- Kheider (talk) 17:23, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
I never disputed that. My point was that Ceres is smaller than the 1400 km that you advocate as a lower limit for dwarf planets. The "known" dwarf planet Ceres is certainly smaller than Sedna and 2007OR10, so why should it be more notable based on size? --Roentgenium111 (talk) 19:00, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
I never said objects less than 1400km can not be a dwarf planet. I have said that objects smaller than about 1400km that are not well studied should be in a second list. And let us be careful when we state something as an outright fact. Ceres is known to be 970km in diameter (because it is close to us in the asteroid belt), while Mike Brown's best-fit places a lower limit of ~1000km on OR10 (which is 86AU from the Sun). -- Kheider (talk) 19:58, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
Okay, so Ceres is only "almost certainly" smaller than 2007 OR10. But the point of my first post was that this 1400km limit you propose for TNOs is unscientific and not supported by the IAU's statements or any other reliable sources, so it has no place in an encyclopedia. --Roentgenium111 (talk) 20:33, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
It seems that lying has become a favorite weapon of those who want to "upgrade" the status of those four objects. Kheider has never proposed any size limit. Ruslik_Zero 10:21, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Martin, siafu and Mirokado that one table including the nine objects in question would be best. The IAU-acknowledged dwarf planets could be somewhat emphasized by bold face or background colouring.--Roentgenium111 (talk) 16:40, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
TNOs known to be 1400+ km in diameter should be more notable than TNOs that probably are <1400 km. I would like to see 2 tables. -- Kheider (talk) 17:16, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
The only ones "known to be 1400+ km in diameter" are Pluto and Eris. So you would have Pluto and Eris in one table, and Ceres, Haumea, Makemake, and Brown's four in the second? I could live with that, but bodies that have been observed to be in HE "should be more notable" than bodies which are merely assumed to be DPs for naming purposes, so how about Ceres & Pluto in one table, and all the rest in the second?
Such opinions are arbitrary, and really have no place in a scientific article. Better one table differentiated by color. — kwami (talk) 17:45, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
the only justification for two table would be if there were so many proposed DPs that the table became so large that the IAU ones could not be easily identified by readers. I agree with Kwamikagami that we should not make arbitrary distinctions. Martin Hogbin (talk) 18:18, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
It's not "arbitrary"; one table lists those objects formally accepted as dwarf planets, the other lists the others. We're not rejecting Brown's observations, but neither are we taking the place of the IAU in deciding what should be labelled a DP. --Ckatzchatspy 21:58, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
What's with your insistence on "formal" and "official"? --JorisvS (talk) 22:02, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
@Ckatz, I was referring to the 1400+ km size distinction. Having two tables based on this seems arbitrary to me. Martin Hogbin (talk) 12:06, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

The ending of the article is very confusing. It looks like a lot of OR and Synth to me to organize things into 3 bins as: DP, "nearly certain" DP, and other candidates. I did a google search and there are only 6 hits for the term "nearly certain dwarf planet(s)", none of them from RS. I think the whole "nearly certain" thing has to go unless someone can dig up a significant amount of RS directly supporting these three tiers of recognition that does not require synthesis from wikipedia. On the other hand, there are plenty of RS for the 5 IAU DPs, and plenty of RS for DP candidates that "should" or "could" be included (per the opinion of the RS). It seems better to present it like that -- let the article reflect DPs and identify the listed IAU DPs, and then add a final paragraph about all other objects that some RS think could or should be classified as DPs. This keeps it simple and removes any bit of OR.Dwcarless (talk) 15:35, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

that sound a good idea to me. Let us stick to facts supported by reliable sources. Martin Hogbin (talk) 18:50, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
Agree. Only 5 IAU dwarfs are supported by reliable sources. Everything else is just an attempt by some editors to "upgrade" soem other objects by twisting what sources say. Ruslik_Zero 19:12, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
I find "nearly certain" a really poor construction. How nearly? According to who? If they aren't confirmed or broadly agreed on, they're candidates; how "nearly certain" anybody is doesn't seem relevant, to me. I don't recall mention of "nearly certain" in ref, say, exoplanets, just "possible" & "confirmed", with the characteristics proposed/suspected for the unconfirmed. Why isn't that good enough? TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 20:47, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
Because several editors here think that classifications depend on what is "official" rather than sources or the evidence. I agree that it is badly worded. We should simply say that bodies are DPs when we have RS's that they're DPs.
As for 'how nearly', that would be anything that "must" be a DP according to our understanding, but which hasn't been observed to be ellipsoidal, except for objects which the IAU has accepted as DPs, even though they are not certain. — kwami (talk) 05:20, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
"anything that 'must' be a DP according to our understanding, but which hasn't been observed to be ellipsoidal" That's the kind of problem I was getting at, & we're back to "must according to whom?" Which is why IMO saying "nearly" is asking for trouble. It seems to me they're either confirmed by more than one source (that is, the discoverer's putative classification alone isn't enough) or they're not. Thus there are only two groups: DPs & candidates. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 05:36, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
"Must be" according to our sources. That's why we have sources. — kwami (talk) 06:39, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
"sources" Which is what I mean: a single source could be completely wrong, even if it's reliable on its face. When in doubt, as in these cases, IMO a single source is insufficient. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 09:30, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
I've had to remove Kwami's changes yet again as they are still contrary to the way the discussion appears to be unfolding. Looking at the structure, perhaps it would be best to move the text and tables about Brown's four objects to the "candidates" section that immediately follows. --Ckatzchatspy 06:03, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
I've deleted the section until this is resolved. This is a featured article; unscientific POv like this has no place. — kwami (talk) 06:36, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
Your deletion has been reverted; please do not disrupt a featured article in this manner. There is no consensus as of yet for either your personal revisions or for the deletion of an entire section. --Ckatzchatspy 07:18, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
Ckatz, you are the one disrupting the article. You are the one insisting on your POV on a scientific article despite not having a clue what science is. You can either stop fighting for a non-scientific POV on a FA, or we can remove the section until consensus is reached. Either that or rescind FA status. — kwami (talk) 07:23, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
As you're now aware, I've filed a complaint at WP:3RR re: your actions. I've been reluctant to do so, given your other contributions, and I've no desire to see you blocked, as I have made clear in the complaint. Unfortunately, you have shown no interest in respecting the concerns raised on this page and elsewhere regarding your repeated changes to incorporate your preferred text while the RfC is still under way. --Ckatzchatspy 08:23, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
Quaoar has been observed to be ellipsoidal. So what? Ruslik_Zero 08:26, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
If you knew what a dwarf planet was, you'd be able to answer your own question. If that is true, it would mean that Quaoar is a dwarf planet. — kwami (talk) 08:54, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
OK, I think I see the problem here. Kwami's charge about whether Ruslik_Zero "knows or does not know what a dwarf planet is" is immaterial. We do not need to know. All that we need to do is to be able to reproduce what RS says they are, directlty and without synth (which Ruslik_Zero has done). I think Kwami's "knowledge" is leading him to OR and SYNTH (if criteria A, B and C define a DP, and object D meets said criteria, then object D must be a DP regardless of the IAU list). I think it also is leading him to POV and UNDUE by using a minority source (like a blog) to push either that view (extra DPs) or some version of it (extra special nearly certain super duper candidate DPs) that is not supported by the IAU list. Dwcarless (talk) 13:31, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
That is not the case. We have multiple sources (plural!) for at least Sedna, Orcus, and Quaoar (and, at least, one for several more). These specifically say these are dwarfs, so no synthesis! There have been no (R)Ss presented here that really question this, just a good number that use the term "dwarf planet" when referring to Eris, Pluto, Makemake, and Haumea and not to others (but also one that talks about Haumea, along with Sedna, as "a strong candidate"), which means OR would be required to use this to question other RSs that do say these are dwarfs. The IAU list is no source to exclude them either, because again OR would be required for this: It does say anything about those not listed. --JorisvS (talk) 14:04, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
The IAU has a list of the 5 objects designated as Dwarf Plants. They do not need a seperate list of the billions of other objects that they "designate" as non-Dwarf Planets. Nor do they need to issue a statement "debunking" any particular object that someone other than the IAU "decides" is a Dwarf Planet. I have seen no source reliable or credible enough to challange the reliability of IAU nor its designations. If you think your sources are, then you need to take it up at the Wikipedia Reliable sources/Noticeboard, not here. Dwcarless (talk) 20:33, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
So for you the IAU is the Source™? If the IAU would have a simple note accompanying their list saying that the dwarf-planet status of objects not included in their list must (still) be considered uncertain, then they'd be a real counter-source. Without it, inferring that this is their position, how tempting it may be and straightforward it may seem, would constitute OR. --JorisvS (talk) 14:17, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
And that would be footnote 2, mentioned above, where they state that objects are to be assigned to the category, as pointed out by the Tancredi-Favre paper. Tbayboy (talk) 14:57, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
No, not at all, because of their wording. As I have explained somewhere above, that can mean a very different thing: "borderline objects" to mean objects like Vesta. Vesta is rounded but has a relative surface roughness clearly higher than e.g. Ceres. Logically, "borderline" refers to cases where it becomes important to decide how big the inevitable deviations from perfect HE are allowed to be before an object should no longer be considered a dwarf planet. Most currently uncertain cases will turn out to be very clear-cut DPs, not at all borderline cases. --JorisvS (talk) 15:19, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
You're missing the point: It's saying that there is a list to be assigned to. Tbayboy (talk) 15:35, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
Then you missed mine. I said that inferring something from just that list, however straightforward it may seem, would be OR. --JorisvS (talk) 16:00, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────JorisvS says "Logically, "borderline" refers to cases where it becomes important to decide how big the inevitable deviations from perfect HE are allowed to be before an object should no longer be considered a dwarf planet. Most currently uncertain cases will turn out to be very clear-cut DPs, not at all borderline cases." That's SYNTH, and now also CRYSTALBALL. We can't jump the gun. When IAU announces any new DPs then we can update the article. Dwcarless (talk) 19:34, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

