Wikipedia talk:Notability (astronomical objects)

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Time for at least a one-liner about exoplanets?[edit]

Probably more new articles are being created about exoplanets than any other type of astronomical objects, perhaps more than all the rest combined. Maybe this guide should say at least something about them. The four guidelines about naked-eye visibility, inclusion in catalogues of interest to amateur astronomers, multiple non-trivial published works etc., fail to apply to any except a scant handful, and known before 1850 is of course a non-starter. On the other hand, the implicit assumption that "every exoplanet is notable" needs to be put to bed. There has been one attempt to create a separate guide to notability for exoplanets, but the RfC was declined with the decision to add a section here. Hasn't happened. Not really my field, but surely someone can come up with something? Lithopsian (talk) 20:22, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

Point 3 of the criteria (multiple none-trivial publications) applies, and rightly so. Any exoplanets which do not meet that threshold should be taken to AfD. In my view there's no need to add an explicit exoplanet criterion, but an exoplanet example would be a good idea. I'm sure we can come up with two suitable exemplars: one notable, one not. Modest Genius talk 11:31, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
I agree with Modest Genius here. No need for a specific criterion, but an example would go a long way. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 11:44, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
I've added two examples. Modest Genius talk 11:38, 12 April 2017 (UTC)
So @Headbomb: took my non-notable example and redirected it to the already extant WASP-56. That's well spotted, but the star doesn't meet our criteria either so should be deleted. Or am I applying a different standard here? Modest Genius talk 20:16, 13 April 2017 (UTC)
Well if the star isn't notable, have the article deleted. But if the article exists, it's a good example of what to do with non-notable exoplanets. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 20:24, 13 April 2017 (UTC)
I've prodded WASP-56 for deletion. Pinging @Casliber: who created the original stub. Modest Genius talk 14:59, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
By definition thes systems have been studied in a bit of detail. So I'd say all stars with planetary systems are keepers. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 15:05, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
Which definition would that be? I searched for sources to establish notability for WASP-56b without success. The only remarkable thing about the star is its planet, so it has the same problem. Do you have any evidence of coverage that meets our notability criteria? If not, I'll take it to AfD. Modest Genius talk 15:44, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
No evidence has appeared, so I've prodded the WASP-56 article. Modest Genius talk 11:20, 14 June 2017 (UTC)
I'd forgotten that there was a previous disputed prod, so this is now at AfD instead: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/WASP-56. Modest Genius talk 12:38, 26 June 2017 (UTC)
This is the whole exoplanet problem that I'm trying to get past. When there were only a handful of exoplanets, it was pretty clear that they were all notable. Now that there are a few thousand, that idea is getting stretched. When our technical abilities reveal that the vast majority of stars have planets, then it becomes obvious that not all of them need a Wikipedia article. Now is the time to draw the line and decide which we should write about. Lithopsian (talk) 15:28, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
My thinking was that most stars with planets would have had at least a couple of references discussing them and their systems in detail...however the material on this one does look slim. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 00:33, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
An example: today I made an article on LHS 1140 with LHS 1140b as a redirect for the planet. There are plenty of non-academic sources for this one. But should the article be on the planet, or the star? The star would not be notable in itself if it were not for the planet. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 01:12, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
I'd say the star as the planet is a component of the star system.Also, the discovery etc. involved observation of the star mainly Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 03:28, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
I'm comfortable with bundling one or more planets into an otherwise non-notable star (system) article, but there are at least one or two voices who would want it the other way round. The exoplanet-specific infobox does include summary stellar information so it doesn't strictly require a star article if there is nothing interesting to say about the star. Lithopsian (talk) 11:08, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
I am sure that by compiling all data one could come up with more info about any star than any of its exoplanets. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 11:30, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
The example of LHS 1140 begs the question of whether stars that are not notable in themselves should have an article only because they have a notable planet. Having a single article under the name of the star is one possibility, but there are already many cases of a star article separate from one or more exoplanet articles. The arrangement of infoboxes should also be considered. There is the almost universal starbox, but separate planetboxes which allow for the inclusion of some information about the star. Which should be used if the article is about a notable exoplanet and non-notable star? Break convention with every other star article? Expand the starbox template? Should we consider "star system" articles to make it clear that exoplanets are included? So many questions... Lithopsian (talk) 21:27, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
Given the issues with WASP-56, which somehow survived AfD, I've swapped it out for another non-notable example: HAT-P-40 b. Modest Genius talk 11:07, 18 July 2017 (UTC)
I think that is an absolutely terrible example. That planet has only recently been discovered. It is much too soon to say that it will not receive additional coverage in the future. Further, the planet has been recommended for further investigation, so there is a real degree of probability that it will get more coverage in the future. We don't want examples that are likely to go out of date, which this one is. What you would want is an example that had received no further coverage despite being discovered a long time ago. Apart from that there a danger of creating a self-fulfilling prophecy whereby further research does not take place on this planet, or editors refuse to accept that future additional coverage is sufficient, because Wikipedia has officially labelled this planet as "non-notable" in an extremely prominent place. We would not allow "here is a specific example of a person whose BLP should not be created" in WP:BIO. I don't see why exoplanets should be different. Finally, experience shows that the usual effect of putting a specific example of an allegedly non-notable topic in a guideline is to provoke editors into creating articles on that topic (and re-creating them if they get deleted) as a way of sticking two fingers up at the guideline. Frankly, it is arguable that the existing coverage already satisfies GNG, which is less restrictive than NASTRO, and sooner or later editors very likely will argue that the example is a mere local consensus. Putting examples of supposedly non-notable topics in guidelines usually creates needless conflict. James500 (talk) 22:17, 25 March 2018 (UTC)
There is nothing terrible about that example (HAT-P-40 b). It's a very good example in fact. Currently, that object is nowhere near notable. Age of discovery doesn't matter, per WP:CRYSTALBALL. Which space rocks, or which stars become notable in the future depends on future research. If you want to remove that example, all you have to do is show that HAT-P-40 b meets WP:NASTRO. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 04:49, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
The only way to find out whether a topic is notable is to create it and see what happens at AfD. The fact the examples section of the guideline expressly states the planet is non-notable would arguably make it impossible to create it in the first place. And it is a rotten example, because it satisfies GNG, which doesn't contain any of the bizarre nonsense in this SNG. James500 (talk) 04:59, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
HAT-P-40 b most definitely does not pass GNG. If you think it does, create the article and have it pass AFD. Or come up with a different example, more suitable to your liking.Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 05:15, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
But how can anyone create an article on the planet when NASTRO specifically names that specific planet as one that must not be created? There is a procedural issue. It would have been better to have chosen an example that has already failed AfD. James500 (talk) 05:30, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
The text of the guideline is also misleading about the number and type of sources. It says the planet has been included in 'several databases and catalogues', but actually the planet and star have been included in 21 papers between them according to SIMBAD. That is more than "several" and don't think that a paper like "HAT-P-49b: a 1.7 M J planet transiting a bright 1.5 M {sun} F-star" can be called a catalog or a database. James500 (talk) 06:07, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
Another problem is that, if an article was created, having a blue link to it in this guideline would tend to disproportionately attract hostile attention from hostile editors to any AfD that did take place because it is a non-neutral notice in a non-neutral venue. It would cause editors to show up at the AfD who would not otherwise do so, skewering participation towards a those with a particular point of view. James500 (talk) 06:25, 4 April 2018 (UTC)

