Talk:Jupiter trojan

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Trojan asteroid vs. Jupiter trojan[edit]

Aren't there trojan asteroids of other planets? So that this article should be called "Jupiter trojans" and the article "trojan asteroids" refer to any trojans? It's misleading, because another article about Neptune trojans links here.Roger 08:09, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Trojan asteroid by itself refers to Jupiter-related objects. I added some text about this.--agr 12:41, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

There is no L2 camp then? I assume the L1 camp is composed of objects actually inside the main belt and as such is not distinct...--ChrisJMoor 23:03, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Can I take it by the lack of activity in this section that "everybody knows" that L1, L2 and L3 are not stable points for asteroids to be located? Peter Jedicke (talk) 09:51, 23 April 2015 (UTC)


Aren't there now estimated to be as many Trojans as there are Main Belt asteroids? The numbers in this article seem to be quite dated. kwami (talk) 19:16, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

There's nowhere near as many Trojans as MBAs. Peter Jedicke (talk) 09:53, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Unclarity in Lead[edit]

What is meant with "...each Trojan orbits one or other of the two Lagrangian points of stability..." can this be reworded to "... each Trojan orbits one or other of the two Lagrangian points of stability..." or does this change the meaning? ErikvDijk (talk) 18:03, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

This article's due for a root-and-branch rewrite soon, so I'll deal with it then. Serendipodous 18:06, 11 November 2008 (UTC)


Nergaal (talk) 02:34, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Guys, I don't plan on being in the nomination statement... but I'll be present here, doing cleanup. Please, please, please, don't use double cites. It's just messy, and its easier to keep it simple. Also, if really necessary, please order them correctly [1]... Ceran 14:50, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

55 degree inclination[edit]

(83983) 2002 GE39 (L4; with a well determined orbit) has an inclination of 55 degrees. Jupiter_Trojan#Population and Morbidelli2005 seem to suggest inclinations only up to 40 degrees. -- Kheider (talk) 08:23, 19 January 2009 (UTC)


I think the greatest possibility for expanding this article comes from elaborating on the Trojans' orbital dynamics. Right now only one small paragraph deals with the Trojans' orbital dynamics, although their orbits are arguably the most important thing about them. Serendipodous 14:49, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

Some information is in ref 5 (Marzari), but not very much. Ruslik (talk) 15:28, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

L1, L2 & L3?[edit]

What is known about them? Nergaal (talk) 05:22, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

They are unstable and do not contain any objects. Ruslik (talk) 07:24, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

Disparity re: L4/L5[edit]

Brought over from the FA disussion:

My one issue is regarding the statement about, "this disparity is probably due to observational bias from their respective positions relative to the Milky Way." Intuitively I'd expect the Lagrange points to spend equal amounts of time along the line of sight to the galactic plane, so this leaves me a little perplexed. —RJH (talk) 20:27, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

This is what the source says:

Given that the best characterized (brightest) Trojans show the smallest deviations of N4/N5 from unity, it is reasonable to suppose that the larger values of this ratio are produced by observational bias in favor of one cloud over the other. Such a bias could result from unequal observational coverage of the L4 and L5 clouds, perhaps due to their placement with respect to the Milky Way, making the detection of faint Trojans more difficult in one cloud than in the other. A careful experiment to determine N4/N5 free of the effects of observational bias has yet to be reported and is urgently needed.

I can't go into any more detail than that. Serendipodous 20:44, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

Indeed, that is a perplexing statement, but if Jewitt claims as much, it is probably true. The only guess I can make is that the limiting survey(s) were arranged in time such that this is the case (e. g. if the survey that determines the limit was January 23rd 1995 - February 17th, 1995, the backgrounds would definitely be different). WilyD 21:26, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
A Google search turned up Freistetter (2006) which (to me anyway) appears to indicate there may be more to the discrepancy than observational bias. But I don't have full access to this paper; just the abstract. Thanks.—RJH (talk) 19:12, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
I removed the statement about Milky Way and replaced with the statement that L4 swarm may be more stable than L5. Ruslik (talk) 14:13, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
I am not sure this is really the right approach. Jewitt may well be the authority on minor planets these days, ignoring his statement seems like a misstep. WilyD 14:23, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
Apparently this claim about the Milky Way background originates with Shoemaker '89 (so sayeth Freistetter), Freistetter then claims that this should've been resolveable by now, and Freistetter definitely isn't claiming his answer is correct. He lists 5 different possible causes, three of which he doesn't investigate at all. It seems like a mistake to change this in this way. WilyD 14:26, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
frankuitaalst over at Gravity Simulator has tried to force Saturn trojans and the leading trojans seem to be more stable. Neptune only has leading trojans (L4) known.-- Kheider (talk) 22:00, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Metric/imperial conversions[edit]

