Template talk:Solar System

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WikiProject Solar System (Rated Template-class)
WikiProject iconThis template is within the scope of WikiProject Solar System, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of the Solar System on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
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For more information, see the Solar System importance assessment guideline.
WikiProject Astronomy / Astronomical objects  (Rated Template-class)
WikiProject iconThis template is within the scope of WikiProject Astronomy, which collaborates on articles related to Astronomy on Wikipedia.
 Template  This template does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.
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This template is supported by WikiProject Astronomical objects, which collaborates on articles related to astronomical objects.

It's been quiet here for soooo long...[edit]

...that I just had to stir things up, Actually, the January 15th edition of the Signpost had details of a very interesting new feature - CLICKABLE IMAGES. Some time back, there was an attempt to do just that with this template. However, due to technological limitations, it had to be abandoned. The new Wiki code (here) allows for the creation of clickable image maps WITHOUT having to cut up the image or otherwise "cheat" the system. As such, I've been bold and have already coded the template image as an interactive version (since it only involved some coding, and no changes to either the image or the template text). (It's a fair bit of code for this template, only because there are so many different objects to link to. I've added extensive comments within the template to make sure anyone can work with it.) Cheers - let me know what you think! --Ckatzchatspy 12:31, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Works great! Thanks for the effort! The Enlightened 15:36, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
I was the person who first proposed it. This new feature is great! --Cat out 17:50, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
Inquiry: Would it be possible to align planet names with the planets? --Cat out 17:51, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it wouldn't be workable unless the text was rendered as a graphic element. There are too many variables at play - which browser are you using, what typeface, what size, etc. - to ensure that all viewers get the same effect with text layout. (Just look at the existing template, or any Wiki page for that matter, in Firefox and IE side-by-side. Add Opera, Safari, and the other browsers, boost your text size, and it just gets harder.) Nice idea in principle, though. --Ckatzchatspy 18:09, 7 February 2007 (UTC)


I archived the old talk from November and December 2006 in a new archive page, Template talk:Solar System/Archive 4. RandomCritic 18:21, 5 February 2007 (UTC)


Nice template, dudes! Said: Rursus 10:32, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

I was think the exact thing, well done! --Dee4leeds 10:19, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
Wow, I love this template! Is there a Featured Template arena? ALTON .ıl 05:23, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
This template is really well done. Dreg743 04:17, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Very nice. Extremly well done synoptic visualisation. Lots of information on a very small space. If one had to add a criticism, it is that I - as an uninitiated user - expected clicking on the i-button to take me to a exhaustive list of solar objects (i.e. List_of_solar_system_objects). Instead it takes me to the image source file (and if I wait for th popup-label to appear, it tells me so) (but that criticism as already adressed above).-- (talk) 14:00, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Gliese 581[edit]

I removed the additions of the Gliese 581 system because it is not part of this solar system (it's a whole 20 light years away). MThe topic of this template is the solar system (as in our solar system) and thus other systems do not apply. Additionally, there have been many solar systems discovered, and they are not part of this template (if they were it would be unmanageably big). If someone wants to create a template to sit at the bottom of the Gliese 581 system (and/or other systems) to tie all the related topics (i.e. planets) together that could be more appropriate. BaKanale 15:05, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Image map[edit]

I think the image map would be better off as a regular old image. First, I clicked on it hoping to see an enlarged view, as with pretty much every other image on Wikipedia, but instead I got sent to the page for Neptune. Took a second to figure that one out. Then, cursoring around the image, it seems to be broken up into absurdly small fragments of which many are plain black space. Can we just make this a regular image, and allow people to click on the normal links beneath if they want to see a particular topic? --Doradus 02:15, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Could, but at a pretty good guess, probably won't. And no, it doesn't scale up... RandomCritic 02:18, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
I know it currently doesn't scale up... I guess I'm just mentioning some usability problems, and the fact that this image behaves differently from (IMHO worse than) 99% of the images on Wikipedia. --Doradus 17:47, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
Will this help with your concerns? I've created a test version to demonstrate the "info" button:

