Talk:Trans-Neptunian object

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early discussion[edit]

Is "Kuiper Belt Object" the term in use rather than "Trans-Neptunian object"? See:

according to the newest object is in the Kuiper belt,(between 30 AU and 50 AU form our sun). The long peroid Comets are thought to originate further out (between 50 and 100 AU) in what has been called the Oort Cloud.

A term coming into favor with the Minor Planet Center is Distant Minor Planets. I'd suggest having that added into the hierarchy, as it includes both Centaurs and Kuiper Belt Objects, and BKBO's (beyond Kuiper Belt objects).... Trans-neptunian object is really a division that shouldn't be so "primary", as it would not include by definition any object with q<q_Neptune, Neptunian trojans, and the centaurs... where dynamically those and the Plutinos are rather tied to Neptune... Perhaps an article titled Distant minor planet would be a good addition?--Sturmde 15:32, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

Current speculation in the astronomical community due to the gravitational disturbances of the planets suggest that there may be a larger planet...

How mainstream are these speculations? Last I heard, the perturbations of the outer planets were essentially accounted for, and the only speculated extra body was Nemesis, taken more seriously by biologists than by astronomers.

Main text has had the offending verbage removed See Planet X information. -- Mike Dill

Added "most" to description of orbit beyond Neptune's, since plutinos like Pluto's orbits can be inside Neptune's.

Do we really need to mention the controversy about Pluto being a planet? As far as I know, the IAU has said that for now, Pluto is a planet and that's that. shaggy 05:30, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

2003 EL61[edit]

I created an article for 2003 EL61. However, the official designation is 2003 EL61. How can I edit the title of my article from 2003 EL61 to 2003 EL61?

Use Unicode in the title. The subscripts are 0x2080 through 0x2089: « ₀ ₁ ₂ ₃ ₄ ₅ ₆ ₇ ₈ ₉ ».
Urhixidur 16:39, 2005 July 29 (UTC)

Charon, a TNO?[edit]

There's a little inconsistency in the definition of TNO and/or in the classification of Charon as one. I mean: if a TNO is an object that orbits the sun, then Charon isn't one, since it orbits Pluto.

Satellites of TNOs are also trans-Neptunian objects.--Jyril 11:00, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
Charon does orbit the sun, just as Pluto does. The fact that they also orbit each other does not change this.--Roentgenium111 (talk) 20:07, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
With the recent (May) change of 'minor planet' to 'object' in the definition, this makes Charon a TNO, the 2nd to be discovered. Thus QB1, introduced as the second, needs a qualifier, 'independent' or such-like, to indicate that it orbits the Sun directly, unlike Charon. Rothorpe (talk) 01:30, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
As discussed below in 2010, this change leads to most comets being TNOs, which is not a standard usage of the word AFAIK. Therefore I'll revert to "minor planet", also removing the Charon conundrum. (If there's evidence that Charon is considered a TNO as well, we'd need to use the more wordy "minor planet or moon" or "non-comet" instead.) --Roentgenium111 (talk) 19:35, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

List of Notable TNOs[edit]

I added 2004 XR190 to the list. Large size, extreme inclination, and an unusally circular orbit for a SDO make it a very important discovery.

Let's not get caught up in the amount of controversy surrounding pluto's classification of "planet". Let's just acknowledge that there is controversy, and then send the reader somewhere with more signifigant information. shaggy 22:29, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

Fully agree. Let’s strive to have coherent and up to date entries on the subject, far from the cheap is Pluto a planet and which one is bigger headlines. With luck (and some albedos lower than the conservative assumptions) people (or computerised surveys) will find a dozen bodies bigger than Pluto in the next few years. Pluto could become like Vesta, the first (or even the only) name coming to mind of many people when asked about a category of bodies. Eurocommuter 18:22, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

First Scattered Disk Object[edit]

Browsing through the list [1] of SDOs at the minor planet center (like you do ...), it seems that a couple of them were discovered before (15874) 1996 TL66, which is given in a variety of articles as the first Scattered Disk Object. What a pain!

I think that good old TL66 was the first recognized SDO (there are a couple of papers on it, etc.), while the other ones were discovered earlier but only recognized as SDOs later on. In order of discovery they are (48639) 1995 TL8 (October 15, 1995), 1996 AS20, (26181) 1996 GQ21, and then (15784) 1996 TL66 (October 9, 1996). Not sure what to do about this... I will try to put TL8 in a few places as the "earliest discovered SDO" (a year earlier) along with TL66 as the "first SDO recognized".

By the way, another place where the above bodies appear as SDOs is [2] Deuar 20:30, 7 February 2006 (UTC)


The formatting on the footers is strange. There's an extra space that I can't seem to eliminate. I can't figure out if this is a problem with the templates or inside of this article. Is there a way to fix this? shaggy 18:29, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

You've got a real keen eye to spot that! Well, after a few false-starts, it appears to be fixed. Deuar 19:27, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
looks great! thanks! shaggy 23:35, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

The objects between Neptune and Pluto[edit]

I would appreciate your opinion on how to represent on my diagrams (TNO, Kuiper Belt, centaurs, cubewanos etc) the category of objects with aNeptune < a < aPluto e.g. 2004 TY364. The problem, originally spotted by User:Deuar, is that they do not fit easily into any of the categories without creating confusion.