Is there any reason why this article only uses metric values (e.g. 1km, 2.5 g·cm−3)? See MOS:CONVERSIONS —  Tivedshambo  (t/c) 14:59, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

  • Per WP:UNITS, "In scientific articles, use the units employed in the current scientific literature on that topic." Astronomy articles normally use scientific units only, except in a few special cases.—RJH (talk) 16:11, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
I have noticed that once conversions start getting used in a article there is a strong tendency for someone to come along and convert everything which actually results in the the article being more difficult to follow. Metric is the world standard. -- Kheider (talk) 17:05, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Reference #4[edit]

Reference #4 ("Jupiter’s Outer Satellites and Trojans") is a broken link. I didn't want to tag it as such because the article is featured today. SnottyWong talk 19:21, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

I found a source, but I don't know where it goes. TbhotchTalk C. 19:43, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Replaced. Ruslik_Zero 19:26, 28 May 2010 (UTC)


This page is largely duplicate with Trojan (astronomy). Which title would be the preferable one, where they should be merged? I'd incline slightly towards Trojan asteroid, but it seems that either would be acceptable. -GTBacchus(talk) 02:03, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

This one is about the asteroids in Trojan orbits relative to Jupiter, the other is about objects in Trojan orbits in general. I don't think any merging is called for. Zocky | picture popups 02:04, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

I second Zocky. Trojan is a general term, while this article is about the trojans of Jupiter. It should maybe be moved though. Harald Khan 13:12, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

I third the opposition of the merge. Generic trojans are different from the specific ones in Jupiter's orbit (after which they are named). Bluap (talk) 15:33, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
I forth the opposition to merge, but the name should be changed to "Jovian Trojan asteroid". I accessed this page from the "mars" article to learn about a Martian Trojan asteroid, but only read a description of Jovian Trojan asteroids, with reference to others, called "Trojans". Given that "asteroid" is a general term and "Trojan" is a general term, combining them to restrict both definitions to Jupiter is confusing and would require the link from the "mars" article to be changed. Besh (talk) 02:52, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
I fifth the opposition to merge. ⁂†Poison the Well†⁂ (talk) 23:14, 2 April 2008 (UTC)


...Indeed, and as the term is now generic, the article should be moved to Jupiter trojan (lower case "t"). Rothorpe (talk) 00:34, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

You should not have done this without discussion. "Trojan" is a proper noun, like "Londoner" or "Berliner" and should always be capitalised, regardless of context. Serendipodous 00:51, 8 October 2010 (UTC)
I left a note in the history on 4 September, so it could have been reverted, but no-one did so. As for the discussion, here it is, on this page, in three places already.
I think it bears exact comparison with Moon and moon, actually. Rothorpe (talk) 01:57, 8 October 2010 (UTC)
"Trojan" is a proper noun independent of the object; A Trojan is someone from Troy, just as a Londoner is someone from London. Berliner doughnuts and Berliner-style newspapers are always capitalised, even though they don't refer to Berliners. Every scientific article on Trojans capitalises the term. Serendipodous 03:46, 8 October 2010 (UTC)


Should Trojan asteroid by capitalized as it is? Or is trojan asteroid proper? Is it different if you're discussing Jupiter Trojans and trojan asteroids of other planets?

