Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Astronomical objects

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WikiProject Astronomy / Astronomical objects  (Rated Project-class)
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Mass refund of PROD'd stubs[edit]

I came across a couple of small-ish star stubs recently and submitted them for AfD. They had been PROD'd a few years back and then deleted. See Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/GJ 1151. I didn't realise at the time that these were just two out of a great many, so many that the process probably deserves discussion as a mass article creation. They were originally part of User:Chermundy's mass stub creation, the bulk of which were subsequently deleted. See GJ 3522, GJ 3192, GJ 3991, LP 658-2, LP 993-115, Gliese 514, GJ 4274, GJ 4053, GJ 1286, GJ 4063, GJ 4248, SCR J0740−4257, Gliese 701, Gliese 382, Gliese 831, Gliese 793, Gliese 686, Gliese 48, Gliese 450, Gliese 424, Gliese 480.1, Gliese 300, Gliese 257, Gliese 493.1, Gliese 618, Gliese 486, Gliese 232, Gliese 867, and L 745-46. There may be some I missed. I'm not sure if the logic for their notability is their closeness or a simple count of Simbad references (or both?). @James500: or @Exoplanetaryscience: can probably explain better. A couple of them have since been expanded beyond stubs but most are still one-liners. Lithopsian (talk) 15:52, 25 June 2018 (UTC)

Looks like ~600 pages (and some page moves) were created by that user.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf) 
I'm pretty sure there was a project to fix, redirect, or delete them when it became apparent that there was a problem with the articles, although I can't find it now. A search of the archives shows a number of "Chermundy" problems but not anything I could see about tidying up mass stub creations. Lithopsian (talk) 16:53, 25 June 2018 (UTC)
Some of these articles have undergone a degree of development (GJ 3991 for example), so for now perhaps it's best to focus on the one- or two-liner stubs. Then again, even some of the Chermundy's developed articles are of dubious notability. Gliese 205, for example, has a two paragraph history of (entirely non-notable) observation. Praemonitus (talk) 18:30, 25 June 2018 (UTC)
  • The logic, as Lithopsian well knows, is that the sources in SIMBAD contain significant coverage that satisfies GNG, and that the articles were mostly the subject of a blatant WP:MASSNOM over a short period of time in March 2015. The fact that these stars are exceptional due to their extreme closeness to us is the icing on the cake. If Lithopsian disputes the notability of these articles, he should have gone to AfD, and not engaged in what looks like canvassing and forum shopping here. I should point out that WP:REFUND is not 'creation'. PROD is only for wholly uncontroversial deletions that have no opposition whatsoever. In this case, there is opposition, and you are talking to him right now. Accordingly, none of these things should have been PRODed in the first place. James500 (talk) 20:31, 25 June 2018 (UTC)
    Don't assume bad faith on my part. I offered you the chance to put your explanation rather than try to put words in your mouth. I certainly don't "know full well" that Simbad establishes notability with one source listing or a hundred. The PROD's were unopposed for 2-3 years, which is a pretty good reason for them to be deleted. Now you oppose the PRODs, the articles are all back, and you're still complaining about procedure. This is an informal discussion about the merits of a moderately large number of stubs that were removed once following considerable discussion several years ago, rather than slapping them all straight into AfD which you can do at any time if you feel this is a kangaroo court. Please stick to the merits of those articles rather making everything personal. Lithopsian (talk) 13:33, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
    SIMBAD is a WP:TERTIARY source. Secondary sources are required to satisfy WP:GNG. Ergo, SIMBAD does not satisfy the notability requirement. It is necessary to track down the sources that do have significant coverage, and that, more often than not, is a difficult challenge. The only reason why proximity would be relevant is that it is more likely to have reliable studies to establish significant coverage. Otherwise it is irrelevant to WP:GNG.
    I've gone ahead and tagged many of these articles as having notability concerns. Praemonitus (talk) 21:21, 25 June 2018 (UTC)
    • Actually WP:PSTS says "Secondary or tertiary sources are needed to establish the topic's notability" (emphasis added). So we can use tertiary sources to establish notability. And that is policy. Which overrides notability guidelines. I know our policies and guidelines back to front, so there is not much point trying to explain them to me. James500 (talk) 22:23, 25 June 2018 (UTC)
      • "Wikipedia articles should be based on reliable, published secondary sources and, to a lesser extent, on tertiary sources and primary sources." This is delving into common sense; SIMBAD has many thousands of objects, very few of which are suitable for Wikipedia. The same with NED. Praemonitus (talk) 23:37, 25 June 2018 (UTC)
          • WP:PSTS is not so relavent to if an article exists or not, as it's main purpose is to pick which sources to use an stop editor original research based on those primary sources. What is important is that a significant amount has been written on the topic. Simbad may link to suitable sources, but don't assume that those sources are suitable. I am a bit concerned that the prod reversals may be for a political reason rather than a desire to improve those articles. I would not support mass undeletion without attempting to improve the pages. Just because they are close does not prove notability. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 05:05, 26 June 2018 (UTC)