  • They are listed as centaurs by MPCORB but not as such by the current Circular and in contradiction with the IAU definition here. Showing them on the centaurs' diagram was misleading and I’ve fixed it (see Talk:Centaur_(planetoid). The original diagram can be found on my page(the thumb labeled Centaurs).
  • The objects are trans-Neptunian by the same IAU definition.
  • They are members of the Kuiper belt(?) (please quote refs)
  • Some could be considered as classical (i.e. may have a long-term stable orbits outside major Neptune’s perturbations) but calling classical the ones closer to Neptune would be misleading IMHO
  • Some of the objects e.g. 2004 TY364 are on well-known orbits, so they are unlikely to be re-classified as plutinos in the future. Greying them out, for example, as unclassified would be misleading.
  • The class seems to be somehow forgotten in all the major sources quoted in our articles. (I will greatly appreciate if someone provides me with other reference-level sources).

Thanks. Eurocommuter 11:00, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Sizes/albedos in the table; NPOV[edit]

I’ve noticed that some entries in the table have been updated (e.g. Ixion) with Spitzer results cited abstract. Could someone indicate if this paper was published and where? I’m far from doubting Spitzer results in any way, of course, but in some cases they ‘halve’ the objects and appear at odds with (published) papers (including by some of the co-authors). Depending whether these data have been published (in a peer-reviewed journal), we need to modify the articles about specific objects. ‘Updating’ the values in the table here without mentioning these results in the articles could be confusing for an honest reader finding very different results in the articles. BTW, these results touch not only Ixion but also divide Varuna’s diameter by 2 and Varuna’s entry in the table remained untouched. Any information on the publication of these data greatly appreciated. Thank you Eurocommuter 14:38, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

I guess these values have not been published anywhere yet. Concerning Ixion, an albedo of 0.23 is mentioned in this preprint (page 2, Ixion section; source is private communication) which would indicate a diameter of ~620 km. Pre-Spitzer values of the list come probably from this preprint. Note it has some very crude values, like ≤ 1211 km for (84522) 2002 TC302 (H = 3.9) which makes them somewhat questionable. On the other hand, those values are probably from refereed sources.--Jyril 22:56, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, Jyril. The same ‘private communication’ prompted my curiosity and this entry in the first place (it’s a small www!). We have even more confusing situation if you compare with the KBO list (e.g. Varuna there and here). Worse; some magnitudes (and/or albedos) could be visual some in red; as the result some entries ‘does not add up’ (on a log scale :). E.g. the entry for Charon seems to defy the formula. I believe we need to clean up and in some cases with substantial disparities (to be noted in the articles on the specific objects as well) to introduce double entries in the tables (e.g. 2003 UB313). Eurocommuter 09:40, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
The TNO diameters seem to have quite a lot of discrepancy. I wonder should we included different measurements on the table, or use only one measurement per object? The original list was sorted by size, which was very misleading since many of the diameters were obviously upper bounds only.--Jyril 05:46, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
Yes, the absolute magnitudes are the only ordering making sense I believe. If I find some time this week I’ll plot a diagram with the biggest objects (D/H space with constant albedo lines) and error bars or similar markers for major results. It could show separately different measurements in a few cases. With the backing of such a diagram, the table could unload the details and keep a single range, or - in a few publicized cases (e.g. 2003UB313) - multiple rows with different measures. See a poor draft. Eurocommuter 09:09, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

farthest known object[edit]

The page says: Currently lying at 97 AU away, the celestial body designated 2003 UB313 is the farthest known object in the solar system aren't Sedna and (87269) 2000 OO67 more distant?

  • Sedna has a highly elliptical orbit, with its aphelion estimated at 975 AU and its perihelion at about 76.16 AU. --Pedro 12:54, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
Question is, where are these guys on their respective orbits now? Deuar 20:43, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
Sedna at 88.7AU, and 2000 OO67 at 20.8AU(!)Eurocommuter 21:27, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
I suppose technically, Voyager 1, which was 97.3 AU away last November is the "furthest known object in the solar system", though it's on a hyperbolic trajectory, which brings up the issue of what counts as "in the solar system." siafu 22:19, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
I have to say that is just inherently cool. As for the definition, i don't know... Deuar 22:29, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
maybe add the word natural somewhere in that sentence -- 02:30, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Possible error?[edit]

2003 UB313's diameter is listed as 3000 ± 400. Is this correct? DanPMK 11:17, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

It is the value measured by IRAM based on infrared radiation which was the best we had before the Hubble measurements.--JyriL talk 17:05, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

I changed Eris to 2400 ± 100 per the Hubble measurements and the 2003 UB313 article. -- Kheider 23:09, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Also, Orcus is listed here with a diameter of ~1500, but on its own Wikipedia and elsewhere I see ~946. HunterTruth (talk) 16:23, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Merge: Ice dwarf[edit]

For discussion.