Easily, you just have to show that HAT-P-40 b meats WP:NASTRO, and papers on HAT-P-49 b don't count for anything as far as HAT-P-40 b is concerned. As for papers, they need significant commentary on the star/planet as an individual entity, being listed in a group of 500 other similar planets/stars only show that general class of similar planet/stars is notable. If HAT-P-40 b is subject to significant commentary as an individual entity, then it becomes notable. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 20:50, 4 April 2018 (UTC)

That said, if you want to bring a different example forward, go right ahead. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 20:52, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
I agree HAT-P-40 b doesn't currently meet GNG nor the rest of the NASTRO guideline. That said, it sounds like a valid concern that if HAT-P-40b gains substantial coverage in the future without this project page's editors noticing, the example will become erroneous and possibly confusing. Maybe add in "As of 2017" or "As of March 2018" to make it clear the project page is only using it as an example based on its pre-April 2018 coverage. Rolf H Nelson (talk) 04:55, 5 April 2018 (UTC)

I'll be quite happy to reassess and/or switch the example if HAT-P-40b attracts future attention, but right now it is nowhere near passing GNG or NASTRO. The arguments that it does are rather undermined by citing a paper on a completely different exoplanet as evidence. I think it's fine to have add 'as of 2018' but otherwise the example is a good one (of course I'm biased because I picked it). Modest Genius talk 13:18, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

SIMBAD and NED[edit]

In WP:NASTCRIT we may want to make specific mention of SIMBAD and NED regarding whether those are suitable vehicles for establishing notability. Praemonitus (talk) 22:01, 26 June 2018 (UTC)

