Wikipedia:WikiProject Astronomical objects/Infoboxes

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This page is where work is being done to come up with a generic table template to be used for organizing a list of facts about various astronomical bodies such as planets, natural satellites, and maybe also smaller bodies such as asteroids and comets (though I suspect that both asteroids and comets will be better served by having their own template design).

Planets and moons[edit]

Template: {{Infobox Planet}}


Useful sources[edit]

Minor planets (asteroids, comets, Kuiperoids, etc)[edit]

{{Infobox Planet}}
61 Danaë
Discovered by H. Goldschmidt
Discovery date September 9, 1860
A917 SM; 1953 RL1
Main belt
Orbital characteristics[2]
Epoch April 10, 2007 (JD 2454200.5)
Aphelion 520.940 Gm (3.482 AU)
Perihelion 371.124 Gm (2.481 AU)
446.032 Gm (2.982 AU)
Eccentricity 0.168
1880.440 d (5.15 a)
17.13 km/s
Inclination 18.222°
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 82.0 km
Mass 3.2×1017 kg
Mean density
1.1 g/cm³
Equatorial surface gravity
0.0126 m/s²
Equatorial escape velocity
0.0322 km/s
? d
0.2224±0.025 [3]
Temperature ~155 K

The example on the far right is the recommended table format for minor planets. It is generated by the {{Infobox Planet}} template. The template has an optional astron argument whose default value is helion; this allows its use to describe asteroid moons, as in the S/2000 (1998 WW31) 1 example.

Urhixidur wrote a nifty Windows tool (AstOrb Browser) that can greatly facilitate preparation of these. The most recent version can be downloaded from (at the bottom of the page, under the heading "Delphi 7 and Wikipedia"). Since version 1.4.4, it uses the {{Infobox Planet}} format instead of {{Minor Planet}}. It also automatically generates the footers mentioned below, and integrates the necessary diacriticals.

Some values require special attention, as they are not filled in by AstOrb Browser, or are filled in using default values (the default Diameter, Albedo and Density can be overridden, and will revise the dependent values accordingly):

  • The discoverer and discovered values can be obtained from the "Discovery" link, or from the List of asteroids.
  • The alt_names link should be followed to reach the MPC query form, whence you can obtain the alternative designations (for 61 Danaë, you'd enter "(61)"). Since this page has been broken for a long time now, you can reach the alt_names listing directly by specifying the URL (for (5178) in this example).
  • The mp_category is defaulted to "Main belt", and should be changed as appropriate.
  • The dimensions can be replaced by more accurate/recent values, supplying the reference (this value should be entered in AstOrb Browser in order to recompute the mass, gravity and escape velocity accordingly).
  • The mass, surface_grav and escape_velocity should be marked with a ? if the density and/or dimensions are guesswork.
  • The guesswork albedo, should whenever possible be replaced by a more accurate/recent value, supplying the reference, as was done here (you should use <ref> instead of <sup>, however).

A few short-hand templates are useful when dealing with minor planets with provisional designations. They are Template:mp, Template:mpl, and Template:mpl-:

  • mp ("minor planet") saves you from typing <sub></sub> if you'd rather not: {{mp|15874|1996 TL|66}} or {{mp|(15874) 1996 TL|66}} = (15874) 1996 TL66.
  • mpl ("minor planet link") is used to write a link, like so {{mpl|15874|1996 TL|66}} or {{mpl|(15874) 1996 TL|66}} = (15874) 1996 TL66.
  • mpl- ("minor planet link, abridged") is used with numbered minor planets that have kept (so far) their provisional designations when one wishes to hide the number from inline display: {{mpl-|15760|1992 QB|1}} = 1992 QB1 (instead of (15760) 1992 QB1).
  • mp and mpl can also be used to either write out or create links to the provisional designations used for minor planet satellites (e.g. {{mpl|S|2000|1998 WW|31|1}} = S/2000 (1998 WW31) 1).

For a more detailed explanation of syntax, please refer to Template:mp/doc



Particularly useful are {{MinorPlanets Navigator}} and {{MinorPlanets Footer}}. Scroll down beyond the table to the right to see examples of these.