  • Support. The article's content seems largely redundant with this article; no examples are given of "ice dwarfs" which are not TNOs. RandomCritic 04:03, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
I'm withdrawing the merge suggestion.RandomCritic 15:32, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Support TNO is redundant.
  • Oppose the ice dwarf's content is unreferenced;
  • Strongly oppose - ice dwarf is about dwarf planets, whereas the bulk of TNOs are much smaller objects. Deuar 12:44, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Ice dwarf is a type of dwarf planet, so you can't just merge one type of dwarf planet and leave the others. Besides as Deuar said, most of the TNO's are smaller in size in comparison to ice dwarves. --Nishkid64 14:27, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. Ice dwarf is a physical classification and TNO is a dynamical one. Definite Venn diagram issues. The Tom 14:54, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. What really is an "ice dwarf"? Pluto and objects of its kind are sometimes called "ice dwarfs", but the term is not clearly defined. Make it a redirect into dwarf planet.--JyriL talk 17:01, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

Losing information on the various classes of KBOs[edit]

See Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Twotino. Uncle G 07:52, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Colour inconsistency[edit]

The text describing the grey and red types says all the largest TNOs except Sedna are grey. In the picture, Pluto looks red. -QuantumEngineer 21:20, 8 June 2007 (UTC)


Should be mentioned as a former (?) TNO. Said: Rursus 07:20, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

... a probably former TNO ... Said: Rursus 07:20, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

merge section?[edit]

The "largest objects" section duplicates the "candidate objects" section of dwarf planet. Since the physical parameters of these bodies are so uncertain, and there are so many estimates floating around, I think we should merge to keep our account and references consistent. kwami (talk) 23:49, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Trans-Neptunian versus trans-Neptune[edit]

The name of the article struck me as rather awkward, and I wondered how widespread it was. A simple Google search shows that trans-Neptune is about 2 to 4 times more popular.

Google search Totals
Trans-Neptunian region[3] Trans-Neptune region[4]
040,100 159,000
Trans-Neptunian object[5] Trans-Neptune object[6]
024,900 055,700

This suggests an inclusion of this variation in the article (which I've done), and a redirect for trans-Neptune object to this article (which I haven't). A quality assessment of the sites making use of the names is required to determine which should be listed first (?I didn't look at the IAU?), and possibly even a page-move to the more popular name. HarryAlffa (talk) 18:27, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

A layman's guess at what trans-Neptunian means might be, "beyond Neptune's belonging". Which is awkward - I think. HarryAlffa (talk) 20:36, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Another search gives contrary results

Google search Totals
Trans-Neptunian region[7] Trans-Neptune region[8]
0,040,000 1,430,000
Trans-Neptunian object[9] Trans-Neptune object[10]
0,121,000 0,047,000

HarryAlffa (talk) 21:06, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Your Google links don't work for me (and it looks like you were doing the wrong searches anyway). I get about 16,400 hits for Trans-Neptunian object, and about 355 hits for Trans-Neptune object. --Zundark (talk) 08:48, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
Harry if I am reading your google search right, you told Google to search for all occurrences of Trans-Neptunian but to exclude results with the word "Neptune". I don't think excluding the subject from the search makes any sense. -- Kheider (talk) 13:18, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
If I seach sg & pl and exclude "Trans-Neptunian object(s)", I get 2 Gghits.[11] The opposite gets maybe 4100 Gghits.[12] At GoogleBooks, there is 1 hit, which uses the phrase only twice. The opposite gets 44 hits, including titles by popular authors like Neil deGrasse Tyson. kwami (talk) 15:21, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
I tried to do too much, the first search was; trans-Neptune -Neptunian. Which would give pages which exclusively use "trans-Neptune", a useful search & result. I then fooled myself by switching this around to; trans-Neptunian -Neptune, with variation on object and region. So;

Google can't be relied on for repeatability of number of results. The same search will give different numbers if there is/isn't a negative search term - even when the -ve term is random letters. Useful as very rough indicator only. HarryAlffa (talk) 21:38, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

You forgot the quotation marks, so you also got hits for "Neptune". With the quotes, I get 2 k-hits for Neptune & 61 k-hits for Neptunian. kwami (talk) 21:49, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Like this? HarryAlffa (talk) 19:03, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

I think this is enough to say both terms are used. HarryAlffa (talk) 19:03, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

"Trans-Neptune, the Drag Queen Cosmonaut"—that's the top hit. Then there's "The resonance between astrology and astronomy; Searching for Trans-Neptune reveals evidence of Transpluto". We need to search for "trans-Neptune object." There are instances of this, but [13] gets only 52 ghits (it says 310, but when you omit repeated results, it's 52, as you'll see if you click on the last page), whereas the other way 'round[14] gets 16,300 ghits. That's a pretty sig. ratio. kwami (talk) 23:41, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
From my last edit summary, "Significance is not measured comparatively". I'm amazed at the number of Wikipedians in the science articles apparently unable to grasp simple logic. Can no one see that it is a fallacy to use a ratio measurement when deciding if the usage of a term is significant or not to be used in an article? HarryAlffa (talk) 15:53, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

Trans-Neptunian & alternate Trans-Neptune[edit]

Given these references and citations of references: [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] which use the term trans-Neptune. Should the TNO article give, by the transitive property, trans-Neptune object as an alternate name for trans-Neptunian object? HarryAlffa (talk) 14:01, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