SIMBAD in no way establishes notability. It contain ~9.1 million objects. There is a reason we mention the Messier/New General Catalogues as comparison points. Unsure of what you are referring to with NAS however. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 22:25, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
Sorry, I meant NED (typo); I've updated the mentions. All I'm saying is that we could state a consensus about this for future clarity. In Criteria #2 or #3, for example. Praemonitus (talk) 00:05, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
I feel this is sufficiently addressed by "Being listed in comprehensive databases and surveys such as 2MASS or 2dFGRS isn't enough for notability." SIMBAD and NED aim to be comprehensive. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 00:10, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
I understand where you are coming from, but some editors may not interpret the sites that way. Both of the listed examples are surveys, rather than comprehensive relational databases. Praemonitus (talk) 00:19, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
I suppose we could always add them as examples, but I wouldn't want an exhaustive list to be enshrined in policy. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 00:38, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
Added. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 00:41, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
That is acceptable. Praemonitus (talk) 01:54, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
I agree this is a sensible addition. Modest Genius talk 12:35, 27 June 2018 (UTC)

RfC about independent sources for academic biographies[edit]

An RfC which might be of interest to watchers of this page has been opened at Wikipedia talk:Notability (academics)#RfC about independent sources for academic notability to decide the following question:

Current wording: Academics/professors meeting any one of the following conditions, as substantiated through reliable sources, are notable.
Proposed wording: Academics/professors meeting one or more of the following conditions, as substantiated using multiple published, reliable, secondary sources which are independent of the subject and each other, are notable.

Shall the wording in the section Wikipedia:Notability (academics)#Criteria be changed to the proposed wording above?

Editors are welcome to join the discussion. -- Netoholic @ 23:33, 7 May 2019 (UTC)

Notability of NGC objects[edit]

I understand how the Messier catalogue objects are notable. After all, there are only 110. But are all NGC objects really notable (according to criteria 2)? There are, after all, more than 7,000 of them.To be notable, an article still has to be subject to significant coverage (note 1 on the criteria), but a large percentage of NGC objects don't have any sources dedicated to them but are merely listed in SIMBAD or in large tables. So should there be a clarification next to criteria 2 that some NGC objects aren't notable? This was discussed here [1], but it seems no consensus was reached and the notability guidelines themselves looked a bit different back then. An example of what I'm thinking about is this [2], where perhaps the most notable mention is [3]. But there are better examples for NGC objects where no article exists yet where is pretty much zero reference outside of databases. Sam-2727 (talk) 23:38, 1 January 2020 (UTC)

I've raised this before. Clearly not all NGC objects are notable, but I wasn't able to establish consensus for a change to the criteria. Lithopsian (talk) 15:18, 2 January 2020 (UTC)
Yes, I've seen that, but certainly this [4] can demonstrate to people that the phrase containing NGC objects can be confusing, even being erroneously cited as a reason for keeping the article. I'm going to raise this at WP:Astronomy to try to get more participants to reach some sort of consensus. Sam-2727 (talk) 01:00, 4 January 2020 (UTC)
How about we presume that they are all notable in the guideline. This will keep it simple. Anyone that wants to claim otherwise for an AFD should prove that the object has not been studied. But just being an NGC object is not in itself a reason to keep. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 01:14, 4 January 2020 (UTC)
  • So there isn't any confusion, this is what I'm proposing changing criterion 2 to:

    The object is listed in a small catalogue of high importance (e.g. Messier catalogue, Caldwell catalogue). Being listed in comprehensive databases (e.g. SIMBAD or NED) and surveys (e.g. 2MASS or 2dFGRS) isn't enough for notability by itself.

    I removed the "historical importance" part as well, because NGC objects aren't just "historically important." The NGC identifier is still used today a lot too. If someone finds a catalogue of pure historical importance, I suppose that could be added to this, but most catalogues of pure historical importance are of stars visible to the naked eye or other famous stars/objects that are obviously notable. While I'm proposing changes, though, where the guidelines say