9P/Tempel; Tempel 1
Tempel 1 (PIA02127).jpg
Nucleus imaged by the Deep Impact impactor
Discovered by Ernst Wilhelm Leberecht Tempel
Discovery date April 3, 1867
9P/1867 G1; 1867 II;
9P/1873 G1; 1873 I; 1873a
1879 III; 1879b
9P/1967 L1; 1966 VII
9P/1972 A1; 1972 V; 1972a
1978 II; 1977i
1983 XI; 1982j
1989 I; 1987e1
1994 XIX; 1993c
Orbital characteristics A
Epoch March 6, 2006
Aphelion 4.737 AU
Perihelion 1.506 AU
Semi-major axis 3.122 AU
Eccentricity 0.5175
Orbital period 5.515 a
Inclination 10.5301°
Last perihelion July 5, 2005
Next perihelion 2011

As discussed above, comets might be served better by a different template. Here is a suggestion for {{Comet}} we can toy with until we are happy with it. Awolf002 00:23, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Periodic comets (by number)
9P/Tempel Next


Starbox tree[edit]

Alpha Centauri
Position Alpha Cen.png
The position of Alpha Centauri.
Observation data
Epoch J2000      Equinox J2000
Constellation Centaurus
Right ascension 14h 39m 36.2s
Declination -60° 50′ 8.2″
Apparent magnitude (V) -0.01
Spectral type G2 V
U−B color index 0.24
B−V color index 0.65
Variable type N/A
Radial velocity (Rv) 21.6 km/s
Proper motion (μ) RA: -3678.19 mas/yr
Dec.: +481.84 mas/yr
Parallax (π) 747.23 ± 1.17 mas
Distance 4.38 ly
(1.33 pc)
Absolute magnitude (MV) 4.40
Mass 1.10/0.91 M
Radius 1.23/0.87 R
Luminosity 1.57/0.51 L
Temperature 5,800/5,300 K
Metallicity 130-230% Sun
Rotation ?
Age 5-6 × 109 years
Companion Alpha Centauri B
Period (P) 79.92 yr
Semi-major axis (a) 17.515"
Eccentricity (e) 0.516
Inclination (i) 79.24°
Longitude of the node (Ω) 204.87° (ascending)°
Periastron epoch (T) 1955.56
Other designations
α1 Cen, CP -60° 5483 A, Gliese 559A, FK5 538, HD 128620, HIP 71683, HR 5459, LHS 50, SAO 252838, YPC 3309.00

This table is composed of the following sub-templates:

References: [4] [5] [6]

Short star template[edit]

Alpha Centauri
Observation data
Epoch 2000      Equinox 2000
Constellation Centaurus
Right ascension 14h 39m 36.5s
Declination -62° 50' 2.72"
Apparent magnitude (V) -0.01
Distance 4.38 ly
(1.33 pc)
Spectral type G2 V
Other designations
α1 Cen, HD 128620, CP-60°5483 A, HR 5459, HIP 71683

This template is for stubby star articles, and should be replaced with the full template when the article is expanded.



Replaced by:

Extrasolar planets[edit]

Transit, radial velocity, infrared light
Orbital characteristics
0.0393 (± 0.0007)
Eccentricity 0.135 (± 0.096)
3.030065 (± 0.000008)
Inclination 88.2 (± 1)
Physical characteristics
Mass 0.61 (± 0.06)
Mean density


SN 1987A
1987A supernova remnant near the center
Observation data (Epoch J2000.0)
Supernova type IIp (unusual)
Remnant type unknown
Host galaxy Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC)
Constellation Dorado
Right ascension 05h 35m 49.942s (1950)
Declination −69° 17′ 57.60″ (1950)
Galactic coordinates unknown
Discovery date 24 February 1987 (23:00 UTC[7]
Peak magnitude (V) +3
Physical characteristics
Progenitor Sanduleak −69° 202 a
Progenitor type B3 supergiant
Colour (B-V) +0.085
Notable features The closest recorded sn.
since invention of telescope

Template: {{Infobox supernova}}

This is a table template that should be used for supernovae. It automatically assigns the article to Category:Supernovae.

Open Clusters[edit]

NGC 6656
Observation data (J2000.0 epoch)
Right ascension 18h 36m 18s
Declination −23° 53′ 58″
Distance 10.4 kly
Apparent magnitude (V) 5.1
Apparent dimensions (V) 32.0″
Physical characteristics
Mass 105 to 106 M
Other designations Messier 22
See also: Open cluster, List of open clusters

Template: {{Infobox open cluster}}

Sample table for M22. Please modify and improve as needed.

The template is for open clusters.

