Wikipedia:WikiProject Astronomical objects/Infoboxes planets

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Body name
[image of object]
Discovered by ___name___
Discovered on ___date___
Orbital characteristics (Epoch J2000)
Semi-major axis km
Ortbital circumference Tm (AU)
Eccentricity number
Perihelion km (AU)
Aphelion km (AU)
Orbital period d (other units, such as Julian years)
Synodic period d (a)
(w/respect to Earth)
Avg. orbital speed km/s
Max. orbital speed km/s
Min. orbital speed km/s
Inclination (to Ecliptic) °
(° to Sun's equator)
Longitude of the
ascending node
decimal ° (° ' ")
Argument of the
decimal ° (° ' ")
Satellites number
Satellite of planet (only for Moons)
Physical characteristics
Mean diameter km (axis × axis × axis for ellipsoids)
Equatorial diameter km (Earth units)
Polar diameter km (Earth units)
Oblateness number
Surface area km2 (Earth units)
Volume km3 (Earth units)
Mass kg (Earth units)
Mean density g/cm3
Surface gravity m/s2 (gees)
Escape velocity km/s
Rotation period d (h)
Rotation velocity km/h (m/s) (at the equator)
Obliquity °
Right ascension
of North pole
° (h min s)
Declination °
Albedo number
Surface temperature
min mean max
nnn K nnn K nnn K
Atmospheric characteristics
Pressure kPa
most common  %
next-most-common  %
etcetera  %

Most of these entries should be measured in SI units. Some of them, however, should have more "human-accessible" units, in addition to SI units. I've indicated some cases with a second unit name in brackets. In the case of times (orbital periods, rotation), I think it best to give all periods in days for comparison purposes, and provide a translation (in parentheses) into years, days, hours, etc.; whatever is most appropriate for the duration being described.

Oh, and compared to table templates for things like the elements, I think that this template should be considered somewhat more flexible. Moons with no atmosphere whatsoever could skip the atmospheric composition section entirely, for example (though atmospheric density would still be listed). Moons also wouldn't have their orbital radii listed in AU, since AUs are such large units. For planets, use "perihelion" and "aphelion" instead of "periapsis" and "apoapsis."

In the case of "number of moons" and "is a moon of", only one of these rows will be used by any given object. There aren't any moons with moons (yet), though perhaps "co-orbital with" might be a useful row to add in a few cases.

A set of colours for use in the 2-column headers of this table:

rocky terrestrial body Transition metal color from the periodic table; rocky planets have lots of metals compared to the icy ones. Also, red is a "warmer" color than green, which fits the distribution of rocky and icy planets in the solar system.
icy terrestrial body green contrasts nicely with the pink of rocky planets. Also, on the periodic table, it's the color of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and other common components of outer-solar-system ice.
gas giant body blue skies, and noble gases on the periodic table (including helium, which is only found in large quantities on gas giants. It escapes from smaller planets). Also, two out of four gas giants prefer the cool soothing color of blue.

On orbital characteristics: The orbital circumference should be computed from the semi-major axis using Ramanujan's approximation for ellipses. The ratio of that circumference to the period then gives the average orbital speed. The minimum and maximum speeds follow from Kepler's laws: and . Note that, by convention, all orbital parameters are given in the primocentric reference system (heliocentric for the planets).

On physical characteristics: The surface area and volume of non-spherical objects (e.g. moonlets, asteroids) must use the proper ellipsoid formulae, because even slight departures from sphericity will make a large difference, particularly for the area.

On the subject of obliquity: Obliquity is the angle between the object's axis of rotation and the normal to the plane of its orbit. Do not confuse this with the Tilt listed in the JPL pages, which is a measure of the angle between the local Laplace plane and the primary's equatorial plane. In fact, most inner moons have synchronous rotations, so their obliquities will be, by definition, zero. Outer moons simply have not been seen from close up enough to determine their true obliquities (although Phoebe, recently seen by the Cassini probe, is an exception; see Talk:Phoebe (moon) for the derivation of its obliquity).

Conversion log[edit]

Still to be done:


Planet Template[edit]


Template: {{Planet}}

The above fields need incorporating into this template.


Useful sources[edit]

Extrasolar planets[edit]

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