Template talk:Solar System/temp

Clicking on the "i" takes you to the image page. I didn't enable it originally because of the size, which is kind of big on this particular graphic. Thoughts? (P.S. If there's consensus to use this, please don't copy the test code - all that needs to happen is to change the line "desc none" in the existing template to "desc bottom-right".) --Ckatzchatspy 19:36, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
I see that Planet I is bigger than Saturn, and resides in the Oort Cloud. Really this is pointless. Anyone desperate to view the original image can find the image name by looking at the code; anybody who wants to edit the image should presumably know how to do that. The graphic seems to get rave reviews from most people. What P3d0 sees as bugs, most people see as features. I don't see any reason to change it other than (maybe) cosmetically. RandomCritic 21:02, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
The size of the "i" is the primary reason I never enabled that feature - it dominates the graphic and is confusing. Another option would be to create a rectangular area the same size as the graphic, and put it "under" everything else. That way, clicking on empty space could be defined as a link to the image itself. (I had intended to use such a field as a link to Solar System or something similar, but never got around to it.) Thoughts? --Ckatzchatspy 21:53, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

The longitude measures north and south and latitude measures east and west. The earth is bulged at the poles and is square at the equarter which is located at the south end of earth.

That really makes the most sense, keeping the image-internal links and allowing a (non-intrusive) link to the image. RandomCritic 00:26, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

I, for one, don't like the image map. I think it's just a "gee whiz" feature without any real justification. --Doradus 19:03, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm afraid I might be the only one who came to this image without preconceived notions and actually tried to use it. But ok, if nobody else has a problem with this image behaving surprisingly relative to most images on Wikipedia, can we at least agree that the hot zones on this image map are too small? Can we have a smaller number of larger zones? Or, failing that, can we at least make the entire image map bigger so the planets are discernible? --Doradus 19:08, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Well, I respect your thoughts on the matter, but I have to say that - from my perspective - it is actually a way of making the graphic much, much more functional. It also seems to have been very well received, given the recent compliments other editors have added here. I suspect that you'll probably be seeing a lot more "clickable" graphics across Wikipedia, as more editors become aware of the capability. (The feature was only enabled a few months ago.) --Ckatzchatspy 19:14, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
Ok, fair enough. I seem to be in the minority. Thanks for your replies. --Doradus 16:46, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

I did an upscaled version of this style (but the AU-scale still presents problems), it's here: Image:SolarSystemUnmarked.png, see notes, etc., I should probably take a short break from editing... Dreg743 13:29, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

Autocollapsing while keeping imagemap[edit]

I tried to make this template autocollapse (because that seems to be the trend in navboxes lately, so they work well together) but I was reverted by User:Ckatz, who likes the imagemap. I believe that we can have both, with one of three methods:

  1. Deep template magic. Somehow mix Wikipedia:NavFooter divs into the template. This is beyond my skill, perhaps someone else can attempt it?
  2. Substitute the imagemap for the "Solar System" link on top.
  3. Have the title be "Solar System:" and then the imagemap, all in one row.

What are other editors thoughts? hike395 15:09, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

My thoughts are that there is no need to autocollapse this template. Many articles, say, for instance, countries, have many templates at the bottom and need autocollapse. Most of these articles only have two templates at the bottom (one of which is already autocollapsed), some of these articles have only this one template at the bottom, and the one with the most appears to be Pluto, with four (the other three of which are autocollapsed). I don't really see a need to autocollapse this template, even if we found an acceptable way to keep the image shown. It is undoubtedly the most important template at the bottom of these articles, and I think it should be left as it is. Lexicon (talk) 15:22, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
These boxes have already been worked at to keep them as small and unobtrusive as possible. With larger boxes there's a good case to be made for autocollapse. Here it's not only unnecessary but undesirable. If I want to go quickly from the Jupiter page to the Saturn page and back again with one click, I find the navbox and there's my link. That's the whole point of navigation boxes. If the box is autocollapsed (among a bunch of other such boxes), then I need to guess which box to use, open it up, click on the link; then to get back where I came from I have to do the same thing -- only to find that the navigation box has recollapsed! This undermines the whole function of such boxes. Being able to hide or reduce boxes is a good idea; setting everything to autocollapse is a very, very bad one. RandomCritic 16:15, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Just for discussion, here's a take on the template with the graphic incorporated into the header: Template talk:Solar System/temp2 Thoughts? --Ckatzchatspy 18:19, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

