Template talk:Lunar eclipses

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Template overhaul; particularly the eclipse lists[edit]

I've completed what ended up being a fairly tedious overhaul of this template. I'd been lightly editing eclipse-related articles, and soon found that the date list here had been far from complete since inception. It was quite random what was included or excluded; I found that the most effective way to fix it, was to completely rebuild it in the same vain. Beyond building the dates back from scratch, I recategorized them in accordance with what seem to be more widely-accepted definitions of eclipse types -- rather than the previous broader, less specific categories that were sub-divided into prior and future eclipses.

The dated list now displays a shorter, 60-year spread (1980 thru 2039). The template itself appears about the same size it did to begin with -- but it's now thorough, and categorized differently. I recognize that the year range is fairly arbitrary; as such, it's certainly debatable. There is no guideline for this, and my goal in choosing this range was to make the template as simultaneously relevant and manageable as possible... it would've been quite easy to make this template much larger. I've conveniently included in the source, but commented out, links for all eclipse dates from ranging 1950 thru 2049, should consensus determine the range be altered in some manner.

I am not an astronomer, but I have put a decent amount of work into organizing this template how I believe to be most relevant and generally correct. Hopefully it is in a condition at this point that can withstand many years and lunar eclipses to come. That being said, I have come to believe there is work to be done on many topics related to eclipses -- not only to expand on information about the science behind them, but also to make such information more comprehensible to non-astronomers. (There is plenty of "grunt work" that can be done on various eclipse articles as well, which I am prioritizing.)

I realize this template talk page has never been used for discussion before. While I am decently confident in what I have done, I will take utmost attention to all feedback, and would love to hear any input on the general layout, date range, and date categorization -- from any editors at all, but especially editors with experience in related fields. While this page will absolutely remain in my watchlist, please ping me if you have any immediate concerns to be sure I will see them. --CrunchySkies (talk) 19:02, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

On first look, I'm not happy. I'm sure the penumbral eclipses do NOT need to be listed, the past/future division I think was superior (and is also used in the solar eclipse template template:Solar eclipses. And as far as the 1980-2039 range, I think that is too small in the past. Tom Ruen (talk) 19:19, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
I personally never liked having past and future eclipses separate, since this requires maintenance which may be overlooked. So I like that they are grouped together now. I don't really see the point of listing penumbral eclipses (except for total penumbral eclipses because of their rarity) because they are something that as far as I can tell virtually no one cares about, even some astronomers do not consider them as they are virtually undetectable. Leaving out penumbral eclipses would allow for a longer timeframe for partial and full eclipses, addressing Tom's concern.
"It was quite random what was included or excluded" I don't believe that is true, I think penumbral eclipses were rightfully excluded.  — TimL • talk 22:45, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
I don't mind the past/future swap since the transition is when articles are being changed. I think the "randomness" existed for older (<1950), and future (>2050 or whatever) events. Ideally I'd like all the partial and total eclipses done from 1900-2050, especially since seeing the historical ones on a primary list will encourage them to be expanded with new sources or photos. But if the list is too long, there's more reason to limit listing, perhaps totals 1900-2100, and significant (~50%)partials 1950-2050? Tom Ruen (talk) 23:40, 15 April 2014 (UTC)