I do not understand why you are using CFEPS to support you claim? Trans-Neptunian is clearly written at the top of the page. (Many of the sources that you cite mention "trans-Neptune region", but not "Trans-Neptunian object".) Ruslik_Zero 17:53, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
I assume that's what he meant by transitivity: if we use the phrase "Trans-Neptune", then by transitivity we should include the term "Trans-Neptune Object", regardless of whether the latter is actually used. I'd say that attestation of a term used in only 0.3% of cases is a stronger argument. kwami (talk) 09:01, 16 August 2009 (UTC)
Korrect kwami, even for someone whose first language isn't English it wasn't a difficult question to understand, was it? The only way to draw one of the tag-team reverters (Ckatz, Serindipodus, Ruslik), and I guessed it would be Ruslik, into this talk page rather than reverts & edit summaries, was this RfC - they tend to be better behaved in the sun-light. I must confess that I knew Ruslik would have difficulty understanding the RfC, and I asked it that way to illustrate his capacity for scientific debate. Sorry, but there it is.
I see Ruslik hasn't reverted my inclusion of the alternate term in the article. Is that because the RfC question confused him? Or is it because a wider audience will get to see the references I supplied?
But kwami you are incorrect in saying the small percentage means it should not be described. If it was 0.3% of 100 mentions, then perhaps, but if it was 0.3% of 1.234×1013 you would have to change your mind. That is why it is foolish to use a comparison of number of uses to determine whether an alternate name for an article title should be described; as I said on this very page here[23], and in the edit summary of my article edit here[24]. Also it doesn't matter if the absolute number is low, depending on the quality of the sources using it, but the corollary to that view is that if it is used colloquially, even "incorrectly", then it should also be described.
But to answer my own RfC. No. Absolutely not. It is not the place of the encyclopaedia to be neological. The transitive property is used unconsciously by people all the time, this does not mean that we can use this to synthesise terms, this would be original research. To include the term it must be used exactly in sources as I've described above. So why did I raise the RfC? Isn't this disrupting Wikipedia to make a point? No. I deliberately raised the RfC with the wrong question so that the phraseology filtered the obtuse from the real debate, which is; should the alternate be included as per the criteria I've already described. is probably a good source, which uses the term trans-Neptune object. requires a free registration to view the full text, but that uses the terms, trans-Neptune bodies, trans-Neptune population of debris, & trans-Neptune disk.
The second paragraph of page 58 of this book[25] uses trans-Neptune objects, and it also appears on the third line of page 59.
Less formal texts also use the term [26], [27], [28]. HarryAlffa (talk) 11:21, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

This source[29] usestrans-Neptune bodies. HarryAlffa (talk) 12:26, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

It seems like we already have a consensus here that the term "trans-neptune object" does not need to be included in the lead. Seriously, over 80% of the results in a google search for "trans-neptune" are for a movie, leaving roughly 1650 results when you search for all instances of trans-neptune that don't mention the movie's full title. There are over 60,000 results when running the same search and swapping in "trans-neptunian". That shows a pretty clear consensus to me. These are the numbers that get you the previously referenced 0.3%. Cherry-picking a few instances from the literature does not impress me. At this point, I consider any instance of the phrase "Trans-Neptune Object" a spelling or grammatical error. shaggy (talk) 13:55, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
WP:Consensus"Wikipedia does not base its decisions on the number of people who show up and vote; we work on a system of good reasons". We certainly don't get a consensus from Google counts! HarryAlffa (talk) 18:29, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
The best option is not to use google at all. Searching for trans-neptunian+object in abstracts yields 532 results, while searching for trans-neptune+object only 6, which is only 1%. Ruslik_Zero 15:43, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
Excellent point. shaggy (talk) 16:28, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
No. How many times am I going to have to explain this here? It is a logical fallacy to use a comparative analysis to determine this. Please stop "playing dumb". HarryAlffa (talk) 18:29, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
If anything, it should be a simple foot note. -- Kheider (talk) 16:41, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

A useful question would be; "Is the term used by reputable sources?"

  • "Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and How to Observe Them"[31]
  • "Impact experiments of sintered snow and the implication for re-accumulation condition of icy bodies"[32]
  • "SUMMER ANNE ASH - CV"[33]
  • "Migration mechanism of proto-Neptune"[34]
  • "Meyer, W.F. (1930) The Lowell trans-Neptune object."[35]
  • "Journal of the Association of Lunar & Planetary Observers"[36] page 47.

The title of a paper from 1930 shows the term has been around as long as Pluto. HarryAlffa (talk) 18:29, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

Some of these examples are from conference abstracts or proceedings. One is very old (1930!). One is a guide to amateur astronomers. One is a research program of an astrophysics group. All these sources are not significant. Ruslik_Zero 18:48, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
Are you playing dumb again? I told you the paper from 1930 shows the term has been around for a long time. Why do you "announce" it as very old, as if this was new information not supplied by me, twice? HarryAlffa (talk) 12:28, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
So for the first reference ("Orbital Evolution of Micron-sized Dust Grains Coming from the Kuiper belt"[37]) you are labelling as insignificant these authors and institutions: J. C. Liou and H. A. Zook, SN3, NASA Johnson Space Center, TX 77058, and S. F. Dermott, Department of Astronomy, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.HarryAlffa (talk) 12:28, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
Please stop "playing dumb". "Migration mechanism of proto-Neptune"[38] was one of the references you supplied as a "best option", yet now you label it as insignificant. HarryAlffa (talk) 12:28, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
Please stop "playing dumb". This book, "Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and How to Observe Them"[39], currently available, cannot be described as insignificant. HarryAlffa (talk) 12:28, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
Please stop "playing dumb". The term being used in conference abstract and proceedings means it is used by people who attend conferences. I wonder who might attend such conferences? HarryAlffa (talk) 12:28, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
Please stop "playing dumb". Amateur astronomers are insignificant in astronomy? HarryAlffa (talk) 12:28, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
Please stop "playing dumb". Astrophysics researchers are to be ignored? HarryAlffa (talk) 12:28, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