The unprods were the result of my understanding of GNG. I think it should, for example, be obvious from the large amount of information compiled into SIMBAD that, in the case of these stars, the sources contain significant coverage between them that satisfies GNG. Examination does bear out that the vast quantity of information compiled on each star has come from the sources and not been invented by SIMBAD itself. As to improvement, per WP:IMPERFECT, we don't delete articles because they need to be improved. We assume that if they are in the mainspace, someone will improve them sooner or later. Again, I am just applying policy. I cannot subscribe to your interpretation of WP:PSTS: I think its wording is wholly unambiguous, and provided that wording went through the correct proposal process for establishing consensus, it does not matter that it has been put in an illogical place. In any event, it makes sense as a rule. Encyclopedias are tertiary sources, and the inclusion of a topic in a reputable professionally published reliable independent etc encyclopedia (such as eg Britannica) is strong evidence that it is an encyclopedic topic that is suitable for inclusion in an encyclopedia like ours. I was trying to improve these things, but I'm not getting a chance to do that, because I can't improve content in the face of WP:DEMOLISH, and I have simply run out of patience. James500 (talk) 06:33, 26 June 2018 (UTC)

  • Yep. It's useless to wave your hand at SIMBAD and say it's got X number of references without actually looking at those refs. Generally this only means that it's been listed in catalogues containing hundreds or thousands of stars, none of which have been considered individually. Or it's been used as a handy photometric calibration star due to being near the actual object of study on the sky, and notability is not inherited. You've got to actually look at the claimed references. Reyk YO! 06:26, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
    • I did look at the references. You know perfectly well that we have different ideas about what is and is not significant. James500 (talk) 06:33, 26 June 2018 (UTC) Being a "a handy photometric calibration star" contributes to notability. It is not inherited from the other object, because the other object is not "a handy photometric calibration star". Those catalogues are more than just a list of names which is what "not considered individually" means. James500 (talk) 06:43, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
      • Unless you have an actual source saying they're a handy photometric calibration star, this is at best speculation and in no way conveys notability. Per WP:NASTRO "Being mentioned alongside other similar objects, such as in a table of properties of 200 newly discovered supernovae, does not constitute non-trivial coverage; the paper needs to have significant commentary on the object." [emphasis in original]Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 15:19, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
      • A topic that satisfies GNG does not have to satisfy NASTRO or any other SNG as well. The lead section of N makes this very clear. There is overwhelming consensus in favour of this. All of attempts to alter the lead section of N to allow SNG to impose restrictions on GNG have always failed badly, because the wider community appreciates that many SNG are obscure backwaters with very limited participation (ie virtual fiefdoms) that are absolutely full of bizarre mega-deletionist garbage wholly incompatible with everything GNG stands for. I suggest you look to the wording of GNG itself. James500 (talk) 21:16, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
Notice. I've AFD'd them all save for GJ 3991, which is borderline. Initially I thought some of them might be salvageable, e.g. LP 658-2, but upon inspect these sources do not consist of significant commentary, simply a listing in surveys. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 15:33, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
Argh. You couldn't have mass-nominated them? --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 15:34, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
I suppose I could have, but I figured it'd be easier to discuss individually. I can refactor the nominations though. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 15:42, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
@SarekOfVulcan: done. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 16:04, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
  • The idea that distance does not affect notability is demonstrably false. Certain techniques, such as trigonometric parallax are not possible for a star that is too far away (on the order of hundreds of parsecs): [1] [2]. A star with a given absolute magnitude will have a lower apparent magnitude, and appear brighter, the closer it is too us. This means it can be seen with a smaller less expensive telescope: [3] (source not strictly about this but explains the principle). Quite a lot of the red dwarfs within 30 light years seem to have an apparent magnitude of less than 13, which is within the range of a 150mm amateur telescope (Kingfisher Pocket Book of Astronomy). (Anything that can be seen with a not atypical amateur telescope should probably not be deleted). On top of that there appears to be serious talk now of sending probes to the nearest stars using a solar sail, starting with Proxima, and even going as far as Castor A (50+ light years). It seems to me that the stars that have been nominated might conceivably be potential probe targets in the not excessively remote future, because they are close. Generally, the nearest stars are more accesible to us. [4]. All things considered, the nearest stars should not be aggresively deleted. Bearing in mind the size of the project, having articles on say, the thousand nearest stars or a larger number on the same order would be a perfectly reasonable thing to do. A thousand articles on nearby stars, or even ten times that, is not going to cause a 5.6 million article encyclopedia to blow up. It is frankly absurd to worry about the appearance of a mere thirty articles (a tiny number) on the nearest stars, let alone aggressively mass delete them. James500 (talk) 10:24, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
Correlation isn't causation. If they are notable, you'll be able to find sources that discuss these objects specifically, directly, and as standalone things worth discussing, rather than being discussed in bulk. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 11:19, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
Yep. A star being relatively nearby or relatively bright may make it more likely to be the subject of individual study, but we still do need the actual sources. Reyk YO! 11:29, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