I really like this: it gets you most of the functionality of the full box in a fraction of the room. I believe that navboxes have to balance two goals: making navigation easy for the fraction of the readers who want to navigate through the box, while keeping the article easy-to-read and well-laid-out for those readers who don't want to navigate through the box. My assumption is that most readers do not use the navboxes: we have to be careful to not chew up too much screen real estate with the navboxes, hence the small fonts and the collapse feature.
In my opinion, the combination of the unhidden "Solar System" link and the imagemap is just perfect --- it will capture most of the utility: I suspect that most people want to navigate to planets and moons. If people want the more obscure stuff, they can open the box.
I believe that RandomCritic's argument against autocollapse is less of an issue in these modern times with tabbed browsing (Firefox and IE 7): when I do navigate through the navboxes, I almost always use "open in new tab".. I wish there was some option to "open all navigation links in separate tabs".
Thanks, Ckatz, for figuring out how to do it! hike395 04:03, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

I've got to say, this is the best improvement of the template since we upgraded the images back after the Pluto demotion...I like the auto collapse; having the planets works much better than previous. --myselfalso 06:27, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Actually, having it this way makes me worry that a lot of people might not realize that there's more to the infobox hidden. Yes, there is a "[show]" link in the corner, but it looks like it's a full infobox with the image being visible. I'm sure a lot of readers aren't particularly familiar with the idea of hidden infoboxes, and I just worry that people won't realize that there's a whole lot more to it than what they can immediately see. Lexicon (talk) 09:55, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
That's a good point: I can see why you'd be worried about that. Fortunately, navboxes with "[show]" links with autocollapse are spreading around Wikipedia, because there are templates that use that as a default. Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?offset=&limit=50&target=Template%3ANavbox_generic&title=Special%3AWhatlinkshere&namespace=10 and http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?offset=&limit=50&target=Template%3ADynamic_navigation_box&title=Special%3AWhatlinkshere&namespace=10 ... I haven't done an exhaustive search, but sampling a few of these templates, I see that the large majority of them use autocollapse. Other very widespread custom templates like {{US county navigation box}} also use autocollapse by default.
My point here is that the idiom of clicking on a "[show]" link should become a well-known habit of Wikipedia readers. At least, that's what I predict. Thanks for bringing this up: it is a good issue to think about. hike395 14:32, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I agree with what you're saying. I'm not concerned about people thinking that is the template without hitting "[show]". It's becoming a Wikipedia-standard. Even today, I was going through a number of templates (similar to this one but on different topics), and each one had a "[hide]" and "[show]" option. Also, can we replace the current template with this one? --myselfalso 18:53, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps give it a few more days just to see what thoughts are, and then it can be updated if there's a strong consensus. This was developed over a long period of time, with a lot of give-and-take, so changes should reflect that history. (Personally, the revision doesn't bother me too much, although I prefer the non-collapsed style. Also, the code for this is a temporary version on a sub-page, and I didn't incorporate all of the necessary details from the full version. Won't take long to adjust the real one though.) --Ckatzchatspy 19:27, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
This concept of a handful of people creating a "Wikipedia standard" is disturbing. You see a lot of autocollapse boxes because a very small number of people have been going around changing the style of navbox for a lot of pages. Then, when somebody balks at the change, they point to all of the other boxes they've changed and say "it's the standard". Well, there is no such thing. I don't see why WP editors should be bullied into accepting a specific format, which may not be suitable for certain pages or boxes, because a few people pat themselves on the back and call their changes "standard". And no, I don't think autocollapse is at all suitable for this footer, which is a footer, with tiny, squoze-in information just because it was supposed to be unobtrusive. If it's going to be autocollapsed, why keep it at all? Why not go for the larger Solar System navbox? RandomCritic 22:59, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
I entirely agree. The purpose of the "show" function is to provide extra information with a click if the viewer so desires it, not to remove the basic information already on display. The navbox here has already been designed with the specific purpose of making it slim. If we are going to have a collapseable box here, the present design should be the slimmed down version - not the expanded one. The Enlightened 14:29, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

