Wikipedia:WikiProject Astronomy/Constellations Task Force

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task force

Constellations Task Force is an effort to fix the constellations articles, so that they look navigable, intriguing and fit for amateur astronomy – the one community that actually uses the constellations. You're welcome to edit here, or discuss on the talk page.


I started this project because the constellations looked so sprawling. There's no uniform philosophy behind the constellation articles, there certainly were many philosophies overlaid by new philosophies on philosophies, making an unpleasant mess, rather than order. My intention is to streamline the constellations, so that they are delectable for self-learning. Imagine a boy or girl in the lower teenages, using binoculars and owning a telescope or so, but needing some observation guides. That's my proposal for primary public, whereas the grownup and professional counterparts (which includes advanced amateurs) also can "profit" from reading the constellation pages, but more as link sets to listings of interest. Rursus 15:15, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Discuss HERE![edit]

Task Force Logos[edit]


{{Template:User WikiProject Astronomy Constellations Task Force}}:

Astro constel task force.svg This user is a participant in the Constellations Task Force

Link to fixup categories generated by above templates[edit]

WikiProject Task Force for Constellations assessments[edit]

This task force assesses the constellations according to three measures: structure, correctness and completeness. Since this is less about the contents, than the structure completeness and the map and facts correctness, the requirements for making good points for this task force is much less than a proper quality assessment.


STUBBY! Feel free to define criteria here!

In the long run all constellations should contain the same thing in a similar order as applicable to that constellation (mythologies of deLacaille constellations are by nature short and not very mythical – although not nonexistent). The general structure is yet to be determined. Said: Rursus 14:08, 4 May 2007 (UTC)


Correctness criteria:

A. Per table below: star map/star box OK (2.a.), primary myth text conventional (4.), correct inventor and invention time (5.).
B. Otherwise no obvious factual error.

The assessment levels for this correctness are:

1. checked but not fulfilling A.
2. fulfilling A. but not B.
3. fulfilling A. and B. and therefore "correct".


STUBBY! Feel free to define criteria here!

Constellations Fix – 2007 Raid[edit]

In order to do this, they must be revised according to the following criteria:

num prio do status

1 -- drop logos
   1.a. 1 drop a task force logo {{WPTFConstel}} on each constellation talk page; 88 of 88
   1.b. 3 drop a task force logo {{WPTFConstel}} on each obsolete constellation talk page; 35 of 35
   1.c. 3 drop elsewhere ??
2 1 star map/star box OK, the star maps from PP3 have discrete star magnitudes, which makes the star maps virtually unusable for recognition of fainter stars [1]; the constellation maps should be improved in more than one step:
   2.a. 1 fix the PP3 map cosmetically: ensure that the borders are not truncated, and that the constellation is not oddly oriented like some below...
   2.b. 3 (optional:) fix magnitude-of-stars radii on the PP3 map, for more usable maps,
   2.c. 3 make a script/program that generates SVG constellations instead of pixmap ones,
   2.d. 3 trim this to look almost like a PP3 map,
   2.e. 3 replace.
3. 1 correct inventor and year:
   3.a. 1 navigation box for constellations OK [2]
   3.b. 1 correct inventor and invention time [2]
4. ?? the primary myth text is conventional according to sources [3] [4];
5. ?? containing asterisms are listed (Brocchi's Cluster, some obsolete constellations that actually are asterisms) [5];
6. ?? move obsolete constellation texts (who are almost always infinitesimally small), into the constellations where their stars now reside [6];
7. ?? some historical map paintings [7];
8. ?? listings of most prominent stars and objects;
9. ?? texts about stellar associations;
10. ?? listings of most unique objects (f.ex. Cygnus Loop, Barnard's Star, Osiris);
11. ?? curiosa, f.ex. here Neptune was first observed, here Ceres was discovered;
12. ?? replace alternate viewings, with similar interpretative depicions. [8].
13. 1 Constellation infobox templates need review [9].
14. ?? Add more inline references.
15. 1 Every line in the infobox should have an inline reference [10].


All Task Force Templates documented here.


Add yourself here, if you want to participate! For now only:


    1. B00P (talk) 08:32, 5 May 2008 (UTC) Yeah, sure.
    2. Ninney (talk · contribs) - My great ways to contribute would be by making minor edits/corrections to articles (e.g., typos, fixing links, adding references to new secondary sources)
    3. Rursus 12:44, 13 March 2007 (UTC), initiator and driving force, if forced to also formal president, otherwise feel free to edit or propose an edit. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 18:11, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
    4. Thor Dockweiler (talk) 02:00, 19 September 2008 (UTC); astronomer. Thor Dockweiler (talk) 06:13, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
    5. Nebulösschwarzfahrer (talk) 06:08, 11 November 2014 (UTC)



Constellation Review[edit]

It seems more and more unsecure whether some of the "former constellations" ever were regarded as autonomous. Such cases are Asterion and Chara in Canes Venatici, Linum Piscium, Piscis Borealis and Piscis Australis in Pisces. One shouldn't confuse independent constellations with asterisms within constellations that were referred to when describing stars and comet positions within a constellation.