I'm going to add another voice to the "being nearby doesn't imply notable". How do you define "nearby" anyway? Your claim that trigonometric parallax only works to a few hundred parsec is quite out of date: Gaia DR2 has distances beyond a thousand pc to a handful of percent. Things that are in catalogs are not inherently notable, unless there are secondary sources that demonstrate their notability. Otherwise, we'd be spending a huge amount of time trying to keep up with the constantly growing catalogs. - Parejkoj (talk) 18:01, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
James500 just retired. Praemonitus (talk) 18:18, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
Oh well. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 18:28, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Having given the matter consideration, I think the best approach would be for me to give details of the information available from the sources in SIMBAD that is not included in our lists of nearby stars, to demonstrate that our lists are inadequate. Consider List of star systems within 20–25 light-years. Some examples of information missing from this list: (1) The list generally gives one measurement for parallax of each star when there are in fact multiple measurements. For example, Gliese (1991), Altena (1995), and Dittman (2014) each give different a different number for the parallax of the same star. I am under the impression this is important because the best way to eliminate errors is to have the greatest possible number of measurements over the longest possible period of time (See eg Toulmin and Goodfield, The Fabric of the Heavens, Pelican Books, 1963, p 46). (2) Fluxes are completely absent from our list, despite the fact that the sources in SIMBAD give figures for up to 14 filters for each star. (The number of figures given seems to depend on the star, for example, Gliese 701 has 12). Leaving aside my opinions about the merits of this information for the moment, I would point out that as SIMBAD is compiled by experts at the University of Strasbourg with verifiable credentials (unlike Wikipedians who could be anyone) who should know what is and is not noteworthy in this field, the fact that this information is compiled in SIMBAD is strong evidence that it is noteworthy. In fact, it is just about overwhelming evidence. (3) Redshifts and proper motions are not included in our list, despite being available from the sources in SIMBAD. (4) Co-ordinates are not included in our list, despite being available from the sources in SIMBAD. This omission really is egregiously preposterous. Without these, you do not know which star you are talking about. A distance measurement is useless if you do not know which direction to look in. (5) These stars typically have more than one name by virtue of having been included in more than one catalogue, the vast majority of which are not included in out list. Gliese 701 for example has forty such names listed in SIMBAD, none of which are included in List of star systems within 25–30 light-years. Sooner or later readers will come looking for these stars by using the other names of these stars as search terms, such as HD 165222 or LHS 3356, and they will become incredibly confused and annoyed when they can't find the star they are looking for, because we have given a different name and have only given one of them, let alone provided the redirects that are needed to allow this things to be found with a reasonable level of ease. (END EXAMPLES). On the face of it, we should include this sort of information. There is however so much of it that I seriously doubt that it could be included in our lists, especially in their present tabular form. This leads to the conclusion that stand alone articles are needed, because this sort of coverage is significant, and per SPINOUT, and because the information we presently have is plainly not adequate. James500 (talk) 03:58, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
SIMBAD is a repository of about 9 million objects. They are each as individually notable as the individuals in a database of every person living in Serbia today. The criteria is what's outlined in WP:NASTRO. If the objects meet that, they can be kept. If not, they will be deleted. Having 49 separate measurement of parallax, coordinates, brightness, etc... means nothing, what is needed is commentary on the object. This has been explained to you several times now. If you want to creatws dozens and dozens of astronomical object stubs, I suggest you start with the entries found in Wikipedia:WikiProject Astronomical objects/Catalogues that do meet WP:NASTRO. See Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Astronomical objects#Wikipedia:WikiProject Astronomical objects/Catalogues below.Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 07:38, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
The stars in constellation lists (eg. List of stars in Orion) are mostly notable, although no guarantee. Other lists most likely include objects that are not notable. If you have a niche interest (eg. nearby stars), then perhaps working on the accuracy of the existing lists might be a good place to start. Sourcing for astronomical objects is slightly complex, in part because Wikipedia guidelines were not specifically designed for them. The type of references considered reliable for a biography aren't necessarily the best for a star. Secondary sources like books are often hopelessly out of date. Peer-reviewed papers are primary sources, but usually preferred for raw data. Caution is needed with preprints which may never be accepted for publication. Even more caution with secondary sources such as news reports and blogs: they can be useful for establishing notability, but tend to suffer from Chinese whispers. Newer papers tend to be preferable, but make sure they aren't just randomly using some value from a very old paper; ideally a new source takes into account older publications and either supersedes or refines the older results. For example, the first set of Hipparcos parallaxes should be considered to be completely superseded by the Revised Hipparcos parallaxes, and those by Gaia parallaxes as they become available. Simbad is not a good reference: it is a portal, which means it only reports what is available elsewhere (usually showing the original source explicitly) and the data it displays may change over time. Historical lists of experimental results are not usually helpful; readers won't know what to make of them, and making anything from them that isn't already published would be original research. Pick "the best" value, just possibly two or three where contradictory results have been published, and go with it. In a detailed article, it may be appropriate to mention conflicting results or older results to give context for the currently accepted situation. Lithopsian (talk) 14:10, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