That doesn't matter because I don't want it in the article. I'm simply illustrating how inferring things from the IAU pieces mentioned above constitutes OR. --JorisvS (talk) 20:33, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

(edit to keep this from being archived) --Ckatzchatspy 05:52, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

RfC: What "is" a dwarf planet?

This is primarily an NPOV and WEIGHT dispute: Given that sources disagree as to which bodies are known beyond reasonable doubt to be dwarf planets (DPs), what should we do to ensure that, in the words of WP:RSN, "when reliable sources disagree, we document the dispute without taking sides"?

There are several articles involved:

  • This page, in the section Official and "nearly certain" dwarf planets: Should the tables be merged from 4 to 2, with coding to distinguish who accepts which bodies as dwarf planets? (Proposed mergers are given above.) Should the wording of the section and table titles be changed?
  • The nav box {{Moons of dwarf planets}}: Should we list all five bodies that Brown, Tancredi, et al. accept as DPs and which have moons, or should we limit the box to the three accepted by the IAU? If five, how should we, or should we, distinguish the two sets? (The three are in the current version; the five are shown here.)
  • The opening sentences of Makemake and Haumea: Is the Sheppard et al. citation enough to treat these "likely" bodies as having an intermediate degree of confidence between the "bonafide" DPs (Eris, Pluto, and Ceres) and the other four "likely" bodies accepted by Brown et al.? Or is IAU acceptance and the majority of astronomers sufficient for us to say they "are" DPs without qualification?
  • The leads of the other four, Sedna, OR10, Orcus, Quaoar: These are accepted as DPs by Brown and others, but have not been addressed (nor accepted) by the IAU and are not generally called DPs by other astronomers. How best to word the leads to be NPOV and consistent with other DP and TNO articles. We are probably closer to agreement here.

kwami (talk) 04:55, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

Have editors who previously participated in discussions on this page been notified? Ruslik_Zero 14:07, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
No, just filed. The point of filing a RfC is to get new perspectives. — kwami (talk) 21:28, 14 January 2012 (UTC)


This section is not intended for discussion, but rather a place to provide easy access to the publications we refer to in the discussion. (If we have an article on an author subsumed under et al., please add a link.)

Relevant quotations

The following quotations have been used to show that a researcher believes a body under consideration here to be, to be likely to be, to be unlikely to be, or to not be, a dwarf planet. Co-authors and affiliations are included. (This section is intended to provide new readers easy access to the sources, not for our comments on them.)