Whatever the answer, this article and all related articles should be consistent in capitalization, which they're not. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Hamiltondaniel (talkcontribs) 05:50, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

I agree. Every scientific paper on the subject capitalises "Trojan". The page was decapitalised for some reason, so I changed it back. (BTW, new additions to the discussion page go to the bottom, not the top) Serendipodous 08:02, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
"Trojan asteroid" is capitalized. But as a generic term, "trojan" is not. (I.e. "trojan moon", a moon in L4 or L5 position, as opposed to "Trojan moon", a moon of a Trojan asteroid.) The old name of the article was "Trojan asteroid", but when we moved to "Jupiter trojan", we shifted to the generic form. Since all Trojans are Jupiter trojans, capitalizing the latter is tautologous. kwami (talk) 17:40, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
Mars trojans were discovered in the 1990s. (talk) 11:59, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
Nearly every scholarly article that mentions the Neptune Trojans capitalises "Trojan", as does every article on "Mars Trojans", so I think we can conclude that "Trojan" is always capitalised. Serendipodous 10:18, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
If we're voting, and we're not, I'd vote for capitalized "Trojan".
In fact, the issue may be already decided vis-a-vis Wikipedia:

Kortoso (talk) 18:05, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

Observational history[edit]

The beginning is grossly in error : "In 1772, Italian-born mathematician Joseph-Louis Lagrange, in studying the restricted three-body problem, predicted that a small body sharing an orbit with a planet but lying 60° ahead or behind it will be trapped near these points.[2] The trapped body will librate slowly around the point of equilibrium in a tadpole or horseshoe orbit.[8]".

Lagrange was not studying the restricted case; his paths were not restricted to circles, and he did not require one body to be small. Those who write in encyclopediae should refer to the original material. He did not predict, and did not expect, actual occurences. He did not mention, within the relevant two chapters, any specific celestial body. Only if a sun has infinite mass does a body at L4/L5 accurately share a planet's orbit - but L4/5 + primary + secondary do form an exact equilateral triangle. Lagrange wrote nothing on stability; he simply identified two constant-pattern configurations.

A tadpole orbit is just a large Trojan orbit, and not otherwise special. A horseshoe orbit is another kettle of fish; it crosses the line L3 to L2. (talk) 13:37, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

But the source [2] says otherwise. Ruslik_Zero 15:56, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
Then the source is wrong, and should not be cited. The authority on what Lagrange published is the "Œuvres de Lagrange", and his only relevant material is Chapters I & II of his Essai sur le Problème des Trois Corps (best seen at pp.229-332, PDF pix, 4.79MB); read it. An English HTML translation is at Source [2] is wrong on page 1 para 2 sentence 1, also page 4 sentence 1. Lagrange was smarter than is commonly realised. By the way, Chapter II was rather an aside - Lagrange's target was a Prize for "Theory of the Moon", and does not quite predict the Lagrange Points. (talk) 11:56, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
Actually, that first paragraph largely does not belong here; it deals with Lagrange and Trojans, with no particular reference to Jupiter. I know of no evidence for the Points being known as "Lagrange Points" before the discovery of asteroids there, though it is possible. Lagrange did not hypothesise (except that his configurations would not be found in practice). In 1772, Italian-born mathematician Joseph-Louis Lagrange discovered the two constant-pattern solutions of the "General Three-Body Problem". However, no instances were observed until more than a century later; asteroids around Jupiter were the first to be discovered.[1] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:16, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Not moved. → Call me Hahc21 03:06, 13 March 2014 (UTC)

Jupiter TrojanJupiter trojan – As used throughout the article, and consistent with usage of the astronomical term "trojan" throughout Wikipedia. Rothorpe (talk) 20:50, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