The principle:

The names of Wikipedia articles should be optimized for readers over editors, and for a general audience over specialists.


has applicability here.
Even if there were no reliable sources (as provided by myself and Ruslik) which used the "trans-Neptune object" term, then the above principle would ask for its inclusion in the article because of its use in less formal publications. HarryAlffa (talk) 13:04, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

I've created a REDIRECT trans-Neptune object HarryAlffa (talk) 15:14, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

It is clear that a reasonable, and reasonably intelligent person, must conclude that

we work on a system of good reasons.


The names of Wikipedia articles should be optimized for readers over editors, and for a general audience over specialists.


may be more than enough individually to warrant the inclusion of the alternative name trans-Neptune object, but combined they are irrefutable.
So as a matter of Policy I have included the alternative. HarryAlffa (talk) 11:17, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

Reverted, yet again. Saying it is so, and using bold face to do so, doesn't mean the change is warranted. At the very least, the RfC should conclude (or an actual consensus should be reached) before changing it. --Ckatzchatspy 16:48, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
I don't say it, Policy does. Restored. HarryAlffa (talk) 19:54, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
Where does this policy say so? It begins with Naming conventions are Wikipedia's policy on how to name pages.. So, obviously, this policy is only about the titles of articles. It says nothing about what should be mentioned in the lede. Ruslik_Zero 07:53, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
See my comment dated 11:17, 28 August 2009 - above. As you had difficulty understanding the RfC question, you may find a similar difficulty in understanding that comment. An inability to understand something means you should bow out of the debate, it does NOT mean it qualifies you to make reverts! Restored alternative as a matter of Policy. HarryAlffa (talk) 18:01, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Since you continue your personal attack and prefer to edit-war your way, I started this discussion. Ruslik_Zero 18:37, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
  • From the RfC - This is an incredibly pointy RfC full of quite a number of personal attacks; I see that bit has already been dealt with. As far as the substance of the question, the fact that a few quirky, less reliable sources use a word doesn't support its inclusion. What has been shown isn't a significant minority, nor is it a consistent minority, instead its random bits from here and there stitched together to try and make a case. I'll echo the advise given elsewhere - when you're edit warring against several editors and find no agreement for your position, its time to back down. Shell babelfish 15:15, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

I won't repeat why it was/is not pointy, just read my first contribution to the RfC, nor are there personal attacks.
Reliable sources is not used to judge usage of a term - I thought that was obvious, think about it. This is not to support a "fact", but demonstrate "usage", so "reliable sources" versus "unreliable sources" is an irrelevance - I trust you see that logic. You favour one over the other for support of fact, but count them both towards usage.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but here are some axioms I believe Wikipedia subscribes to

  • the encyclopaedia should reflect usage not define it
  • consensus against reason is not consensus

The first means that we don't just reflect scientific usage of a term, but include general usage - which includes films and music, and all the times these are referenced. You wouldn't insist that the Buffalo Bill should be called Bison Bill! Or more seriously, you wouldn't insist that the article (if one exists) on American Bison should not include the "wrong" term buffalo. You include it because people use it - you do not exclude it because it is "unscientific" as Ruslik said - which is demonstrably wrong anyway.

I have offered evidence and given reasons, and come to conclusions, the other editors simply nay-say without reason. Yes there are few scientific uses, and Ruslik claimed the term was "unscientific" as if that ended it - but we are not writing a scientific text-book, and there are scientific uses - that is not disputed - but Ruslik then claimed[40] all the science using the term (including NASA, and a book from 2008 available from Amazon[41] by Richard W. Schmude Jr.[42] with this[43] cited in the Saturn article) were insignificant, which I rebutted[44], without reply.
So, against the use: "unscientific" - dismissed with evidence; "science evidence insignificant" - dismissed by examination; "must be a spelling/grammatical error" - dismissed by dint of publishing processes; "scientists only use it at conferences" - dismissed by examining that statement to conclude scientists use it; "only amateur astronomers use it" - dismissed by the fact that amateur astronomers use it; only astrophysicists use it - dismissed by the fact that they are astrophysicists; "it's very old" - dismissed by the fact that it's been in use since Pluto was discovered means that it has staying power; "pointing out a very small number of examples of its use" - dismissed by 'scientists use it at conferences', 'amateur astronomers use it', how many hundreds were at these conferences, how many thousands of amateurs?
The author Richard W. Schmude Jr. surely has the target audience for his book included in the target audience for Wikipedia. The publisher of the book is Springer Science+Business Media. So a third party source from a reliable publishing house, an active researcher as author, and we are going to say "we know better, that term shouldn't be used", really?
WP:Consensus demands that you dismiss the number of editors on either side of an argument, and evaluate the reasoning, with regard to Policy and your own native wit.
I don't think I have a winning argument. I have the only reasoned argument. So by WP:Concensus, "we work on a system of good reasons", by WP:Name "The names of Wikipedia articles should be optimized for readers over editors, and for a general audience over specialists", and because it was implicitly criticised as widespread colloquial use, it must be the consensus that the alternative name is included.
No one has offered a counter-system of good reasons - I'd be over the moon with that. Take all my points and tear them down by reason, please. What's been happening is the textual equivalent of fingers being stuck in ears and going "La, la, la, la ..."! While demolishing my arguments, you must take special care of this one; the term is out there in the wild, people are using it in popular culture as well as in science, so it must be catalogued. HarryAlffa (talk) 14:08, 8 September 2009 (UTC)