  • Tancredi & Favre (2008)
Authors: G. Tancredi, S. Favre (both Dept. Astronomía, Montevideo, & Observatorio Astronómico Los Molinos, Uruguay)
Introduction: "We find that icy objects with diameters D >450 km and rocky objects with D >800km can be considered as “dwarf planets”."
[Ceres, Pluto, Eris are included in Table I List of “Dwarf Planets” per "Direct measurement of the shape"
(15874) 1996 TL66, Ixion, Huya, Quaoar, (55565) 2002 AW197, (55636) 2002 TX300, Sedna, Orcus are included as "Sphere or MacLaurin ellipsoid with small albedo spots"
Varuna, (136108) Haumea are included as "Jacobi ellipsoid with reasonable density"]
  • Tancredi (2010 [2009])
Abstract: "The geophysical and dynamical criteria introduced in the “Definition of a Planet in the Solar System” adopted by the International Astronomical Union are reviewed. The classification scheme approved by the IAU reflects dynamical and geophysical differences among planets, “dwarf planets” and “small Solar System bodies”. We present, in the form of a decision tree, the set of questions to be considered in order to classify an object as an icy “dwarf planet” (a plutoid). We find that there are 15 very probable plutoids; plus possibly 9 more, which require a reliable estimate of their sizes. Finally, the most relevant physical and dynamical characteristics of the set of icy “dwarf planets” have been reviewed; e.g. the albedo, the lightcurve amplitude, the location in the different dynamical populations, the size distributions, and the discovery rate."
Introduction: "Up to know [sic] 4 icy objects (plutoids) and one rocky object have been officially classified as “dwarf planets” by the IAU; i.e.: Eris, Pluto, Makemake, Haumea and Ceres. Nevertheless, there might exist many other objects which satisfy the criteria adopted in the Resolution 5 for “dwarf planets”.
"In the following sections, we review the scientific grounds of the resolution (Section 2), we present a list of potential icy “dwarf planets” (plutoids) (Section 3), and we discuss the main characteristics of this population of objects (Section 4)."
3. The list of icy “dwarf planets”: "We apply this decision tree to the list of “dwarf planet” candidates listed in Table 1. A column is added to answer the question: is the object a “dwarf planet”? The following answers are considered to this question:
• Yes – accepted as a “dwarf planet”"
[Bodies answered with 'yes': Eris, Pluto, Makemake, Haumea, Sedna, Orcus, Quaoar, TX300, AW197, AZ84, Ixion, Varuna, GV9, Huya, TL66.]
Conclusion: "After applying this decision tree to the list of candidates, we find that there are 15 very probable icy “dwarf planets” (plutoids), plus possibly 9 more"
"Should the IAU continue naming “dwarf planets”? In order to proceed cautiously, we suggest that the following objects could be included in the list of “official” “dwarf planets”: (90377) Sedna, (90482) Orcus and (50000) Quaoar. These objects are clearly over the size limit of 450 km and the photometric observational evidence are in concordance with a figure in hydrostatic equilibrium."
  • Brown (2011)
Author: Mike Brown (Cal Tech)
"there are:
8 objects which are nearly certainly dwarf planets"
"I subjectively divide this list into a few categories, taking into account both the uncertainties in the sizes and the uncertainties in the size where an object becomes round.
Near certainty: We are confident enough in the size estimate to know that each one of these must be a dwarf planet even if predominantly rocky."
[The 8 objects are, in order: Eris (measured), Pluto (measured), Haumea (measured), Makemake (measured), 2007OR10 (estimate), Sedna (estimate), Quaoar (measured), Orcus (measured)]
  • Sheppard et al. (2011)
Authors: Scott Sheppard (Carnegie Institution of Washington), Andrzej Udalski (Warsaw University), Chad Trujillo (Gemini Observatory), Marcin Kubiak, Grzegorz Pietrzynski, Radoslaw Poleski, Igor Soszynski, Michal Szyma, Krzysztof Ulaczyk
1. Introduction: "In these surveys tens of bright TNOs including likely dwarf planets Eris, Makemake, Haumea, Orcus, Quaoar, Sedna and 2007 OR10 were discovered."
4.2.1. Dwarf Planets: "Though the dwarf planet definition is imprecise, it is clear that Ceres in the main asteroid belt as well as Pluto and Eris in the outer solar system are bonafide dwarf planets. Makemake and Haumea are also likely dwarf planets as are the next largest bodies in the outer solar system such as Sedna, 2007 OR10, Orcus and Quaoar."
  • Barucci, et al. (2010)
Authors: M. A. Barucci, C. de Bergh, and F. Merlin (Observatoire de Paris), C. Morea Dalle Ore (NASA Ames Research Center, SETI Institute), A. Alvarez-Candal and C. Dumas (European Southern Observatory), D. Cruikshank (NASA Ames Research Center)
Abstract: "The dwarf planet (90377) Sedna is one of the most remote solar system objects accessible to investigations."
Introduction: "It is the most remote solar system object accessible to direct investigations and belongs to the category of dwarf planets."
  • Rabinowitz, et al. (2011)
Authors: David L. Rabinowitz and S. Tourtellotte (Yale University), B. Schaefer and M. Schaefer (Louisiana State University)
Abstract: "We have used the SMARTS 1.3m telescope extensively to photometrically characterize the new dwarf planet population (including Eris and Sedna) discovered with the QUEST camera."
  • Malhotra (2009)
Author: Renu Malhotra (University of Arizona)
Abstract: "Efforts to place in context several new discoveries of trans-Neptune dwarf planets, such as Sedna and Haumea, are probing collisional physics in the ice-rock parameter regime as well as the role of dynamical chaos or possibly undetected massive perturbers at the edge of our solar system."
  • Ortiz, et al. (2010)
Authors: J.L. Ortiz, A. Thirouin, N. Morales, R. Duffard (all Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía), P. Santos-Sanz (ibid and Observatoire de Paris), A. Cikota, S. Cikota (both Physik-Institut, Universitat Zurich), D. Hestroffer (IMCCE/Observatoire de Paris), R. Gil-Hutton (Complejo Astronómico El Leoncito and San Juan National University, Argentina), and I. de la Cueva (Astroimagen)
"Orcus qualifies to become a dwarf planet because of its large diameter (D=850±90 km)"
  • Braga-Ribas, et al. (2011)
Authors: F. Braga-Ribas, B. Sicardy, J.L. Ortiz, E. Jehin, J. I. B. Camargo, M. Assafin, R. Behrend, E. Unda-Sanzana, J.P. Colque, N. Morales, G. Tancredi, S. Roland, S. Bruzzone, R. Salvo, L. Almenares, M. Emilio, W. Schoenell, R. Gil-Hutton, A. Milone, C. Jaques, L. Vanzi, J.J. Kavelaars, P. Cacella, A. Maury, E. Alvarez, N. S. van der Bliek, R. Vieira-Martins, F. Colas, J. Lecacheux, F. Vachier, F. Roques, T. Widemann, A. Thirouin, M. Gillon, J. Manfroid, A. Bergengruen, M. Martinez, J. Capeche, A. Amorim, E. Pimentel, R. Leiva, I. Toledo, L. A. Almeida, V. S. Magalhães, C. E. Montaña, C. V. Rodrigues
3. Quaoar stellar occultation: "(50000) Quaoar is a dwarf planet, discovered in 2002, that orbits the Sun at an average distance of 43.4AU."
  • Stern (2009)
Audio interview with Alan Stern
[5′30] "We already know of, more than a dozen, dwarf planets. Mostly in the outer Solar System. Um, at and beyond where Pluto orbits. But there's one, called Ceres, which is the largest asteroid, that orbits between Mars and Jupiter. There may be, a thousand dwarf planets."
  • IAU (2009)
"Because of perceived urgency in the naming of the large transneptunian objects (136472) 2005 FY9 [Makemake] and (136108) 2003 EL61 [Haumea], the Executive Committee decided at its May 2008 meeting to adopt the following recommendation: Any solar system body having (a) a semimajor axis greater than that of Neptune, and (b) absolute magnitude brighter than H =+1mag shall be considered for naming purposes to be a dwarf planet and named jointly by the WG-PSN and CSBN. Name(s) proposed by the discoverer(s) will be given deference.
Note the following: An essential phrase to bear in mind is ‘for naming purposes’. It is not the intention to declare that a body having H<+1 mag is a dwarf planet. The lower diameter limit of a body having H =+1 mag and geometric albedo p=1.0 is D=850 km. For p=0.65 (like Pluto–Charon), D=1050 km, and for very low p≈0.03, D≈5000 km. While it is likely that all solar system bodies having H<+1 mag are dwarf planets, one cannot at this time be certain"
"At the time of the Prague GA, there were no (known) refereed publications that centrally addressed the above two criteria. Since then, Soter (2006, AJ , 132, 2513) has discussed planetary orbit clearing by accretion and ejection of lesser bodies; and Tancredi & Favre (2008, Icarus, 195, 851) have quantified the lower diameter limits for icy and rocky dwarf planets. The two TGs need to work in concert so they can try to agree on the lower mass limit for planets and the upper mass limit for dwarf planets. It is anticipated that the TGs will present their reports to Division III at the IAU XXVII General Assembly in August 2009."
  • IAU (2008-09-17)
"This now means that the family of dwarf planets in the Solar System is up to five. They are now Ceres, Pluto, Haumea, Eris and Makemake."