How about we move [show] to the bottom and call it [show links]? --Doradus 16:51, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm not completely familiar with the coding for the "show" function, but I think that it is part of the standard box design - not something that can be configured on a case-by-case basis. Anyone esle know if that is true? --Ckatzchatspy 16:58, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
To my knowledge, it can't be changed. The only way it could operate like that would be to have a box within a box. That wouldn't work for this, because that's used in cases where there are a number of large boxes combined. I think the way it is fine and we should use the above. Why doesn't someone just change it already. --myselfalso 14:44, 5 June 2007 (UTC)


I agree that the font sizes could be a little larger (though they should still be smaller than ordinary text). But I don't agree with extending the box borders to the boundaries of the page. This seems to be the in thing for boxes these days, but it's unsuitable for this particular box, which is visually built around the illustrative image of the Solar System planets. Extending the borders to the edges creates a great deal of incompatible white space around both sides of the image; and I don't believe it's feasible to have an expanding and contracting image as the central feature of this box. RandomCritic (talk) 22:13, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

actually it the odd length that really makes the template look bad. the shorter squat template destroys the symmetry of the page bottom, particularly when more than one footer is present. it's just bad form and aesthetically distracting. --emerson7 22:37, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
I don't agree that the template looks bad. I'm sorry about the current obsession with uniformly sized collapsible navboxes, but in any case, this is not a generic navbox; it cannot be made identical in size and shape to other navboxes without a complete redesign of its entire layout. Perhaps you have a proposal for such a redesign? RandomCritic (talk) 22:40, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
obsession? that's an odd term for order. while i can understand, and perhaps support, a non-collapsible footer, but having footers all helter-skelter kinda makes very little sense, and i believe the System&oldid=193565544 modifications i made (sans directors, and collapsible) are a pretty good compromise --emerson7 00:26, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Intriguing. How about the following (or something like it)...?

Sardanaphalus (talk) 05:14, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Or this?

RandomCritic (talk) 13:27, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Yikes - I'd think I'd say it's not sufficiently straightforward... Wonder what emerson7 thinks. Sardanaphalus (talk) 16:10, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

I don't see why we need to change this very sleek looking template because someone has a complex about making every box the same width. A lot of people put a lot of work into keeping this infobox simple and easily navigable. There is no reason for making it bigger just for the sake of it. (talk) 04:21, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

How about making it a little more readable overall by increasing the base font-size (see version under "Intriguing." above)..? Sardanaphalus (talk) 09:32, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

The image needs updating...[edit]

To include Makemake - rst20xx (talk) 23:09, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

And Haumea. (talk) 13:14, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

Will this work?[edit]

Solar System XXIX.png

I'm not sure how to do the hyperlinking. Also, the diagram atop the Solar System article needs an update as well.

BlytheG 02:23, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Great - thanks for doing this so quickly! I've updated the template, the larger Solar System template, and so on. Please take a look at the licensing information and see if I've filled it out correctly. Cheers. --Ckatzchatspy 05:12, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

The licensing info looks good. Thanks for the linking.

BlytheG 05:19, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

It's kind of confusing that...[edit]

...the names are not assigned correctly with the above image. For example, "Uranus" is located below the image of Neptune in this template. Anyone able to alter it so that they are properly aligned?? Georgia guy (talk) 13:41, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

No. The names are not in the image. Where they appear depends on your browser, which font you're using, and what size you have the text display at. kwami (talk) 22:08, 16 September 2008 (UTC)


We could easily link Rings of Saturn. We could also link the other ring articles (except for Rhea), though they might not be visible. Still nice for navigation, though. How about it? kwami (talk) 22:08, 16 September 2008 (UTC)