/Constellations template

To be inserted[edit]

Apes, Caput Medusae, Corona Firmiana, Fetonte, Gladii Electorales Saxonici, Pluteum (Brustwehr), Pomum Imperiale, Quadratum, Rosa, Sciurus Volans, Sudarium Veronicae, Telescopium Herscelii Minor. [11]

Audited content[edit]








  1. ^ PP3 generates bitmaps, which ought to be replaced by SVG code generation. This makes smaller size of files, and the files becoming easier to maintain and modify. I've investigated the PP3 code, and it has 3 severe deficiencies:
    1. the code is obfuscated (it uses some systematic code-messing, and the language is C++ which by CompSci is a blind alley PL),
    2. it is hard to install, because it has tough dependencies: TeX, dvi to PS conversion, ghostscript and some pixmap conversion/snapshotter,
    3. therefore it's very hard bound to a Unix like environment. PP3 is not good for star maps here, it's perfect for TeX documentation! For Wikipedia a simpler script/program should generate SVG directly, independent of other programs, without a heavy GUI, configurable through text files like PP3.
  2. ^ a b the modern additional constellations must be listed by correct inventor and year, doubts especially about Bayer vs. Petrus Plancius, an exact reading seems to imply Bayer created almost no constellation at all, but Petrus Plancius had no such inhibitions...
  3. ^ Poeticon Astronomicon
  4. ^ more??
  5. ^ Kriterion: an asterism must be in any way easily recognizable
  6. ^ majority principle: if 10 stars of Cryptophagus was disolved into Spatiomorpha and 7 stars into Horrix, then Cryptophagus text goes into Spatiomorpha
  7. ^ to support an interpretative depiction
  8. ^ The alternate viewings has a very low quality and doesn't adher to the historical viewings whereby the images of the constellations are still taught – a set interpretative depicions must refer to Poeticon Astronomicon, Almagest and Tabulæ Rudolphinæ latin descriptions. The depictions must adher to tradition in order to avoid becoming obsoleted and forgotten, or just simply deleted as original research!
  9. ^ Some of the items are vaguely named (such as "bright stars" and "nearby stars")
  10. ^ inline references as is done with galaxies (see f.ex. Sombrero Galaxy)
  11. ^ a b c, Felice Stoppa: Le costellazioni scomparse dal cielo
  12. ^ according to Bruhns
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h stop
  14. ^ according to wikipedia
  15. ^ a b c d e University of Oklahoma: History of the Constellations – this site is often quite wrong and not too reliable
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Plancius asked Keyser to measure southern constellations, he did but de Houtman delivered them to Plancius because of Keyser's demise.
  17. ^ Actually quite conventional, not alternative
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p The constellation is so generated in PP3 that it is truncated, i.e. peripheral parts are missing and borders outside the generated image!
  19. ^ a b probably never regarded as a separate constellation
  20. ^ a b c d e an alternative and ahistorical graphical depiction, delendam (Cato the Elder)!!
  21. ^ plancius
  22. ^ bartsch
  23. ^ hevelius
  24. ^ Fr. Ignace-Gaston Pardies 1674
  25. ^ a b c d never regarded as a separate constellation
  26. ^ a b c really odd dimensions, excentric or so!
  27. ^ introduced as asterism by bayer, but erected to a full constellation by royer
  28. ^ a b Augustin Royer remade the asterisms Columba and Crux to constellations
  29. ^ First known documentation of Crux in Amerigo Vespuccis letters, page 113, written about 1499-1501. Vespucci is earliest known claimant in Modern West
  30. ^ Greek: "on his knees"
  31. ^ This graphical representation is way out wrong: every textual source says Hercules/Engonasin (the Kneeler) is upside down, where up refers to north. The graph. repr. invents its own view, which is certainly "original research". (not quite original research--I recognize this from H. A. Rey's book, "The Stars, a New Way to See Them"--Starry Night software has the option to use Rey's depictions, and they have become a semi-standard alternative to the usual ones--addendum added by Todd Vance User:Tdvance )
  32. ^ Looks more like a deer than a lion
  33. ^ -90° compared to all known images of Libra. OR!
  34. ^ The worst I've ever seen! Nauseating!!
  35. ^ Have to compare to historical pictures
  36. ^ astrocultura, Ciofi e Torre: Costellazioni Estinte
  37. ^, Felice Stoppa: Jacob Bartsch, deLacaille only renamed
  38. ^ Sagittarius: missing left border, does the constell never end, really?
  39. ^ dum
  40. ^ Virgo graphical visualization: weird! Not wrong, not standard, just somewhat far fetched

Other dependent articles[edit]

Inventor articles[edit]

New Modern Addition Template[edit]

This is no template, until we wish to replace Template:Navconstel-modern-closed with the following content. Until then - feel free to improve!!

The 41 modern constellations added from 16th century and forth
▶ Vespucci: ~1500: CruxTriangulum Australe  ▶ Keyser/deHoutman/Plancius: ~1600: Apus • Chamaeleon • Coma Berenices • Dorado • Grus • Hydrus • Indus • Musca • Pavo • Phoenix • Tucana • Volans ▶ Plancius/Bartsch 1624: Camelopardalis • Monoceros ▶ Royer 1679: Columba  ▶ Hevelius 1683: Canes Venatici • Lacerta • Leo Minor • Lynx • Scutum • Sextans • Vulpecula ▶ de Lacaille 1763: Antlia • Caelum • Canes Venatici • Carina • Circinus • Fornax • Horologium • Mensa • Microscopium • Norma • Octans • Pictor • Puppis • Pyxis • Reticulum • Sculptor • Telescopium • Vela