  • Tancredi & Favre (2008, 2010)
In other words, they compiled a list of candidates for dwarf planet status based on a set of simple criteria that they proposed and published it. Ruslik_Zero 09:08, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
You're ignoring the entire paper, and the reason the IAU committees refer to it: They compiled a list of candidates, analyzed them to see which were DPs, and graded them as accepted, maybe, rejected, and insufficient data. — kwami (talk) 17:04, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
And sent this list of "potential DPs" to IAU, who are expected to decide something in the future. Ruslik_Zero 18:34, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Exactly. But meanwhile we have a RS that these are DPs. — kwami (talk) 19:04, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
"Potential DPs" in their own words. And please, do not twist what they really say. Ruslik_Zero 19:34, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Please read the article again. They say, we present a list of potential icy “dwarf planets” in Section 3. That is Table 1. List of icy “dwarf planets” candidates. Take a look at Table 1. There are 46 candidates. They then say, We apply this decision tree to the list of “dwarf planet” candidates listed in Table 1. A column is added to answer the question: is the object a “dwarf planet”? Now. there are four possible answers, including no answer. They say that "Yes" means accepted as a “dwarf planet”. There are 15 candidates marked "Yes", that is, 15 candidates are "accepted as a dwarf planet". — kwami (talk) 20:43, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
"Potential" refers to those marked in the table 1 as "dwarf planets". This is supported by the following sentences from the conclusion: "After applying this decision tree to the list of candidates, we find that there are 15 very probable icy “dwarf planets” (plutoids), plus possibly 9 more, but we are lacking of reliable estimate of their sizes (they are listed in Table 1 with a Yes? )". They are referred as "very probable" here. Ruslik_Zero 07:17, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
"Potential" refers to all the candidates in Table 1, as is supported by the statement "we present a list of potential icy “dwarf planets”" in §3. The only list presented in Section 3 is Table 1, and the word "potential" is not used again. ("Potential" does not mean "very probably", pace your argument.) Those potential DPs were analyzed, some of them were accepted, and some were rejected. Yes, they call the accepted ones "very probable", but that is like the IAU saying Haumea and Makemake are very probable, or Brown saying Pluto and Eris are "virtually certain". This is science, where nothing is 100%. Read the very end of the conclusion: "In order to proceed cautiously, we suggest that the following objects could be included in the list of “official” “dwarf planets”: (90377) Sedna, (90482) Orcus and (50000) Quaoar. These objects are clearly over the size limit of 450 km and the photometric observational evidence are in concordance with a figure in hydrostatic equilibrium." That is, if we are to "proceed cautiously", we would accept Sedna, Orcus, and Quaoar (though not OR10), which are the top three on their list of the 15 "accepted" as DPs, after the four already accepted by the IAU. A less cautious approach would presumably add the other eight. — kwami (talk) 22:34, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
They also call them "very probable" in the annotation. The annotation is the place where the authors report their most important results. The "acceptence" of dwarf planets obviously does not count as such. It is not difficult to understand why. 'Accepted' only means that an object passed the decision tree, nothing else. They simply re-define the term "dwarf planet" for the purposes of their paper to mean any object that passes their decision tree analysis. The real definition, as you pointed many times yourself, is very different. Ruslik_Zero 08:01, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
They only use that phrase in the abstract and conclusion. Is that what you mean?
Yes, they call them "very probable". That is only responsible in science. You argue below that "bonafide" cannot mean "genuine" because nothing is certain in science. This is very true. Brown recognized it when he called the bodies he accepts as DPs "virtually certain". They are being similarly cautious. What does "accepted" mean to them? Well, they explain it:
A column is added to answer the question: is the object a “dwarf planet”? • Yes – accepted as a “dwarf planet”
The question is "is" it a DP.
The core of the very last paragraph of their conclusion, the point they want you to walk away with, is,
the following objects could be included in the list of “official” “dwarf planets”: (90377) Sedna, (90482) Orcus and (50000) Quaoar.
In their opinion, Sedna, Orcus, and Quaoar could be added to the list of official DPs. This is a recommendation Tancredi is presenting to the IAU. The only difference from Brown is that Brown in 2011 would add OR10, which Tancredi in 2009 felt was too uncertain to classify. — kwami (talk) 09:37, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Abstract and conclusion are two the most important parts of the article. They are what people actually read. And in them there is nothing about any "acceptance". "very probable" is not very different from "likely". Ruslik_Zero 11:20, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
"Very probable" can be highly different from "likely", since in science we deal in degrees of probability.
And at the very end of the most important part of the article, at the conclusion of the conclusion, they recommend that the IAU accept Sedna, Orcus and Quaoar as "official" DPs. That's clear enough. Which additional DPs should the IAU accept? Well, if we're to be cautious, Sedna, Orcus, and Quaoar. — kwami (talk) 11:50, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Brown (2011)
Brown just created his own list of dwarf planet candidates. Nothing new. In addition, he is not a neutral expert in this case because he co-discovered all four candidates. Ruslik_Zero 09:08, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Correct, nothing new. Just s.t. we should report: He compiled a list and analyzed them for likelihood of being DPs. 8 of them are "virtually certain" / "must be". — kwami (talk) 17:04, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Virtually certain = strong DP candidate. Ruslik_Zero 19:34, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Those are your words. Read Brown's words: "Virtually certain" is defined as "must be a dwarf planet even if predominantly rocky". Also, this is the category given to Pluto and Eris. That is, Brown's classification is at odds with ours regardless of how you read his words. — kwami (talk) 20:43, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
This is the problem: what he wrote on his site is somewhat odd. Ruslik_Zero 07:17, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
Odd or not (and that is a personal judgement, and thus OR), we have a responsibility to respect the opinions of a leader in the field. — kwami (talk) 22:34, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
Personal web sites (even those by prominent scientists) are not generally considered reliable sources exactly by this reason—they may be quite odd. It is always a matter of editorial judgement to use or not to use such sources. Ruslik_Zero 08:01, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Similarly, press releases (even those by prominent organizations) are not generally considered reliable sources. I suppose we should disallow the IAU press releases as evidence for any of these being DPs, and go exclusively by RS's? — kwami (talk) 09:37, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Indeed, there are lots of secondary sources including books, papers etc that reported what IAU said in their press releases. Let's use only secondary sources! And let's get rid of all primary sources (including of course the Brown's web site and IAU internal reports that you used to support your theory about "naming purposes"). Ruslik_Zero 11:20, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Sheppard et al. (2011)
And what? There are two somewhat contradictory sentences that in effect says that all known dwarf planets are likely dwarf planet. Of course, if you twist their words, you can prove anything. Ruslik_Zero 09:08, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
No, not all: Ceres, Eris, and Pluto are not "likely", they are "bonafide". Haumea, Makemake, Sedna, and the rest are "likely". You don't need to twist their words when they make it that plain. — kwami (talk) 17:04, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Bonifide? They probably mean that they are prototypical for the dwarf planet class of planetary bodies. In this sense they are more likely to resemble themselves than all others bodies will ever do. But this does not change anything in the classification. Ruslik_Zero 18:34, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
But this isn't Ruslikopedia, where we give your interpretation of other people's words. Taking it to mean "prototypical" would be OR. But whatever it means, Sheppard uses one term for the original 3, and another for the others, whether accepted by the IAU or by Brown. That does not square with our classification. — kwami (talk) 19:04, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Sheppard describes Eris as both a "likely dp" and a "bonafide dp" leaving it up to the reader to guess as to what he meant. -- Kheider (talk) 03:13, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
It is not OR, it is what bonafide actually means. Ruslik_Zero 19:34, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
According to the both the Oxford English Dictionary and Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, "bonafide" means "genuine", not "prototypical". (Other meanings are "in good faith" and "sincere", but those would obviously not apply in this situation.) "Prototypical" isn't even in the list of synonyms in Webster's, which says, "AUTHENTIC, GENUINE, BONA FIDE mean being actually and exactly what is claimed". There are thus three "genuine" dwarf planets, and several more "likely" to be. There are three which are "actually and exactly what is claimed", and several more likely to be so. — kwami (talk) 20:43, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
"Genuine" means absolute certainty, which can only be claimed by definition in science. And three first DPs were DPs by definition because this category was created specifically for them. In any case I demonstrated that this sentence is open to many plausible interpretations. Ruslik_Zero 07:17, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
"Genuine" does not mean "absolute certainty". It means "properly so called; that is such in the proper sense" (OED). The first three are not DPs by definition: According to the IAU, a DP is a body that meets their definition of a DP, and their definition of a DP is (a) orbits the Sun, (b) orbitally dominant, (c) in HE. There is no *(d) accepted by the IAU.
But you're right: this doesn't change anything about Sheppard's classification. 3 are in one class, 6 in another. This is at odds with the IAU list, as 2 IAU objects are grouped with 4 non-IAU objects. — kwami (talk) 22:55, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
So, what does it mean, "in proper sense"? Does this mean that only three first dwarf planets are "in proper sense" and all others are in "improper sense"? Or may be there are 3 bonafide dwarf planets and 2 non-bonafide dwarf planets? Are Quaoar a likely bonifide dwarf planet or merely likely non-bonafide dwarf planet? If you are going to interpret this sentence literally these questions quickly come to mind. Meanwhile another meaning of "bonafide" from Webster is "actually and exactly what is claimed". This implies absolute certainty (in legal sense). Ruslik_Zero 08:01, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
You're asking me to read Sheppard et al.'s minds. All I can read are their words. You proposed that their words mean something that is not supported by Sheppard or by any dictionary. I corrected your error. You then claimed that a synonym of bonafide given in a dictionary (one degree removed from what Sheppard actually said) cannot be correct, because it means "absolutely certain", s.t. you still maintain. Again I corrected you, because that is not what the word means. Now you're demanding to know what Sheppard would have meant by "in a proper sense"! We can argue in circles like this, getting further and further from what was actually said, but what does that get us? Your original claim, that "bonafide" probably means "prototypical", is pure speculation, and not even likely speculation, since that's not what the word means. — kwami (talk) 09:37, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
This is the problem—nobody is sure of what they meant by "bonafide". As to prototype, I stand by my opinion. Pluto was called prototype for plutoids (and dwarf planets) by IAU, and this fact was widely reported. So, it is a "bonafide" dwarf planet. Eris as a twin of Pluto is also a prototype. Now add Ceres and you will understand what they really meant. Ruslik_Zero 11:20, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
But that is simply OR. I see that English is not your native language. "Bonafide" simply doesn't mean "prototype" in English. It's not even close. No-one would use one to mean the other. If you're going to make an argument, you need a source to back yourself up, and you have none. In any case, they call Haumea and Makemake "likely". Do you propose that "likely DP" means "DP"? If so, then Orcus, Quaoar, OR10, and Sedna are DPs. If not, then Haumea and Makemake are not DPs (not certain ones, anyway). No matter how you redefine the words, you cannot transmute a set of 3 and a set of 6 into a set of 5 and a set of 4. — kwami (talk) 11:50, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Interpreting sources based on one's own understanding of the subject is a normal way to write a good article. On the other hand, slavishly parroting singular phrases taken out of context only shows that an editor does not understand what he writes about. Ruslik_Zero 08:18, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
Then let's not take it out of context. We have all the context we need. — kwami (talk) 08:26, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Barucci, et al. (2010), Rabinowitz, et al. (2011), Malhotra (2009)
Sedna as the most likely dwarf planet is sometimes called as such. But there is no consensus among astronomers and its status is not established because little is known about it. Ruslik_Zero 09:08, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. It is not established. Never claimed it was. But some RSs accept it. We should respect them per NPOV. — kwami (talk) 17:04, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
The article already respects them. Ruslik_Zero 18:34, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