Neutrino source[edit]

Could we get some more eyes on TXS 0506+056? That's the blazar that was announced as an astrophysical neutrino source last week. The article is currently a stub, but there's been plenty written about it (before and after the neutrino discovery) so it should be possible to expand it. Modest Genius talk 11:07, 16 July 2018 (UTC)

The Russian version has more ru:TXS 0506+056. IC170922A is also probably notable in itself as the first observation of its type. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 11:29, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
Maybe, though a lot of the discussion of IceCube-170922A rolls in the related precovery of numerous lower-energy neutrinos emitted from the same source a few years earlier. If the article on the blazar grows it might be worth splitting out the neutrino event into a separate article at some point, but for now it's easier to cover them both together. Modest Genius talk 15:18, 16 July 2018 (UTC)

Sigma Draconis[edit]

An anonymous editor (but one evidently familiar with editing Wikipedia) has been making calculations for the semi-major axis of an unconfirmed planet in the Sigma Draconis system on the basis of an assumed fixed mass equal to the rough minimum. I've been reverting on the basis that the orbital inclination is unknown and the calculation is bordering on WP:OR, if not all the way over. To me it's a real stretch to be doing this sort of thing on an unconfirmed planet with only rough data estimates. Any thoughts on the matter? Unfortunately I can find no other sources that could weigh in on the topic, other than saying Sigma Draconis is RV stable. Praemonitus (talk) 01:28, 27 July 2018 (UTC)

I was about to undo those edits as massive OR, but I saw you'd already been there. I have made no changes to what you left, but think this is far far beyond a trivial calculation. Lithopsian (talk) 13:45, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
Please feel free to remove it. I was just being conciliatory, figuring it would get overridden eventually by a new source. Praemonitus (talk) 14:29, 27 July 2018 (UTC)

Epoch, equinox, and the ICRS[edit]

I started a discussion at Template talk:Starbox observe#Epoch and equinox (and ICRS) again, but it occurred to me that it deserves a wider audience. The subject has come up before (search the archives for this page) but the solutions seem to have either been incorrect, not implemented, or subsequently reverted or otherwise lost. Lithopsian (talk) 14:32, 21 September 2018 (UTC)

PASTEL catalogue[edit]

FYI: I have found this recent catalogue of Teff, log g and [Fe/H] computed for many stars that could help filling some currently void boxes in the Starbox template: PASTEL catalogue Psyluke (talk) 15:42, 26 September 2018 (UTC)

Here's a citation:
Soubiran, Caroline; et al. (2016), "The PASTEL catalogue: 2016 version", Astronomy & Astrophysics, 591: A118, arXiv:1605.07384, Bibcode:2016A&A...591A.118S, doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201628497.
Praemonitus (talk) 22:04, 26 September 2018 (UTC)
Note that the data is collated from previous publications which are sometimes (not always) quite old. Take care before replacing any existing data. Other than that it is generally reliable. Lithopsian (talk) 14:15, 27 September 2018 (UTC)