Talk:List of minor planets and comets visited by spacecraft

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Other minor planets and comets[edit]

I propose to add the few non-asteroid minor planets that are relevant (Pluto and 1999 TC36, from the top of my head) to this list. I think it would then also make sense to include the relevant comets, making it a list of all minor bodies in the Solar System that have been, are scheduled/proposed to be, or were once proposed to be visited by spacecraft. --JorisvS (talk) 09:43, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

I take it then that there are no objections? --JorisvS (talk) 21:12, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
No objection from me — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:18, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
Oh boy do I object! I object I I object I object I object!! Pluto is NOT an asteroid. Nor is it a minor body. It is a world in it's own right and has somewhat like five moons. An entire system. When New Horizons was launched, it was considered the ninth planet. Had it been considered a mere "asteroid" it wouldn't have gotten the funding. I have deleted it.!!!!
We could make this a list of small Solar System bodies visited by spacecraft, which seems a more logical organization one of 'asteroids'. --JorisvS (talk) 14:03, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Note that Pluto is a minor planet: all dwarf planets and small Solar System bodies that are not comets are minor planets. But it is indeed not an asteroid.
Pluto and Ceres will be the only dwarf planets visited by a spacecraft for a long time. Moreover, Vesta and Ceres kind of belong together because Dawn is a mission to both. Therefore, it does not make much sense not to mention the dwarf planets that will be visited by spacecraft on a list page of all visited small Solar System bodies. --JorisvS (talk) 17:23, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
I have gone ahead and merged the various lists that belonged together. --JorisvS (talk) 17:53, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Flyby AND orbit for Shomaker?[edit]

Isn't it redundant to add the flyby of Eros by NEAR Shoemaker since it also orbited? Orbit + landing, yeah, they are two different things. But since the orbit is mentioned, anyone can easily deduce that NEAR came close to the piece of rock.


Pluto, however you describe it, is NOT, I repeat, is NOT, an asteroid!!!!! Ericl (talk) 13:56, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Ask for consensus, should Pluto be disrespected?[edit]

Please note that the "minor planet" number is WRONG, as it was discovered in 1930, second, also note, that it's far larger than all the other "minor planets" to be visited by a factor of three. Also, the article for Pluto, doesn't mention the number in the title, not now, nor has it ever. It is the consensus of the Wikipedia community that it shouldn't be referred to with the number or else it would have had it added to the title long ago.

So should we: 1)leave it as I have designated it, with the number in a footnote

2)remove it all together, as it's designation is still controversial, or

3)disrespect it and all it's fans by putting it at the bottom of the list where it's considered tiny and unimportant.

I myself go for number two. Remember the only place where Pluto was designated with a number was in this article, and it was just added this afternoon. Ericl (talk) 00:59, 11 July 2015 (UTC)

Ericl, I'm afraid you couldn't be more wrong about the designations. In case you didn't follow the link in the table's footer (the one you were tempering with) I'll post it here: Minor_planet_designation#History. To me, the only disrespectful thing I came across so far is the way you messed up the article's appearance. Com'on it's no big deal, the table is sortable, you know. Just click twice on "Dimensions in km" and Pluto will be at the top of the list. Hope you find peace... -- Rfassbind -talk 01:22, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
Ericl, your edit makes no sense whatsoever. The list is ordered by minor-planet number (not by relevance), which is 134340 for Pluto because it was not considered a minor planet until 2006. Its classification is really only controversial for those who do not understand its place in the Solar System (even people like Stern recognize the difference between Pluto and the major eight, he just likes to call all round things 'planets', not just the major eight). Fans are irrelevant in lists like these, it is not like they are ordered by number of fans or something. --JorisvS (talk) 08:34, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
Actually, it's still very controversial. The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics said so last autumn, and the change in designation by the the International Astronomical Union was done in an underhanded manner, with vote after he end of the main conference after most of the attendees had left. It was shameful. Also, why is this this the only article where Pluto has the number? As to it being different from the "major eight", what about Mercury? it's the size of a moon (the eleventh largest body in the Solar System, not the eighth), and only is about a hundred KM larger than Callisto. If you're going to go for consensus and consistency, then move the main Pluto article to 134340 Pluto (dwarf Planet). If not, remove the thing from this article completely.Ericl (talk) 12:12, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
So there is still public debate and someone (a historian, not an astronomer) who prefers a cultural (i.e. arbitrary) definition for the word 'planet'. Those people do not understand the structure of the Solar System and what those terms mean. Likewise, your remark about Mercury shows a total lack of understanding of what it means for an object to be a planet or dwarf planet. It is not about size, and certainly not about them needing to be larger than moons (Earth-sized moons are possible, but that simply means nothing about Earth not being a planet). Rather, planets dominate their orbital zones, whereas dwarf planets do not. Planets hence have no significant bodies in or near their orbits, or have them in resonance with them. Dwarf planets, on the other hand, share their orbits with many objects that are comparable in size. Orbital dominance is a function of not just mass, but also of orbital period. In the Kuiper belt, Pluto is not sufficiently massive to be dominant, but if were to orbit in Mercury's orbit, it would (though just barely). --JorisvS (talk) 15:08, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
Dear Ericl, I appreciate your conviction you display on this talk page. However, please bear in mind, that your sensed disrespect concerning Pluto turns into disrespecting astronomy conventions (see JorisvS above), wikipedia conventions (see WP:AT), and last but not least, your fellow wikipedian editors (see this revert). Please always seek consensus first on this topic and make sure your edits do not disrupt the articles source code. Thank you. -- Rfassbind -talk 15:24, 11 July 2015 (UTC)