There is one edit I proposed that Kheider seems happy with, but hasn't responded to for a few days. With that, I would say the Sedna article does respect them, though this article still does not. — kwami (talk) 19:04, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Ortiz, et al. (2010)
Yes, it qualifies to become, but has not become yet. Ruslik_Zero 09:08, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
That is not the IAU definition of a DP. If it qualifies, it *is* a DP. Suggestions that we change the definition of DP to include "acceptance by the IAU" were rightly rejected as being OR. Per Ortiz, Orcus meets the requirements. Therefore it is. — kwami (talk) 17:04, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
You are stretching the meaning of these words well beyond acceptable limits. Even you friend User_talk:JorisvS admits this. Ruslik_Zero 18:34, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
You'll have to point out where he said that. Also, he's not my friend: I don't even know him. Sometimes people agree because they see things the same way, not because they're friends. But let me ask you this: if we find a body that "qualifies" under the IAU definition of a star, would you actually claim that it's "not a star"? That would be a bizarre claim, and I would say you are stretching the meaning of those words beyond acceptable limits. If you qualify for a category based on the parameters of that category, then you're a member of that category. — kwami (talk) 19:04, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Are you blind? I pointed you directly to the talk page: "Maybe Ortiz does, but his wording doesn't unambiguously say so (and hence technically makes it OR)." Also unfortunately for you there is no IAU definition of star. Ruslik_Zero 19:34, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
That is not even close to "stretching the meaning of words beyond acceptable limits". That is a comment on the quality of Ortiz' English and the clarity of his wording. Blind or not, I can't see s.t. which isn't there. And continue reading JorisvS' comment: "And I see Ruslik is now inserting his own POV weasel wording not at all supported by the references". — kwami (talk) 20:43, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
So, you admit that the quality of English is poor and the sentence is unclear? Ruslik_Zero 07:17, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
His English is obviously not native, but I find it clear. JorisvS thought it might not be the best source for a contentious topic because he judged the wording to not be perfectly clear. — kwami (talk) 22:34, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
So, you seem to be alone here. All others regard this sentence as unclear. Ruslik_Zero 08:01, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
By "all others", do you mean you? We removed this ref from the Orcus article because JorisvS did not think it was sufficiently clear. You, however, are claiming it means something very different, one that would make a mockery of the IAU, that the definition of a DP is that the IAU recognize it. That POV has been rejected by AFAICT everyone here except you. If you want to add a request to change the definition of DP, adding "(d) and is accepted by the IAU", please do so; otherwise, you have no point here. — kwami (talk) 09:37, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I only claimed that they meant "likely", which is plausible taking into account unclear wording. Ruslik_Zero 11:20, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Plausible, if you had contextual evidence, but not likely. They didn't say "likely", they say "qualifies". When you have a category with a physical definition for membership, then qualification means you're a member. Granted, it's not the best wording, but context also suggests this is what they meant: they speak of TNOs including large DPs, and that Orcus is one of the largest TNOs. The specifically say it qualifies because of its size. They don't say that it "likely" qualifies, but simply that it does qualify. — kwami (talk) 11:50, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
"Qualify" is followed by "to become", which refers to some future time. It means that Orcus is not a dwarf planet now but may become it in the future. Ruslik_Zero 08:18, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
  • IAU (2009)
You are again misrepresenting what they said. IAU has never said that Haumea or Makemake were classified as dwarf planets because that have H<1. The resolution that you are citing does not mention them. The press releases which announced either Makemake or Haumea do not say anything about "naming purposes". I actually think that they were classified by IAU based on merits, that the "Chicago resolution" has never been used. Ruslik_Zero 09:08, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
How could I misrepresent what they said? Those are their words. If we're missing context, you're welcome to add it. What it does show is that Haumea and Makemake went into the naming procedure for DPs because of their magnitude. You are correct, we cannot know the decision was made for that reason, and very possibly it was not. But you would need sources to claim that. Meanwhile, the magnitude requirement has kept others out of the DP naming procedure: they are named as any other minor planets, not as DPs. The IAU may address this in the future, and we have people in the IAU working toward that end, but so far the executive committee has been silent re. other possible DPs. — kwami (talk) 17:04, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
If you are not sure yourself, why we are having this discussion? Does this means that you are merely making a point? And please remember that Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat — "Proof lies on him who asserts, not on him who denies". Ruslik_Zero 18:34, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Are you purposefully being obtuse? That's a rhetorical question: How can quoting someone verbatim "misrepresent" their words? — kwami (talk) 19:04, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Who is obtuse here is an open question. I asked you to prove what you have asserted, the assertion which I deny, you refused claiming that I should prove negative. Ruslik_Zero 07:17, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps we are miscommunicating, then. Could you repeat your point using different words? — kwami (talk) 22:34, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
The assertion that you made is that "Makemake and Haumea were classified as dwarf planets by IAU for naming purposes". Since you trying to play fool and have refused to present any evidence that supports this assertion I am going to consider this particular discussion closed until you bring something really worthy of attention. Ruslik_Zero 08:01, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps you did not read the many edits of mine that you have reverted, and do not remember my earlier answers to you along this line. Kheider and I have come to an agreement on this, or at least a partial one. I concede, as I have said to you before, that we cannot know the acceptance was for naming purposes, only that the choice of who was to get to name them was based on H.
Your point was unclear because you had earlier claimed that I was "lying" when I quoted the IAU, that I "was wrong" to make the statements that the IAU, not I, had made. Did you think that their words were mine? I can't know, if you don't clarify.
Now, let's take a look at IAU (2009):
Any solar system body having ... (b) absolute magnitude brighter than H =+1mag shall be considered for naming purposes to be a dwarf planet.
Granted, if it is named under this convention, it does not follow that it was accepted as a DP only because H is brighter than +1, nor that it was accepted only for naming purposes. It is technically true that it was accepted for naming purposes, but it would be extremely misleading to say that, and I agree with you and Kheider that we should not say that. Now,
An essential phrase to bear in mind is ‘for naming purposes’. It is not the intention to declare that a body having H<+1 mag is a dwarf planet. ... While it is likely that all solar system bodies having H<+1 mag are dwarf planets, one cannot at this time be certain
The IAU here is saying that these two bodies—the whole reason this special naming convention was established (Because of perceived urgency in the naming of [Makemake and Haumea], etc.)—are not certain to be dwarf planets, and they do not mean to declare that they are dwarf planets. Of course, the naming committee may have decided that they were, but we have no documents or transcripts from them to demonstrate that. All we have to go on is a press release! Generally, press releases are not very high on the RS scale: they're at about the level of personal blogs like Brown's. — kwami (talk) 09:37, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
And IAU decided to quantify the low mass limit for dwarf planet based on the available published works, but it does not mean that the writings of Tancredi & Favre are the last word. Ruslik_Zero 16:59, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Never said it was the last word. But it is a word. And we need to respect it as such. — kwami (talk) 17:04, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, it is just "a" word. And there are many of them. Ruslik_Zero 18:34, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, of course there are. And as long as they are RS's, we need to reflect them all. That's the essence of NPOV. What we don't do is say "we'll only accept this word because I don't want the others". — kwami (talk) 19:04, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
This is paternally false. It will never be practically possible to represent all RSs. NPOV only says that all significant points of view should be represented. In this case the source only says that IAU decided to quantify in the future the lower mass limit for DPs, and nothing else. So, this is not even relevant to the issue under discussion. Ruslik_Zero 19:34, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Point granted. I should have been more careful with my wording. But considering that we use the IAU as our primary reference, and the IAU refers to Tancredi re. the lower limit of dwarf planets, I would say Tancredi is clearly significant to the question of what is a dwarf planet. As are Brown and Sheppard. The others may be less so, but they support existing POVs, not introduce new ones, so it costs us nothing to accommodate them. — kwami (talk) 20:43, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Braga-Ribas, et al. (2011)
The international team that did the recent occultation measurements of Quaoar, the best data we have, states baldly that "Quaoar is a dwarf planet" in the first sentence in the section on Quaoar. They do not do the same for AZ84, one of the bodies which Tancredi (who is on the team) accepted as a DP but did not specifically recommend that the IAU accept officially. — kwami (talk) 22:25, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
They also says that Quaoar is not spherical, and therefore may not be in HE. To explain this you will need a some kind of psychoanalysis. Ruslik_Zero 08:35, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
They say no such thing. I just reviewed the paper. Where do you get this stuff from? — kwami (talk) 09:10, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
This reference is just a presentation abstract. Ruslik's comment refers to (I assume) the actual presentation, where they mention that the chords do not fit an ellipse because of a "bite" in one of them (see Quaoar talk page). However, there is no reliable source for that yet, just science reporters regurgitating the presentation. Hopefully they'll write a paper on the results soon. Tbayboy (talk) 16:27, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
Ruslik, were you there for the presentation?
As for the "bite", that requires that we know the orbit of the moon, which we really don't yet. (The only orbital fit so far was made by discounting the data points which didn't fit.) — kwami (talk) 16:38, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
The observed chords suggest that Quaoar has an elongate shape from here. As to the "bite", I do not see how it is related to the moon. Ruslik_Zero 19:27, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
What do your quote and link have to do with Quaoar not being a DP? Are you saying that you just made up the "and therefore may not be in HE" part? If so, what are you basing the "therefore" on? We have a RS stating that Quaoar is a DP: do you have anything to counter that? — kwami (talk) 19:36, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
Elongate together with a relatively long rotation period of >17 hours means that it is not in HE, at least until proven otherwise. Ruslik_Zero 19:47, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
No, it means OR, which is not acceptable as an argument. The researchers have not published any reason for the odd occultation results, but meanwhile they *have* stated that Quaoar is a DP. — kwami (talk) 20:09, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
The problem is that this source is unreliable. It has not been reviewed by anybody, contradicts itself and does not explain the basic facts. Ruslik_Zero 08:06, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
No, the problem is that you don't like it, and you hold yourself above our sources. If the source is unreliable, pls provide a ref to support your claim.
It does not contradict itself except in your mind, which is not a RS. We don't know the reason for the occultation anomalies, but your conclusion is solely your own. Meanwhile, the principal researcher on the best study we have on Quaoar states that it's a DP. — kwami (talk) 08:24, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Stern (2009)
I've heard Stern in another interview saying that Ceres is the only DP in the asteroid belt, so he's not counting Vesta etc. among the 'more than a dozen dwarf planets'. Which means that there are at least 8 which he accepts that the IAU does not. — kwami (talk) 04:05, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
Ah. He's referring to planetary-mass moons as DPs. Not a ref in support of expanding the list of accepted TNO DPs, then. — kwami (talk) 11:48, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
  • IAU (2008-09-17)
This is the last IAU press release announcing the status of a DP candidate. Several members of the various committees of the IAU have expressed concern about this, Tancredi has advised that at least another 3 be accepted, and Brown published his list because of it, but until now nothing has happened.
Also, being a press release, it suffers from not being written by the authors of the decision to accept Haumea. It states that "there are now 5 DPs", but that implies that there had been 4 DPs, which is of course silly: there are now 5 DPs recognized by the IAU, as documents from various IAU committee members make clear. No-one claims that Haumea hadn't been a DP until this announcement was made. (If anyone here claims that, they should request that we modify our definition of DP accordingly.) — kwami (talk) 03:07, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Threaded discussions