Support; "trojan" is a common noun and should not be capitalized, just like "asteroid" or "centaur". --JorisvS (talk) 21:50, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment "Trojan" is a proper noun, representing the Trojan point asteroids of Jupiter, and from which the generic term "trojan"/"trojan point" is derived. Same as with Apollo and Aten asteroids, Trojan is a proper noun; only in the context of Jupiter (but not with Saturn, or anywhere else) -- (talk) 06:08, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
    Wrong, a proper noun is something like "Europe", "New York", or "John". The grammatical articles cannot be used with proper nouns. However, with "trojan", articles are often necessary: e.g. "a trojan". Common nouns (and adjectives) that are semantically derived from a proper noun are also capitalized (e.g. "European"), but not when they are only etymologically (and not semantically) related. The word "trojan" falls in this latter category. "Apollo asteroids" and "Aten asteroids" are common nouns, too, but these take their names directly from the asteroids 1862 Apollo and 2062 Aten, and therefore keep their uppercase letters. --JorisvS (talk) 07:58, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
    "Trojan" comes from the demonym and adjective for Troy, and in regards to this particular set of asteroids, comes from the group naming of the asteroids as characters from the Trojan War, the two Trojan points being named for Greek and Trojan persons respectively. Thus the Jupiter Trojan asteroids should be capitalized "Trojan". -- (talk) 01:19, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
    Jupiter, it is true, has Greek asteroids and Trojan asteroids—but they're all trojans. Rothorpe (talk) 01:50, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
    @anon, that is etymology, not semantics. And as Rothorpe has pointed out, there is properly even a distinction in meaning: "Trojan asteroids" are trojans in Jupiter's Trojan camp. --JorisvS (talk) 08:51, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Move everything to capitalized Trojan I originally thought I would support the move request to lowercase 'trojan', but it seems the astronomy community capitalizes Trojan everywhere. A search of 'trojan -horse' in the ADSABS database yields 3 trojan vs 197 Trojan [first 200 results]. The discrepancy is too big to be entirely accounted for by title case vs sentence case for article titles. Searching the abstracts themselves yielded 17 hits for 'trojan', spread over a very small number of articles, vs 911 'Trojan'. Uncapitalized clearly is the minority case and Wikipedia should reflect this. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 02:05, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
    Professional astronomers have more important things to worry about than where to use capital letters on their websites. But we should be setting a precise example for all the students who consult here. Where the word is being used generically, a capital is inappropriate. Rothorpe (talk) 02:40, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
    Headbomb is referring to scientific journals - formal, professionally edited publications - not personal websites. Modest Genius talk 12:49, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
    So was I. Rothorpe (talk) 13:37, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
    Clearly not, unless you live in a different universe than ours. I just demonstrated that professional practice in scientific journals is roughly 98% Trojan and 2% trojan. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 14:17, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
    For "on their websites" read "in their scientific journals". My point remains. Rothorpe (talk) 15:11, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Capitalise Trojan for Jupiter, trojan for other planets. Headbomb makes a convincing case for usage with Jupiter. Logically this should follow the same pattern as Galaxy/galaxy, Universe/universe etc., with the capitalised version referring to the prototype system and the un-capitalised version used for analogous other systems. Modest Genius talk 12:49, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
    Why the inconsistency? I don't see the analogy with Galaxy/galaxy or Universe/universe, we're not talking about 'trojan', but 'Jupiter trojan' here. --JorisvS (talk) 12:54, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
    These results lists capitalized Trojan for all other planets too. Neptune Trojan, Uranian Trojan, etc... [e.g.] I don't see the case to make these lowercase. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 12:55, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
I lost this battle ages ago, but I may as well restate my case: "Trojan" is a proper noun- irrespective of what it is identifying. It is a proper noun the way New Yorker or Berliner is a proper noun. If Trojans were called New Yorkers we wouldn't be having this conversation. Serendipodous 13:22, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
It disconcerts because of its proper noun origin, Trojans from Troy. No-one is asking for "co-orbital" to be capitalised, and "trojan" is a sub-class of that. Rothorpe (talk) 13:53, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
Serendipodous is right here. Grammatically, it takes a capital, just like New Yorker, Canadian, Haligonian, etc... In practice, everyone writes it with a capital. Ipso facto, we should write it with a capital T. There is no case for writing it with a lowercase t.Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 14:14, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
I'm suggesting we rename this article to conform with all the others. Now you want to rename all the others. Not to mention changing usage throughout this article and the others. Rothorpe (talk) 15:24, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
It was done once before, why not again? Serendipodous 15:52, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
It's not a proper noun, and it's not "grammatically" capitalized, because capitalization is part of orthography, not grammar. But the argument about it being a proper noun is irrelevant, because English nouns are not capitalized because they're proper. Commonly but mistakenly, capitalized nouns are called proper nouns, so arguing that it should be capitalized because it's a proper noun is nothing more than saying it should be capitalized because it's capitalized. All of this is irrelevant as to whether it *should* be capitalized. English orthographic conventions are slowly dropping the capitals from common nouns derived from proper nouns, such as "Trojan", and sometimes we get "Galaxy/galaxy" situations. The question for us here is whether there's such a distinction for trojan, and whether decapitalization has proceeded far enough for us to take advantage of it. — kwami (talk) 15:57, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
Clearly, Wikipedians have decided that it has; the title of this article is the sole exception. Rothorpe (talk) 21:35, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

Actually it was mostly one Wikipedian. I don't think there was consensus at the time. Serendipodous 22:04, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