I've taken many of the suggestions here. Penumbal non-total eclipses are out of the picture; admittedly adding them in was a bit of an oversight on my part. I do thank you for being patient... I've had to sleep and a job to do since I was last able to spend any time on this.
I've kept the range at 50 years on either side of the year 2000 for now, for several reasons.
Eclipses (partial and total) begin to redlink rapidly pre-1950 and post-2050. Including only non-redlinks for <1950 or >2050 eclipses in this instance just seems misleading and leads to incompleteness in the template. We could (and ultimately, probably should, even if they're not part of the template) pump out these additional eclipse articles; the relevant images are already produced for all of them which does make that task a bit easier.
Were we to include a wider range though, it would also make the template very long. On the surface I like the idea of only including partials >50%, but the issue is that there are many more total eclipses than partials to begin with, so that approach wouldn't do much to reduce the size of the list with a longer yearspan. I feel like the template in its current form is about as long as it should be. If placing additional years behind a show/hide barrier could be done in a manner that would appear fairly non-invasive in the template, that would be a possibility.
As to current/past division, I'm really dissatisfied with the concept of it, but of course it's always a matter of consensus. I don't think such a division belongs on the Solar Eclipses template either, but my focus isn't there right now. I wouldn't oppose some sort of lighter method of dividing the eclipses year-wise to aid in navigation (different background colors for the past/future? or for decades?), but I think they should be sub-branched based on whatever the relevant scientific qualifications, rather than effectively on the current date.
I added Central Eclipses as a sub-division of Total eclipses. I also added a note on where to find non-total penumbral eclipses for the sake of comprehensiveness, as well as to sidestep potential confusion. --CrunchySkies (talk) 07:32, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm still open for what's best, but don't like central totals listed separately, unless duplicated. In regards to "current", perhaps there's a possibility of listing "next penumbral/partial/total eclipse", which would be updated on each event, and draw attention to what's coming. That is, I'd list all three if next event is penumbral, and then partial, and then total, or just "total" if the next event is total for instance! Tom Ruen (talk) 07:48, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I do like that idea -- some method of separately denoting the immediately upcoming and prior events, highlighting one of each of the various types. Many templates related to recurring events have a similar sort of display added to them. Of course that part would have to stay updated, but I imagine this template would be well-trafficked enough around any related event (plus it is yet to be added to many eclipse-related articles, as well). I could work on integrating that in some matter. --CrunchySkies (talk) 08:10, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Addendum: To address the other immediate concern, I have moved the Central Eclipses out of the sub-group and italicized them instead. I think the italics work okay, but I am open to trying other methods of distinction that aren't too overly flashy for these types as well. I do like that it's easier to gauge chronology when keeping these intact with the other Total Eclipses. --CrunchySkies (talk) 11:51, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Although I never liked having separate lists for past and future eclipses, I do think it would be nice if there was something to draw attention to the next upcoming eclipse in each category, but I can't think of anything. Bold is out of the question, as with any wiki link that is used to indicate that it is the current article you are looking at. Perhaps a subtle background color? Any thoughts?  — TimL • talk 14:28, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Well I guess I can't have my cake and eat it too. I tried a few things but they all clashed with the "current article" bolding. I think it's still possible put there would need to be a note to explain to the user "why does the date of this eclipse look different then all the rest?"  — TimL • talk 14:47, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I did find something I like (it's in the template now). Thoughts?  — TimL • talk 15:22, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I like the arrow idea a lot. I added a background color to make it pop a bit more. I selected a color basically at random because it's one I thought would look okay, so feel free to change this color to something more tamed if it appears too distracting.
The background color is a great idea IMO. I thought the chosen color bit distracting so I tried a lot of different colors and settled on something that evoked the color of a lunar eclipse, and a little more subtle (#FC6).  — TimL • talk 19:22, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I also re-arranged a few things to make them lay a little more evenly; I moved the (partial) penumbral mention -- with the link to where they're found -- back inside, to reduce on clutter in the leftmost group box and also to more closely mirror the subgrouped total penumbrals. Last & previous penumbral only are now on display as well; since the next occurs in 2016, those dates probably won't need to be swapped out for a while.
I feel like the template has evolved to convey more information more efficiently, and am generally liking how things look at this point. Opinions? --CrunchySkies (talk) 18:20, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Getting better. I don't think total penumbral eclipses fit within total eclipses. Tom Ruen (talk) 21:20, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I moved the penumbrals up, and images with sections. I have a small wish to group total eclipses that occur in 6 month sequence, something like this, if a nice format could be found... Tom Ruen (talk) 21:53, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Here's an attempt with () and background color, plus I changed central eclipses to bold. Tom Ruen (talk) 22:35, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
(2014 Apr 15 2014 Oct 08 | 2015 Apr 04 | 2015 Sep 28) * (2018 Jan 31 | 2018 Jul 27 | 2019 Jan 21) * (2021 May 26 | 2022 May 16 | 2022 Nov 08) (2025 Mar 14 | 2025 Sep 07 | 2026 Mar 03) * (2028 Dec 31 | 2029 Jun 26 | 2029 Dec 20) * (2032 Apr 25 | 2032 Oct 18 | 2033 Apr 14 | 2033 Oct 08) * (2036 Feb 11 | 2036 Aug 07 | 2037 Jan 31) * (2040 May 26 | 2040 Nov 18) * (2043 Mar 25 | 2043 Sep 19 | 2044 Mar 13 | 2044 Sep 07) * (2047 Jan 12 | 2047 Jul 07 | 2048 Jan 01)
The look has improved again, and the images which were once just sort of floating about really look at home now that they're moved to the left bar. I'd been initially hesitant about bolding Centrals, thinking it would clash with other text in the template, but I think it actually looks better that way (plus they're a lot easier to distinguish).
I like the idea of the tetrad groupings, too -- I'm wondering if we would need to somehow explain these groupings on the side. While I really like how the lefthand boxes look now, I'm not sure there's much room left to add things over there -- we might have to move everything to a legend of some sort if we feel the need to explain the parentheses. Then again, I'm also thinking parentheses are fairly universal indicators, would be hard to confuse, and stand well on their own.
I'm not entirely clear regarding the grouping of penumbrals... I thought I had it down, but there might be more variables and terminology at play than I realize. Do both types of Penumbrals (Partial and Total) fall under Partial Eclipses, as they appear now? I was under the impression that Total Penumbrals, being Total, would be one (rare and non-standard, as most Totals are Umbral) subclass of Total Eclipses -- while the rest of the penumbrals (that is, the invisible ones we don't care about), being Non-Total, would then be a subclass of Partial Eclipses. --CrunchySkies (talk) 04:25, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Quick answer on class: Central-total(rare, darkest) > total > partial > total-penumbral(super rare curiosities, barely visible) > partial-penumbral (possibly invisible!) Tom Ruen (talk) 04:42, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Another overhaul[edit]

I've done some work on this template:

  • Shuffled things around a bit, moved the long lists to subtemplates to make editing easier.
  • The "next indicator" is now added automatically! (Thanks to some magic by User:Mr. Stradivarius.)

What do you think? I notice that "central total" eclipses are shown in bold, but this is not explained anywhere. Is it really necessary to identify these in the template? — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 15:14, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

PS How about removing all the dates, leaving just the month and year? This would match the article names as well. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 15:21, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
Update: I have now removed the dates from the partial eclipses. I think it looks better. I also think we should use MONTH YEAR format, which would match the article names. Any comments? — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 09:19, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 31 January 2018[edit]

January 2018 lunar eclipse has passed, move the arrow to the July 2018 eclipse (talk) 21:41, 31 January 2018 (UTC)

Already done This process is automated at Template:Lunar eclipses/total and should update soon. JTP (talkcontribs) 01:01, 1 February 2018 (UTC)