The wording of this RFC is biased by Kwamikagami into his own favour. Brown, for instance, has never accepted disputed bodies as dwarf planets. Ruslik_Zero 07:28, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

He words them all the same as Eris and Pluto: "virtually certain" and "must be even if predominantly rocky". That is, Brown makes no distinction between the IAU 5 and the other 4. We also have refs from other researchers calling the other 4 DPs, so your argument here is a bit disingenuous. — kwami (talk) 21:23, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

The question that we should really ask is what the Dwarf planet article should be about? Should not it be about the five bodies (Eris, Pluto, Ceres, Makemake and Haumea) that are overwhelmingly considered by the astronomical community and by IAU dwarf planets? If someone has any doubts that the consensus is overwhelming they can review these Google-scholar searches: for Haumea, for Makemake and similar searches for other three bodies.

I think the answer to the above question should be yes, the article should be about widely recognized dwarf planets. Therefore, all material related to other four bodies (Orcus, Quaoar, Sedna and 2007OR10)—the strongest dwarf planet candidates (but still candidates) should be moved to the place, which is the most appropriate for them—to the Dwarf planet candidates article. These objects are neither recognized by IAU nor by the astronomical community. Compare the Google search for Sedna to the five dwarf planets mentioned above. And I should note that the Sedna is actually the strongest candidate among them.

My proposal will benefit readers considerably because they will be presented with the point of view that is supported by the wide scientific consensus. If readers are interested to learn more about the dwarf planet candidates, they can proceed to a specialized article—Dwarf planet candidates.

As to the questions posed by User:Kwamikagami the answers are as follows:

  1. No they should not. As said above two tables that contain four bodies under dispute here should be removed from the article altogether.
  2. The answer follows from the previous one. In addition, navboxs serve as navigational aid for readers and as such should contain only uncontroversial stuff.
  3. The paper, which User:Kwamikagami refers to, contains one ambiguously worded sentence, which does not question the status of either Haumea or Makemake. This sentence is likely simply a poor choice of words. It is not even notable enough even to be mentioned anywhere at all. It would be a violation of WP:UNDUE ("Generally, the views of tiny minorities should not be included at all") to give it the prominence that User:Kwamikagami wants to give it.
  4. The leads should say that these bodies are strong dwarf planet candidates and should not give WP:UNDUE weight to the minority point of view.

Ruslik_Zero 09:10, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

So you're saying that the principal researchers into these objects are not part of the astronomical community? — kwami (talk) 21:23, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

I'd like it to be absolutely clear that I feel that this RfC is indicative of Kwamikagami's disruptive approach to the dwarf planet issue. Kwami has repeatedly edit warred, insulted other editors, and disregarded opinions that do not reflect his own perspective. This is clearly demonstrated through the discussions here and on other DP-related pages, through the countless instances of edit warring and disruptive behaviour in the articles, and in the way he has ignored the previous, extensively-discussed RfC. Kwami has even tried to claim that there was no previous formal RfC, even though he was actually the person who filed it. With all that in mind, I find it extremely difficult to assume good faith on his part, and I also find it difficult to believe that he will pay any more attention to this discussion than he has to any other such discussions. --Ckatzchatspy 09:54, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

AFAICT, I never filed an RfC. Could you show me where I did? I filed this in response to admins asking why one was never filed.kwami (talk) 21:23, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
I see it now. Yes, if I'd found that I would have filed for mediation rather than a 2nd RfC. — kwami (talk) 22:01, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

I think the IAU 5 and the "smaller 4" should be in separate tables. Sedna and 2007 OR10 are likely large bodies, but since neither of them have a known moon, we do not know their mass, and can not use their mass to estimate hydrostatic equilibrium. Sedna and 2007 OR10 also have poorly determined diameters. Makemake (IAU dp) also does not have a known moon/mass, but the diameter is well determined at 1400km. Orcus and Quaoar are likely dwarf planets with known diameters and masses, but they are much smaller than the IAU's 4 trans-Neptunian dwarf planets. Adding Sedna and 2007 OR10 to a table when we can only make crude guesses at their masses and diameters adds nothing for the average reader. -- Kheider (talk) 15:39, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