  • Oppose as per the sources Red Slash 03:59, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
    This is not an issue of a common term vs. uncommon term. It's the same term, only differently formatted. --JorisvS (talk) 11:38, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose as it is a proper name, sorry. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 08:33, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
    It is not proper noun, but a common noun. Click on those links and read a bit. --JorisvS (talk) 10:58, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Prefer Jupiter's trojan asteroids. (NB. standard exception to WP:PLURAL, article on a group of specific things). No special capitalisation. Trojan asteroids, trojoan satelites, trojan regions, etc, are not proper nouns and are not proper names. "Jupiter" is required because there are other trojans for other systems (whether in fact or conceptually). That astronomers capitalise Trojans is not binding. "Trojan" in astronomy has become a mere adjective. It is only a weak allusion to people from Troy; being a trojan satelite is a generic descriptive quality, unlike the "Galilean moons" that are exclusively defined and personally tied to the person Galileo Galilei. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 02:33, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
By that logic, when I go to a Canadian Tim Horton's, I should order a boston cream donut, since it's not actually from Boston. Trojan asteroids are exclusively defined and 'personally tied' to the Trojan camps / Trojan points, named so by analogy with the Trojan horse, from the legendary Siege of Troy. If astronomers throughout the world uses Trojans, so should Wikipedia. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 13:27, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
Maybe you are right. I'm not finding much "trojan virus" compared to "Trojan virus". Still prefer the longer Jupiter's Trojan asteroids, in the interests of wide recognizability. Still concise. They are all asteroids, and nothing but asteroids (I understand), and the Trojan asteroid concept is not necessarily tied to Jupiter. "asteroid" is needed to ensure that readers are going to something modern and astronomical. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:54, 12 March 2014 (UTC). In short, that makes me an oppose for the current proposal. All "Trojan"s should be capitalized. --

Everyone who thinks it is sensible to blindly follow the sources, consider this: Going through the first ten pages on Google Scholar when searching for 'plutino -author:plutino' (the latter to avoid finding many page written by people named "Plutino") shows that some 68% of the relevant articles write "Plutino" (40 vs. 18 and 1 inconsistent) in the middle of a sentence. For "centaur" it is even far more extreme: when searching for 'centaur object' (the latter to ensure finding relevant pages) 93% of the relevant articles write "Centaur" (90 vs. 1 and 6 inconsistent) in the middle of a sentence. And "centaur" is not even etymologically related to a proper noun, but instead to mythological beings, whose term itself is not capitalized. --JorisvS (talk) 08:22, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

But I think the case is made that Trojan is not like asteroid, centaur, or human. It is used as something associated with the city of Troy. It is like Roman. The R in "Roman numerals" is always capitalized. Ancient Roman deities. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 09:51, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
And my point was that despite that difference, "centaur" and "plutino" are more often capitalized in sources than not, like "Trojan". And so anyone who considers it important what the sources do in this respect (so not you) has no good reason for his/her opinion.
That said, the trojans are still only very vaguely connected to Troy, unlike, for example, Roman dieties, which are quite strongly connected to Ancient Rome. --JorisvS (talk) 11:00, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, that's what I was thinking too. Trojan asteroids are very tenuously connected to a city. But it seems that all that matters is that they are named after something with a proper name. So centaurs are uncapitalized. Plutinos should be capitalized, because Pluto is a proper name. As Trojans are named after Troy, and Trojan is predominantly capitalized, there is no strong case for us to not do so. Centaur should not be capitalized. I see that Centaur (minor planet) doesn't capitalize mid-sentence. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 11:28, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
"Plutoid" isn't capitalized, even by the IAU, despite being named after Pluto. "September" is capitalized despite not being derived from a proper noun. These things are variable. — kwami (talk) 20:01, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
I made this suggestion because I think Wikipedia should continue to set its own standards in matters of visual style. So we have Jupiter’s Greek and Trojan asteroids at different Lagrangian points. But they are all trojan asteroids, or trojans, as oral usage has it. In writing we can, and should, make this distinction visible. It’s no accident that plutinos, as well as trojans, are routinely lowercased in Wikipedia, as plutino is also a common noun, regardless of etymology. And don’t forget martial arts, jovial aunts, saturnine nephews, plutonium and mercury – all routinely lowercased, so nothing new here. Rothorpe (talk) 19:22, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.
  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference Nicholson1961 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).