    supported through independent reliable sources

    it might be better to change to

    supported through significant coverage in multiple independent, reliable sources

    as this seems to be what the point of that sentence is. That is, to say that an astronomy article still must meet the general notability criteria, even if it meets the criteria of the WP:NASTRO. Sam-2727 (talk) 01:42, 4 January 2020 (UTC)
I also think what User:Graeme Bartlett is saying is also a good point. So maybe instead of the second revision I put, maybe replace "it probably qualifies for a stand-alone article" with "it should be presumed to be notable, unless the object fails the criteria of WP:GNG". Sam-2727 (talk) 01:46, 4 January 2020 (UTC)
Just to chime in with an opinion: the NGC contains most, but not all fuzzy things visible in a moderately sized telescope in the northern hemisphere, and some, but certainly not all in the southern, plus a bunch of mistaken entries. That does not seem like a good criteria for notability for each entry, without other independent sources. - Parejkoj (talk) 15:27, 4 January 2020 (UTC)
I think we should clarify "catalogue of high historical importance" as there must be a very limed number that could be listed and have all members notable. This is subject to opinion, so I think we need to discuss exactly which catalogues are included. eg is Henry Draper Catalogue one of these? Fifth Cambridge Survey of Radio Sources is likely not a collection of all notable objects. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 05:32, 5 January 2020 (UTC)
To respond to Graeme Bartlett, I would say that the Henry Draper Catalogue wouldn't qualify to be "of high historical importance" as the catalogue contains over 200,000 stars. This is larger than the amount of NGC objects, so they certainly aren't notable. But the Henry Draper Catalogue highlights why I think that phrase should be removed entirely. Not all astronomical object from a catalogue of high historical importance will follow standard notability guidelines, (except for perhaps Messier which is already listed). When evaluating each object of the catalogue on a case-by-case basis, someone can just refer the other notability guidelines. Sam-2727 (talk) 03:25, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
There's a lot of objects in the HD catalogue that won't satisfy the notability criteria. Heck there's quite a few non-notable stars in the HR catalogue for that matter. For catalogues I think you want to at least limit it to manually-assembled lists, and possibly to ones not built using photography. Praemonitus (talk) 15:54, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
Also, any notability criteria should probably exclude entries in the NGC catalogue that are mistakes, such as stars, coordinates that correspond to no object, etc. I see a couple example of articles of "NGC stars", like NGC 84. Loooke (talk) 23:35, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
Looking at what people have said so far, it seems that most agree that NGC shouldn't be included in the notability criteria, so would it be appropriate for me to remove it for now, pending a future discussion on what exactly should be included? (i.e. if there is to be a historical importance section at all?) Sam-2727 (talk) 13:32, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
Most people who bothered commenting, which is no more than a hanful of editors, and which do not overrule the overwhelming consensus of last time. NGC objects are all notable, and have all been subject to significant follow up studies, and represents exactly the sweet spot in the notability threshold. That doesn't mean all NGC objects need to have their own articles. Only that deletion isn't the best outcome for NGC objects. Mistakes/non-existent objects, for instance, can all be lumped into one article / redirected to a list explaining the object isn't real. See in particular "Although some objects might qualify for a standalone article based on this guideline alone, it may still be best to create redirects to a more general article." Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 14:02, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
"NGC objects are all notable": they may all be notable to astronomers, but as I have previously pointed out, they certainly don't all satisfy the WP:GNG; I've confirmed it directly. As far as I'm concerned, we can not make that claim in this guideline.
I previously added a list of all remaining NGC objects that do satisfy WP:GNG here: Wikipedia:Requested_articles/Natural_sciences#NGC_Objects. Praemonitus (talk) 15:41, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
They are notable, period, for both historical reason and for amateur astronomy. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 15:51, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
If they don't satisfy the "significant coverage" requirement for WP:GNG, then they are not notable. Period. "For the purposes of this guideline, notable means having attracted significant notice in the spirit of WP:GNG." You can't ignore this guideline then claim to support the consensus of this guideline. Praemonitus (talk) 17:48, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
"Significant notice in the spirit of WP:GNG" and they have. The NGC itself is that coverage, on top of every subsequent study of the NGC objects, collectively and individually. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 17:57, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
As you well know, the original discovery of an object does not constitute sufficient coverage. If there is subsequent coverage that satisfied WP:GNG, then I agree that makes it notable. Praemonitus (talk) 18:30, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
Dreyer didn't discover these objects. Dreyer followed up on reports and compiled them into a collected work. The NGC itself is subsequent coverage. As are later revisions of the NGC, such as the RNGC. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 19:05, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
Regardless, it needs to satisfy the "No inherited notability" criteria of this guideline. Existing in a mass compilation does not satisfy this criteria. It is only an indicator that it may be notable. Praemonitus (talk) 19:16, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
@Headbomb:, I think your arguments apply more to the NGC catalogue as a whole, which are obviously notable, but individual objects can't just inherent notability from the notability of the catalogue. To say otherwise would be against the "no inherited notability" section of WP:NASTRO.

Let's just take an example. I just looked up a random NGC number, 631 for this demonstration. A google search comes up with nothing besides the usual autogenerated sources, and a search on google scholar comes up with near zero sources (although some articles show up as mentioning NGC 631, these are just erroneous pings by google). Can Headbomb or others explain how this can be classified as notable under the general criteria, or somehow an exception to the general critiria? As a side note, thank you Praemonitus for making that list on requested articles. I've actually used that list quite a bit. Sam-2727 (talk) 00:16, 11 January 2020 (UTC)