If we keep the tables, how would you change the wording to make it factually correct? — kwami (talk) 21:23, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
I have no problem with the current basic wording: "Brown's list identifies four other objects as "nearly certainly" being dwarf planets". This article is meant for consumption by the average reader, it is not meant to be overly technical defining/synthesizing(?) generic terms such as IAU accepted, nearly certain (Brown), and likely (Sheppard). If we went with just Mike Brown's generic list we would have to question the dp-status of Pluto as much as 2007 OR10. Wikipedia should not bother the average readers with such muddied waters.
Even Mike Brown contradicts himself. His website calls 2002UX25 highly likely. He calls it (two levels lower?) probable. There is simply too much SYN to go by generic lists. -- Kheider (talk) 22:08, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
Again, you seem to misunderstand WP:SYNTH. That covers what *we* do. Our sources are supposed to engage in synthesis. That's part of science, and it's what we use them for.
I don't have access to the Twitter post, but it wouldn't surprise me if in general comments he uses terms like "probable" generically. The list, where he quite clearly spells out the various degrees of certainty, is a different matter. Trying to combine the two is synthesis on your part, and therefore violates SYNTH.
I could similarly combine various announcements by the IAU to argue that they are too inconsistent to use as a source. Our WP:RS policy says otherwise. — kwami (talk) 22:37, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
The problem is that Mike Brown's website is automatically generated and thus error-prone. There is a difference between measuring an object at 1400km in diameter and estimating it at that size. For objects not accepted as a dp by an overwhelming scientific consensus, I have no problem stating that Astronomer X claims it is most likely/probably a dp. -- Kheider (talk) 22:46, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
For the hundreds of objects he has not worked on that pop up in the list based on someone else's published estimates, I would agree with you. But these are all bodies that he or his team discovered and know as well as anyone. There's no reason to doubt his estimates on bodies he's published on. You suggest the data on these four is error prone, yet there are only a few data for each, all of which are easily checked. Which ones fail verification? "There could be errors (but there aren't)" isn't a very good counter-argument. — kwami (talk) 00:48, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Browns bot diameters for Sedna and 2007 OR10 do not give error bars because a generic automatic program does not known how to handle uncertainty. The program is using an assumed albedo for Sedna and 2007 OR10. Obviously, any object assumed to be 1400km in diameter is a "nearly certain dp". To use-the-argument Pluto and 2007 OR10 are in the same range of uncertainty because a generic bot lists it as such is pushing-it if you ask me. -- Kheider (talk) 09:51, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, yes, I would agree with you there. I suspect that he sees them all as so certain that it doesn't make much sense to distinguish among them. That is obviously different from Sheppard's POV, who draws a line at the Brown 9 but also at the original 3. And that, of course, is why we should include as many POVs as possible from our sources: some readers may find Brown convincing, some Sheppard, and most will follow the decisions of the IAU. But at least they'll know why they are, and what other possibilities are being discussed. — kwami (talk) 13:55, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

Remove Orcus, Sedna, Quaoar and 2007OR10

  • Support as a proposer. Ruslik_Zero 11:21, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Neutral: "The next largest bodies" as Sheppard calls them are the best candidates other than the IAU 5. But they should be listed separate from the 5 widely accepted dps. They are either much smaller and less massive than the IAU 4 trans-Neptunian dps (Orcus, Quaoar) or have very poorly known characteristics such as mass and diameter (Sedna, 2007OR10). Kheider (talk) 14:19, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

Tancredi calls on the IAU to officially accept at least Orcus, Sedna, and Quaoar, of the 11 he accepts as DPs beyond the IAU 5. Brown says these "must be" DPs even if rocky. Sheppard uses the same qualifier for them that he does for Haumea and Makemake. Other prominent astronomers accept one or another of them as DPs. Removing them would mean accepting the IAU POV as the only legitimate one, which would violate NPOV.

Separating them would be acceptable if we label the lists "IAU accepted" and "Accepted by others". It is not acceptable to label them "DPs" and "Likely DPs", as that again contradicts our sources. — kwami (talk) 01:39, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

What you saying is grossly misleading. The IAU five are accepted almost university by planetary scientists. All other object are not. This is not a question of IAU against others. It is about the opinion of IAU and vast majority of astronomers against only few (often misrepresented and vague) publications and one astronomer with a personal interest. Ruslik_Zero 07:20, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
P.S. If you are so attached to Brown, you can create a separate List of dwarf planet candidates by Michael Brown. Ruslik_Zero 08:03, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Again your suggestion of corruption on the part of Brown. Do you have evidence for such claims, or do you just smear people you disagree with? If Brown were out for personal aggrandizement, don't you think he would be pushing for these to be planets, the way Alan Stern is? Should I therefore say that we shouldn't use Stern as a reference, because he might be biased re. Pluto? Should we disregard anyone who has a personal stake in a subject? Say, anyone who does research in it should be excluded, because they could be trying to make their work seem more important? If Brown were so biased, why not team up with Stern and push for dwarf planets to be planets? He would be the only person in history to discover more than one: three already, with the promise of more on the way! What glory! Yet he was saying even before the 2006 decision that he didn't think that would be the right decision.

We have a significant minority of astronomers, many of them leaders in their field, who have publicly accepted various bodies beyond the IAU five as DPs. In an article on DPs, it is our responsibility per NPOV to present the various POV's without taking sides. You are emotionally attached to one side, which is fine, but WP should not be. — kwami (talk) 08:38, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Please, do not put words in my mouth. It reflects poorly on you. I have never said that Michael Brown is corrupted. I said that he has a conflict of interest. Everybody is a human including as you put it a preeminent scientist. It may be difficult for him to separate his personal emotional attachment to the subject from his judgement. This has actually happened with Stern, in my opinion. However, there is nothing bad in it. I want to note, to his credit, Micheal Brown has never called anything but the IAU five as dwarf planets in his publications. However on his personal website he has an unquestionable right to say what he wants. And I am not aware of any ethical principle that prevents him from doing this. Still this does not change the fact that there is a conflict of interest and his opinion expressed on his personal website should be treated with caution.
You mentioned Stern, claiming that we are using him as a reference? Strange statement, indeed. If we used him as reference for the number of planets in the Solar System, the Solar System article would contain (in your own words) eight planets accepted by IAU and one accepted by Allan Stern—a preeminent astronomer!
Significant minority? Leaders of the field? But who? I discussed Brown above. Tancridy? Hardly a leader, he prepared a proposal for IAU. In it he defined dwarf planet as something that passes his tree analysis, and got 12 of these "dwarf planets" and then called them only very likely, a term Brown uses for lesser bodies. This work is actually mentioned in the dwarf planet article. Who else? Who has called 2007OR10 a dwarf planet? I only known about one staff writer from Caltech, hardly a leader of the field too. Who has called Quaoar a dwarf planet? I only known about another staff writer from Astronomy&Geophysics. So, what do we have? Ruslik_Zero 09:43, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Okay, I accept your take on Brown as COI. (Though personally I think he would still be pushing for them to be planets: that's where the real COI would be!) And as you say, such COI occurs all the time. That is why we have peer review, of course, but members of the IAU committees themselves have complained about the lack of progress here. Tancredi may not be a big name in astronomy, but it was his report the IAU committees were waiting for to address this question. That makes him very relevant. Not decisive, of course, but relevant.
Last I recall, we did use Stern as a ref on the number of planets: that the IAU accepts eight, but that there is a significant minority who disagrees with that. In the lead of planet, we currently say, "This definition has been both praised and criticized, and remains disputed by some scientists." When they give the number of planets, they say "According to the IAU's current definitions". In the article on the 2006 decision, they list Stern first among the critics. (And by the way, it would not be 9 planets per Stern, but "hundreds", with over 30 identified so far: 8 major planets, 19 satellite planets, and ?? dwarf planets. (It sounds like he accepts more than 4 TNOs, but I cannot pin him down on that, though he only accepts Ceres among the asteroids.)
Contrast that responsible and NPOV approach to this article, where in the tables we contrast dwarf planets with "nearly certain" dwarf planets. Now, as you have yourself noted, "nearly certain" is about as good as it gets in science. Therefore all of them are "nearly certain". The NPOV and responsible approach would be to label the 1st table "DP accepted by the IAU". That is what we do in the planets article: 8 planets per the IAU.
In addition, there is no question on the number of (major) planets. Everyone, including Stern, accepts that there are 8. This contrasts with dwarf planets, where everyone, including the IAU, expects there to be more. To say there "are" 5 is irresponsible when the IAU itself does not agree. (They have even promised to set up criteria for accepting more.) The only question is how many have been established as DPs. The IAU has accepted 5 so far. Tancredi accepts 16, and recommends that the IAU accept at least 3 of them. Brown accepts 9. Various other researchers have noted in one paper or another that they believe some object outside the IAU 5 is a DP. That is what we need to report as a responsible encyclopedia. — kwami (talk) 10:17, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Planet article does not say that "Pluto is accepted as planet by Allan Stern". It is quite unambiguous in identifying it only as a dwarf planet. Ruslik_Zero 11:43, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, everyone agrees that Pluto is a DP. Stern agrees that it is a DP. That's not the point. The point is that not everyone agrees as to what a "planet" should be, and the article notes that by saying that there are 8 according to the definitions of the IAU. They don't simply say "there are 8 planets", as that would violated NPOV. — kwami (talk) 11:56, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