Globular Clusters[edit]

NGC 6656
Core of Messier 22
Observation data (J2000.0 epoch)
Class VII
Right ascension 18h 36m 18s
Declination −23° 53′ 58″
Distance 10.4 kly
Apparent magnitude (V) 5.1
Apparent dimensions (V) 32.0″
Physical characteristics
Mass 105 to 106 M
VHB 14.2
Other designations Messier 22
See also: Globular cluster, List of globular clusters

Template: {{Infobox globular cluster}}

Sample table for M22. Please modify and improve as needed.

The template is for globular clusters.


Spiral Galaxy M109
Observation data (J2000.0 epoch)
Constellation Ursa Major
Right ascension 11h 57.6m 36.0s
Declination +53° 23' 28"
Redshift +0.003496
Distance 41 million ly
Type SB(s)bc
Apparent dimensions (V) 7.6' × 4.9'
Apparent magnitude (V) +9.8
Absolute magnitude (V) 13.4
Notable features Possible Milky Way-twin,
Bar at the center
Other designations
NGC 3992, UGC 6937
See also: Galaxy, List of galaxies

Template: {{Infobox Galaxy}}

This example table should be edited and used for galaxies.

Notes: Please see List of galaxies to find galaxies that do not yet have infoboxes/factsheets.
Please categorise your galaxy in a subcategory of Category:Galaxies

Galaxy cluster[edit]

Stephan's Quintet
Observation data (Epoch J2000)
Constellation(s) Pegasus
Right ascension 22h 35m 57.5s
Declination +33° 57′ 36″
Brightest member NGC 7318B
Number of galaxies 4
Other designations
HCG 92, Arp 319, VV 288
See also: Galaxy groups, Galaxy clusters, List of galaxy clusters

Template: {{Infobox galaxy cluster}}

This example table should be edited and used for galaxy groups, clusters, and superclusters. It automatically assigns the article to Category:Galaxy clusters.

The sample data for this group was taken from the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED) on 2006-09-18. However, NED may not be the best reference for all galaxy groups. It can be reliably used for compact groups such as the one in this example, and it can be used reliably for most Abell clusters and other moderate and high-redshift clusters, but it should be used cautiously (if used at all) for nearby galaxy groups such as the M81 Group.


Coma Supercluster
Observation data (Epoch )
Constellation(s) Coma Berenices
Major axis Mpc (20 Mly)
Minor axis Mpc (20 Mly)
92 Mpc (300 Mly)
See also: Galaxy groups, Galaxy clusters, List of superclusters

Template: {{Infobox supercluster}}

This example table should be edited and used for superclusters, as it contains different fields than {{galaxy cluster}}.


3C 273
Observation data (Epoch J2000.0)
Constellation Virgo
Right ascension 12h 29m 06.7s[1]
Declination +02° 03′ 09″[1]
Redshift 47,469 ± 20 km/s[1]
Distance 2.44 Gly (749 Mpc)
Type Blazar; Sy1[1]
Apparent magnitude (V) 12.9[1]
Notable features First quasar discovered
Other designations
PGC 41121[1]
See also: Quasar, List of quasars

Template: {{Quasar}}

This example table should be edited and used for quasars.


Egg Nebula
Reflection nebula
Protoplanetary nebula
Egg Nebula.jpg
RAFGL 2688, the Egg Nebula
Observation data: J2000 epoch
Right ascension 21h 02m 18.75s
Declination +36° 41′ 37.8″
Distance 3 kly (920 pcly
Apparent magnitude (V) 14.0
Apparent dimensions (V) 30″ × 15″
Constellation Cygnus
Physical characteristics
Radius 0.2 ly[a] ly
Absolute magnitude (V) 4.2[b]
Notable features -
Designations RAFGL 2688, The Egg,
Cygnus Egg
See also: Lists of nebulae

Template: {{Infobox nebula}}

To the right is an example using Template:Infobox nebula. This example can be copied and used for all nebulae, but pay close attention to the parameters like "type". For more information, see the template's documentation.

Categories and lists[edit]

Add articles to the appropriate Lists of nebulae and to the categories as given below, the category of its constellation, and the category of its catalog (ex:Category:Messier objects), in that order.

planetary nebulae
List of planetary nebulae, Category:Planetary nebulae
protoplanetary nebulae
List of protoplanetary nebulae, Category:Protoplanetary nebulae
diffuse nebulae.
List of diffuse nebulae, Category:Diffuse nebulae
dark nebulae
List of dark nebulae, Category:Dark nebulae

Useful links[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Nasa/Ipac Extragalactic Database". Results for 3C 273. Retrieved 2006-10-26.