Harry, thank you for your input on this article. The current consensus, as I understand it, is that the term is simply not widely used or notable enough to be included in the lead, and merits at best a footnote or mention later in the article. Simply declaring that your interpretation of policy trumps the consensus which currently exists is insufficient, and only serves to alienate the editors working with you on the article - the group of editors you need to work with when making any changes. I'm sorry if you feel slighted or ignored, please understand that is not the intention here. We are not rivals or enemies, we are colleagues working together to write the best encyclopedia possible. shaggy (talk) 23:06, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for this input Shaggy.
I take it you agree with the two axioms I gave?
It seems to me that the current interpretation is "democracy = consensus", not consensus by way of reason, as defined in WP:Consensus. The democratic view is exactly as you describe it, "the term is simply not widely used or notable enough to be included in the lead". I have given evidence and reasons why this is not the case. No one has given reasons to counter this, perhaps you may find some where others have failed?
I have not "simply declared" anything. Far from it.
I don't feel slighted or ignored, I'm saddened at the lack of intellect displayed by some, the lack of intellectual engagement by others, and the analysis which stops at consensus = democracy.
Expressions like "saddened at the lack of intellect displayed by some" will not win you any points with the people that faithfully follow this article. You could say lack of depth, detail, etc. -- Kheider (talk) 13:46, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
Are you saying you are not saddened by this, as you put it, "lack of depth"? I'm not out to "win points", I'm purely analytical. HarryAlffa (talk) 15:55, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
I am not saddened by this because I see no reason to get wordy for the sake of semantics. So I prefer the general consensus when it comes to minor issues like this. -- Kheider (talk) 16:59, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
The project is being damaged by these things. How could it not be? HarryAlffa (talk) 12:45, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
The term "Trans-Neptune" is not vital to the article, and should be understood by those of average intelligence to mean the same as "Trans-Neptunian". At best it might be worthy of a footnote, but it is not vital to the significance of the article. Even the article "Centaurs in astrology" uses terms like "trans-Saturnian objects" without over defining the term. -- Kheider (talk) 13:46, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
Harry, consider accepting the compromise that has been offered, which is inclusion of the term later in the article or as a footnote. If you would like to see how that would look, I can create some forks in userspace to illustrate. 19:51, 11 September 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by The shaggy one (talkcontribs)
I remember Jon Stewart showing a clip of George W saying, "You can't tell me these people are against freedom". Jon pointed out that no one said they were.
No on has said it is vital to the article. This is a bogus point. I really don't think superstitions like astrology belong in discussing science. Doubly bogus. HarryAlffa (talk) 17:05, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
You are talking semantics not science. "trans-Saturnian" appears to be more common than "trans-Saturn". -- Kheider (talk) 19:44, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
No I was talking straw man, no one said it was vital to the article. And, yes? Trans-Saturnian? So? Trans-Neptunian object is more common than trans-Neptune object, so? HarryAlffa (talk) 15:55, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto and How to Observe Them by Richard W. Schmude Jr. is 29th ranked in Amazon's Solar System catagory[45], and is 12th ranked of this category which use the term TNO[46]. The proper term is used by the other books, and if this was an encyclopaedia about Amazon books, then a footnote would suffice. But to reasonably reflect usage, given the multiple sources, professional, amateur & colloquial, it is entirely accurate to include this alternative term in the lead with, "sometimes trans-Neptune object". HarryAlffa (talk) 17:05, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
In the opening line, "A trans-Neptunian object (TNO) is any object in the Solar System that orbits the Sun at a greater distance on average than Neptune. ", do we really need (want) to mention Neptune 3 different times? Are readers really going to be that confused? IMHO, It just sounds too wordy. -- Kheider (talk) 19:44, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
You mean 2 different times. "...sometimes trans-Neptune object..." is hardly a great burden, and it reflects usage. HarryAlffa (talk) 17:58, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
No, I mean three different times. If we change the opening sentence to read "A trans-Neptunian object (TNO), sometimes trans-Neptune object, is any object in the Solar System that orbits the Sun at a greater distance on average than Neptune", Neptune will be mentioned 3 times in the same sentence, and I think the addition is somewhat redundant. -- Kheider (talk) 18:59, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
Neptunian & Neptune have different meanings. The lead at present uses "trans-Neptunian object" 5 times - in three paragraphs. My proposal of reflecting actual usage of terms would mean the word Neptune would be used, singly or compositely, twice. You mean 2 different times. HarryAlffa (talk) 15:55, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
I would also point out that this article (see the section below this one) rests it's inclusion of the Oort cloud in the trans-Neptune region on one reference, despite other sources directly or indirectly contradicting this. I would be interested to discover, given the multiple sources I've given, why such asymmetric consideration is shown to something which is not a claim of fact but a demonstration of usage, and why it is being met with such unreasoning resistance. HarryAlffa (talk) 17:05, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
The Oort Cloud is part of the Solar System and is obviously Trans-Neptunian unless you have a reliable source that says otherwise. The source quoted is from 2007. -- Kheider (talk) 19:44, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
I've answered this point in the next section HarryAlffa (talk) 17:58, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

Trans-Neptunian region[edit]

  • What are the boundaries of the region?
  • Does it really include the Oort cloud?