Hehe, so there I was in the pub yesterday trying to learn the new mnenomic (My Very Enjoyable Mission Cementing Justice Sweetly etc etc). Now I look at the template and the order of the new dwarf planets have been altered. I'm sure it was Pluto, Eris, Makemake, Haumea, but that seems to have been changed. Is the new order "correct" as per the IAU or is there another reason? Better find a new memory aid now, heh...doktorb wordsdeeds 07:11, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

They're now arranged according to the size of their orbits. I think it will be easier to learn the eight planets in fours, and realize that there may be another besides Ceres between those, and a growing number further out. kwami (talk) 08:13, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Speaking of Haumea, I added haumea to the template picture:

  • Solar System XXX.png

I did my best to make Haumea egg-shaped. I don't know how to adjust the links on the picture, so someone else can do that. Werothegreat (talk) 15:48, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Looks good, except that Haumea appears to be the largest of the dwarf planets. kwami (talk) 20:56, 20 September 2008 (UTC)


How'd you get the border around the box? I'm trying to make another box, and having a bit of difficulty with that. --JamesR1701E (talk) 20:14, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Title bar colour[edit]

I, for one, think this edit has made the title bar look significantly uglier. --Doradus (talk) 13:51, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Hills Cloud[edit]

I'm removing 'Hills Cloud' from the template. This term is not commonly used by the astronomical or planetary science communities, and the article itself isn't much good. Should it become a standard term in the future, we can add it back, but I personally bet 'Inner Oort Cloud' will cover any other objects like Sedna. Michaelbusch (talk) 00:13, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

Great Template[edit]

This template is pretty and the picture of the different planets is an excellent idea that also has the virtue of being well-implemented. Zantastik talk 23:43, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Very small[edit]

Eyh happy new year, 2010 made me think of space for some reason, which lead me to WP, and to this template, which I think should be about 5 times larger, so it would be easier to look and click on it. :-) (talk) 00:21, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

I agree, I would also prefer the image to be much larger. Though I would also be content with a factor-of-two (or -three) increase so that it fills out the "average" screen width of today's monitors. --Roentgenium111 (talk) 19:03, 1 November 2010 (UTC)


The link for Pluto's satellites isn't working and the link for Pluto is where the link of Pluto's satellites should have been. Somebody fix this.

Dwarf Planets[edit]

I noticed on the page for Dwarf planets, it lists 9 dwarf planets (Ceres, Orcus, Pluto, Haumea, Quaoar, Makemake, 2007 OR10, Eris, and Sedna) but in this navigation bar, it only lists 5 (Ceres, Pluto, Haumea, Makemake, and Eris). Can someone please do something about this inconsistency? - Omega13a (talk) 20:15, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

The dwarf planet page only lists the other four as "highly likely" dwarf planets, not as dwarf planets per se, so I don't see a real inconsistency. (There's an extremely long discussion at Talk: Dwarf planet on whether they should be actually considered the same category.) Still, I wouldn't mind adding the four "highly likely" dwarf planets here, if there's consensus for it. Nor would I mind listing only the very largest dwarf planets (e.g., only Eris and Pluto) so as not to clutter the template. --Roentgenium111 (talk) 16:17, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

Where's Sedna, OR10 and TC302?[edit]

They're all calculated to be larger than Ceres and a few other dwarf planets so I think they should be listed. Quaoar and Orcus are also very large. Robo37 (talk) 15:05, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

I suppose we don't go by size here, but by "category" (otherwise the largest gas giant moons would also have to be listed individually, since they're larger than Pluto or Ceres). See also my comment to the above thread. --Roentgenium111 (talk) 15:05, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Pluto AND Charon?[edit]

Why does Charon get a spot in the top banner, while other larger moons do not? Isambard Kingdom (talk) 14:17, 20 August 2015 (UTC)

Removed. Also I've added some example moons for each of the planets/ dwarf planets. Obviously there are too many to be comprehensive, but these are probably the most important ones for each planet. I've also tidied a bit. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 17:36, 20 August 2015 (UTC)