The tables

  • Remove Orcus, Sedna, Quaoar and 2009OR10 altogether. They are not consensual dwarf planets and their status is still under dispute. They should be discussed in a separate article—Dwarf planet candidates. Ruslik_Zero 11:06, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

The nav box

  • Navboxes should contain only uncontroversial stuff. It means only 5 (or 3 with moons) widely accepted dwarf planets. Status of all other bodies is unclear. Ruslik_Zero 11:08, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

Navboxes should contain links that help readers navigate the subject. Nowhere in our policies or guidelines does it say that we should limit ourselves to a single authority. That flies completely against the philosophy of Wikipedia. If we have RS's that there are other DP moons, then links should be provided to them. A note on the 3 systems that they've been accepted by the IAU, or a note on the other 2 that they haven't been, would address your concern about potentially misleading our readers. — kwami (talk) 03:14, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Haumea & Makemake

Eris (page 2 paragraph 2), Makemake, and Haumea (page 7) should still be treated as official dps since Sheppard's 2011 paper with only 3 sentences and no hard numbers (probabilities, measurements, etc) was never meant to downplay the IAU's decision process. Wikipedia can not speculate as what those 3 contradictory sentences mean when they can be interpreted more than one way. There is overwhelming scientific consensus to treat Eris, Makemake, and Haumea as dps. -- Kheider (talk) 15:19, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

I agree that we should present them as "official" DPs, and indeed I have repeatedly advocated that. (Note though that Tancredi puts "official" in scare quotes.) However, you still do not seem to understand what SYNTH means: Sheppard clearly distinguishes "bonafide" from "likely", and arguing that he doesn't is simply a refusal to accept a reliable source that does not square with your POV. That is a violation of NPOV. — kwami (talk) 03:18, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I prefer NOT to rely (due and undue weight) on a vague reference (Sheppard2011) that uses 2 different sentences to contradict itself in regards to the acceptance of Eris. The focus of Sheppards paper is his Southern sky survey. Sheppards paper is NOT focused on the acceptance of the 5 IAU dps. Frankly, I like Sheppards use of "dwarf planet sized object". -- Kheider (talk) 12:56, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Now, that is a reasonable and respectable argument. I may disagree (I think it is not at all vague, and context makes the superficial contradiction clear), but at least our disagreement is a matter of opinion. — kwami (talk) 22:03, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
  • The status of Makemake and Haumea is supported by overwhelming scientific consensus (see above). There is not a single publication that disputes their status. This observation answers the question: Makemake and Haumea are dwarf planets and should be reported as such. Points of view held by a small minority (if they exist at all) should not be included (see WP:UNDUE). Ruslik_Zero 10:59, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Sheppard et al is a publication that disputes their status. It says that they are "likely" to be DPs, as are Sedna, Quaoar, OR10, and Orcus. I've never said that anyone thinks they aren't DPs, just that they are not certain to the extent that Ceres, Eris, and Pluto are. — kwami (talk) 03:18, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
They dispute nothing. And you have still failed to answer the question: Why one vague sentence in a single publication should be considered as a significant point of view? Ruslik_Zero 07:23, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I was repeating your wording. You were the one to use "dispute" as the antonym of "support". If you would prefer a milder wording, such as "do not support", fine by me. Per Sheppard et al., the other three are "bonafide", these two are not. They "do not support" them as DPs.
The sentence is not vague. You could only take it to be vague because you needed it to be. You could only take it to be vague by a standard that would see the IAU acceptance as vague.
As for why we should accept a single publication, because Sheppard is preeminent in his field. I do not think we should take it as representative, it clearly is not. Most everyone accepts them as DPs. We should say that. There are exceptions. We should say that too. — kwami (talk) 08:27, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
So, you are arguing that Sheppard is so preeminent in his field that we should make an exception for him from our NPOV policy and treat his lack of support for calling Haumean a dwarf planet expressed in one sentence buried in the middle of a long paper on a completely different subject as a significant point of view worthy of inclusion in the first paragraph in the lead!? And this should be balanced against another article where he is a coauthor and where he has nothing against about calling the same body a dwarf planet! I also doubt that Sheppard is so preeminent, well known, possibly, but not preeminent. He is too young at 36 for this. In future may be, but not now. However, the most important is that NPOV policy does not allow any exceptions based on preeminence of scientists. What is only important is the "view point prevalence in the reliable sources". You so far found only one sentence from a large body of literature which expresses a lack of support for Haumea as dwarf planet but still does not dispute it. So "If a viewpoint is held by an extremely small (or vastly limited) minority, it does not belong in Wikipedia regardless of whether it is true or not and regardless of whether you can prove it or not, except perhaps in some ancillary article." So, there is nothing to discuss further. Ruslik_Zero 10:03, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Your first point is valid. That's why I said this was an argument of NPOV and WEIGHT, with this being the WEIGHT issue.

Your second point, however, misses. We do allow for the preeminence of scientists. That's what our whole WP:RS policy is about: We consider not just how many sources there are, but how reliable they are. We do not allow blogs as sources, except when it is written by an expert in the field. Similarly, we do not accept even formally published material as a RS when it falls outside the author's field of expertise.

Now, this one source may not be sufficient per WEIGHT. That is a legitimate matter of opinion for us to discuss. Remember though that Sheppard is not the only author of the article. The full list is Scott Sheppard, Andrzej Udalski, Chad Trujillo, Marcin Kubiak, Grzegorz Pietrzynski, Radoslaw Poleski, Igor Soszynski, Michal Szyma, and Krzysztof Ulaczyk. I don't know how preeminent they all are, but I do know that Trujillo has some first-hand knowledge with several of these bodies.

Anyway, our discourse seems to have gotten more respectful. I hope that continues. — kwami (talk) 10:30, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Blogs of experts are allowed but not required to be used. And they should not if the expert has COI. Preeminence of scientists only matters in case of self-published sources, not in case of the peer reviewed publication as in this case.
Actually I has always known that Sheppard is not the sole author. It is you who pushed this particular POV calling this "an opinion of Sheppard, preeminent astronomer". By the way Trujilio is only a few years older. Ruslik_Zero 11:35, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Then blogs would never be allowed. Experts always have a potential COI, because they wish to show that their research is correct. That's why when we quote a blog, we say "according to X" or "some experts believe Y". And in referring to Brown's blog, we should do the same: "According to Brown, wxyz are also DPs" or "Brown also accepts wxyz as DPs". I've never said we should say they are DPs without qualification, only that Brown is a RS and that his opinion should therefore be presented without us taking sides, as required by WP:NPOV.
I referred primarily to Sheppard because he's the first named author, and he's also the best known. He's helped discover half the known moons in the Solar system, generally as the first-named author. And what is this about age limits for accepting sources? Where did that come from? Please show me where the author's age is a consideration in our policies or guidelines. — kwami (talk) 12:00, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

The other four