This Science and Technology Facilities Council source[47] talks of the Oort cloud as separate, "...a scattered disc that extends to large distances and forms a bridge to the Oort Cloud"

This NASA source from 1993[48] says, "We define the trans-Neptunian region as extending from the near circular orbit of Neptune, at 30 AU, to 50 AU, just beyond Pluto's aphelion."

This Astronomy and Astrophysics source from 2004 indicates that TNO is a synonym of KBO, "Trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) are also known as Edgeworth-Kuiper objects (EKOs)".

From these sources I think it is doubtful that the article can define Oort cloud bodies as TNO's, or the Oort cloud as part of the trans-Neptunian region. HarryAlffa (talk) 15:08, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

Harry, the 1st source from 2007 states that it forms a bridge to the Oort Cloud, but does not really state that the Oort Cloud as a truly separate region. Your 1993 source was written before we had a healthy sampling of KBOs and SDOs and is probably generically refering to the TNO region as ending where the Protoplanetary disk likely terminated before Neptune migrated outward scattering multitudes of small bodies. Your 3rd reference really says nothing about Oort cloud objects.
One does have to wonder if the Oort Cloud should be considered separate from the Kuiper Belt/Scattered disc region(s). But also keep in mind that many astronomers do not conisder the SDO region as separate from the KBO region, but instead treat the SDO region as an extended part of the KBO region. Until we know more about the Oort Cloud/Hills cloud, I am not sure this question has an exact answer. The Oort cloud is obviously trans-Neptunian from a layman point of view. -- Kheider (talk) 16:40, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
The scattered disk does form a bridge to the Oort cloud, however, this says nothing about the trans-Neptunian region. The Ruslik_Zero 08:51, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

Harry, why did you remove a perfectly good reference? You have been reverted. -- Kheider (talk) 21:08, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

It is only available by paid subscription - not a perfectly good reference. But I missed this, "New classes of objects beyond Neptune (trans-Neptunian objects or TNOs) similar to Pluto include Kuiper belt and Oort cloud objects, i.e. short and long period comets, and scattered disk objects that are IO if they are not large enough to have a gravitationally (spheroid) dominated shape." in the abstract. Good quote, but I wonder if this can be taken as definitive? I suspect that there may be further debate about this amoung astronomers! HarryAlffa (talk) 17:52, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes, paid subscriptions are perfectly good references as are books and journal articles not available online at all. Perhaps the url shouldn't be included if viewing it requires payment (some editors mind, some don't), but that doesn't change the worth as a reference. Shell babelfish 15:09, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for your comment. I want, however, to note that in this case the required information is in the abstract, which is freely available. So, inclusion of the url is useful. Ruslik_Zero 19:11, 4 September 2009 (UTC)


Copy of comment from previous section.
The Oort Cloud is part of the Solar System and is obviously Trans-Neptunian unless you have a reliable source that says otherwise. The source quoted is from 2007. -- Kheider (talk) 19:44, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
The Oort cloud is obviously beyond Neptune, but it is obviously also the "outer solar system". It isn't what we consider to be obvious that counts in this case, it's what astronomers think - if they have a firm opinion as a body, not individuals. "The trans-Neptunian population of small bodies is usually divided into two categories, the Kuiper belt and the scattered disk"[49], which is itself a reference for the Oort cloud article[50]. I'm not suggesting that the Oort cloud isn't part of the trans-Neptune region, I'm suggesting that the claim deserves greater scrutiny. I suspect that it isn't an issue settled yet among astronomers, so it should be soft pedalled. With a mind to the evolution of the term "outer solar system", it may be that the Oort cloud is considered separately. HarryAlffa (talk) 17:58, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
You seem not to realize that before 2004 no Oort cloud objects had been know. So, it is not surprising that (known) trans-Neptunian population was divided onto Kuiper belt and Scattered disk. When Sedna was discovered it was called an 'Inner Oort Cloud Planetoid', but simultaneously a 'trans-Neptunian body. So, now Oort cloud is firmly a part of trans-Neptunian region. Ruslik_Zero 19:00, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

Clyde Tombaugh[edit]

[I copied this section into here, from the wp:anonymous user's suggestion on] Trafford09 (talk) 10:03, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

"In the article on Trans-Neptunian Objects, the following statement is made: "After Pluto's discovery, no one searched for further TNOs for a long time."

This is factually incorrect in that it neglects to mention that Clyde Tombaugh himself continued to search, *after* Pluto's discovery, for quite some time for any further objects (as is correctly mentioned in the Wikipedia article on Tombaugh: "Tombaugh continued searching for some years after the discovery of Pluto").

I suggest the article be amended to say that, after further searching by Tombaugh for any more TNO's was unsuccessful, a long time passed before anyone else resumed a serious attempt. As it stands, it ignores the substantial effort Tombaugh engaged in to find further objects.

-Gene —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:57, 27 May 2010 (UTC) ".

Yes check.svg Done--Roentgenium111 (talk) 14:36, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

First Trans-Neptunian Object Discovered?[edit]

"The first trans-Neptunian object to be discovered was Pluto in 1930." - I'm not sure this is correct, by the definition earlier of "trans-Neptunian object" ("any object in the Solar System that orbits the Sun at a greater distance on average than Neptune"). There were many long-period comets discovered before Pluto that orbit the Sun at a greater distance on average than Neptune. Comet Donati is one such comet. (talk) 06:13, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for noting this subtlety. Comets are usually not considered TNOs, AFAIK. Therefore I think we should change the definition of a TNO in the article accordingly, e.g. "any minor planet in the Solar System that orbits the Sun at a greater distance on average than Neptune", rather than strip Pluto of its "First" status.--Roentgenium111 (talk) 22:58, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done--Roentgenium111 (talk) 14:35, 15 September 2010 (UTC)


The American use of billion (10 superscript 9) instead of the European 10 superscript 12 is a constant irritation and source of confusion. I recommend that all Wiki scientific articles explicitly use powers of ten rather than inconsistently used terms like billion and trillion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:02, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

Moved here[edit]

This is a non sequitor in the lede: "The dwarf planet Sedna does not fit easily into this classification. " It is unreferenced and seems odd in the lede. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 12:51, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

We don't need to ref the lede. It's also not a non sequitur: we mention the regions of the TN region. Sedna doesn't fit into any of them, it's a class in itself. — kwami (talk) 15:08, 17 September 2011 (UTC)
Removed "dwarf planet" from it, per Talk:Dwarf planet. With or without that, it does seem out of place. My concern is that the average reader probably is not familiar with Sedna, and there are no names (such as Pluto) prior to this to give it some context. --Ckatzchatspy 19:15, 17 September 2011 (UTC)
Then we should either say that there are four regions, not three, or mention that there are a few objects which don't fit into any of the given categories. — kwami (talk) 01:32, 18 September 2011 (UTC)
Rearranged per relevancy, with Sedna at the very end. — kwami (talk) 03:11, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

The color of big TNOs[edit]

I have found the following statement in the article:

With the exception of Sedna, all big TNOs (Eris, Makemake, Haumea, Charon, and Orcus) display neutral colour (infrared index V-I < 0.2), while the relatively dimmer bodies (50000 Quaoar, Ixion, 2002 AW197, and Varuna), as well as the population as the whole, are reddish (V-I in 0.3 to 0.6 range).

I have two main problems with it:

  • Sedna is not the only big TNO that is quite red (not 'neutral'): Where is 2007 OR10? And Makemake is also noticeably red.
  • Orcus is lumped with the big TNOs, while Quaoar is lumped with the smaller ones. Yet their absolute magnitudes are the same to within uncertainty and Quaoar is significantly more massive.

I'm uncertain how to fix this, so I'm taking this to the talk page. --JorisvS (talk) 20:39, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

I've tried my hand at it. I've cut out all I thought was dubious, leaving only a shorter statement. --JorisvS (talk) 23:52, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

1993 RO[edit]

It seems that 1993 RO does have a number now. The article should be renamed as (385185) 1993 RO [51] [52] [53], and the other articles that mention this minor planet should also be changed to demonstrate this fact I guess.--Asikal1 (talk) 16:52, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

Why is Pluto mentioned?[edit]

Pluto's article notes that it is a Kuiper belt object, but on this page (Trans-Neptunian) Pluto is listed in the History of Trans-Neptunian's, with the following paragraph labeled as "***other trans-Neptunian objects***". Confusing? Yes! Is Pluto both, one, or the other? Leitmotiv (talk) 16:25, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

All Kuiper belt objects are trans-Neptunian objects, but not all trans-Neptunian objects are Kuiper belt objects, just like every lion is a mammal, but not every mammal is a lion. --JorisvS (talk) 17:11, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Do you think that the Pluto page needs to also say that it is trans-Neptunian? Leitmotiv (talk) 22:41, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Its second sentence is "It is the largest object in the Kuiper belt and possibly the largest known trans-Neptunian object.", which should be easily sufficient (after all, it can't possibly be the largest trans-Neptunian if it isn't one). --JorisvS (talk) 09:12, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

Missing graphic still mentioned?[edit]

In the paragraph about "The largest objects", a graphic is mentioned where the uncertainty of Makemakes color/size is represented by an arc. I can not find that graphic in the article, though it might be an erlier version of the image just above that paragraph. Where is the missing graphic, and shouldn't the article be changed according to that?Renerpho (talk) 17:58, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

It's the third diagram to the right of it. If you look through its history you can see a big arc representing the original uncertainty around Makemake and Eris. These uncertainties have been gone for years and have been removed from the graphic, but apparently not the text. Eris's mentioned size was the earliest estimate. I've simply removed it, except the mention of the graphic itself. --JorisvS (talk) 09:14, 28 July 2015 (UTC)


do we need separate sub-heading/sub-section for ETNOs? and how many ETNOs exist? the article says 12(13?) but when I search MPC database using q>=30 & a>=150 I get 16 objects J mareeswaran (talk) 15:56, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

I think it is worth having as the category will be expanding. There are ~16 such objects, peer reviewed papers only cover the original ~12 with reasonable observation arcs. TNOs with an observation arc less than 365 days often have poorly determined orbits, ie 2003 SS422 -- Kheider (talk) 18:38, 22 April 2016 (UTC)