Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Astronomical objects/Archive 17

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A-class articles

I noticed that we have FA and GA class articles, but no A-class articles... perhaps some GA-class articles should be assessed into the higher grade? (talk) 14:27, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Personally I think perhaps the criteria for A-class and GA-class should be merged. That is, a more strenuous review is needed to move up to the A/GA class, and the two should just become A-class.—RJH (talk) 17:11, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Artists impressions of exoplanets

There's a discussion of the appropriate use of artist's impressions of exoplanets on the planetbox template's talk page. AldaronT/C 18:49, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Mars needs humans

The Mars article has been listed as in need of cleanup since March 2009 at Wikipedia:Featured articles/Cleanup listing#Mar_2009_2. I've been doing some work on it, but the page is still in need of help. If you are willing, please take a look and see what can be done. I'm hoping to avoid the relegation that occurred with the open cluster article. Thanks! – RJH (talk) 19:05, 27 December 2009 (UTC)


GRO550+08 has been prodded for deletion. This object is apparently actually called "GR 0550+08", but someone misspelled it when they created the article. (talk) 07:08, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

How predictable that a totally unremarkable and obscure radio source should get de-PRODded. Here's the AfD. Icalanise (talk) 23:33, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
I wouldn't say it's predictable, since I've noticed other notices I've posted about these things do get deleted through prod, as no one removes the prodbanner... (talk) 07:59, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Halley's Comet FAC

The Halley's Comet article is a featured article candidate.—RJH (talk) 16:39, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

Cold Neptune

Someone has prodded Cold Neptune for deletion. (talk) 08:16, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

There only seems to be one journal author who uses the expression: Andrew Gould from the Lawrence Hall of Science.[1] Overall the prod argument doesn't seem unreasonable.—RJH (talk) 21:21, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
It's probably time to restart the Ice giant article... and maybe redirect this term there, when that article is recreated/rewritten. (talk) 06:15, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps the material on ice giants can be inserted in the gas giant article first, then be spun off as a daughter article once there is enough content.—RJH (talk) 18:05, 9 January 2010 (UTC)


We have a featured image of the day... Jan 12/2010

File:Star-sizes.jpg (talk) 12:20, 12 January 2010 (UTC)


We appear to have a person making hoaxes, and adding content to astronomy articles to link to the hoaxes. See Darthchess (talk · contribs).

Specifically, edits to Red dwarf and the articles (55636) 2010 TO300 and Arch, Prifysognol II (talk) 06:48, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

User accound was blocked; Person returned as Darthcheckered (talk · contribs); new account was blocked. (talk) 08:00, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

Applied planetology prod'd

I applied a prod template to Applied planetology. It is not a term I see used in journal articles and the only ghits appear to be WP-related. I suspect it was just created as part of the general extrasolar planet mania that goes on around here. :-) —RJH (talk) 21:44, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

article activity notices: Quasar and Black hole


there's a straw poll open at Talk:Quasar


there's a debate at Talk:Black hole about recent edits to Black Hole (talk) 06:19, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

WP 1.0 bot announcement

This message is being sent to each WikiProject that participates in the WP 1.0 assessment system. On Saturday, January 23, 2010, the WP 1.0 bot will be upgraded. Your project does not need to take any action, but the appearance of your project's summary table will change. The upgrade will make many new, optional features available to all WikiProjects. Additional information is available at the WP 1.0 project homepage. — Carl (CBM · talk) 02:52, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

The Sun

The Sun redirect is up for discussion on its target, see Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2010 January 26 (talk) 06:03, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Template:Infobox minor planet

Template:Infobox minor planet has been nominated for deletion. (talk) 13:20, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

82 G. Eridani?

Is the use of the G. all that frequent? The article on 82 Eridani seems to use it inconsistently, the references quoted tend to just use "82 Eridani". Icalanise (talk) 14:54, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Not that I've seen, although there is a journal article about 46 Eridani and 210 G. Eridani. Supposedly Flamsteed's catalogue included 87 stars in Eridanus, so there may be some possibility of ambiguity.—RJH (talk) 18:29, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Galaxy templates

I am uncertain whether we are supposed to be using the {{Infobox Galaxy}} template or the {{Galaxybox begin}} template group. The latter appears to have more options, but also has some format issues. (Cf. the center alignment in the 'Astrometry' section on Messier 61.) It seems redundant to have both templates, so a merge may be appropriate. If so, then the "Infobox Galaxy" template is closer to the standard naming convention, so perhaps the Galaxybox-es should be merged there? Any thoughts?—RJH (talk) 17:43, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Certainly having two seems silly, so I'd support some form of merging and combining the bets features of the two. We can ask some techno person about the alignment issues. Casliber (talk · contribs) 19:53, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
The Galaxybox group were developed along the lines of the old taxoboxes that predated the parser functions that were added to subsequent versions of MediaWiki. A complex template can probably do the job that the old Galaxybox group did... see template:Chinese for a very complex template with tonnes of parameters and variable visibility sections. (talk) 06:18, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Looks like there are only a few galaxy pages still using the Galaxybox templates. Shouldn't be too difficult to migrate them over. Might want to add some of the fields to the infobox template though.—RJH (talk) 03:11, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
Sounds good to me...but I am useless at template thingeys...:/ Casliber (talk · contribs) 03:14, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
On another note, we seem to have deleted the generic astronomical object infobox somewhere along the way... or I've misplaced the name of it... I seem to remember an astrobox set of templates. (that would be useful on objects that have no specific template.) (talk) 05:34, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
I didn't know we had such a template; must have been before my time. :-) The starbox templates could probably merged into a single infobox.—RJH (talk) 19:29, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

I added a discussion about this topic here: Template talk:Infobox galaxy#Galaxybox templates. Thanks.—RJH (talk) 16:54, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

Substellar object

Besides Brown dwarfs and free-floating planets, does this also includes White dwarfs, neutron stars, black holes, and stars who lost mass from mass transfer as in EF Eridani? Thanks, Marasama (talk) 18:22, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

No, it does not. Ruslik_Zero 20:17, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
White dwarfs, neutron stars, black holes, definitely not. On the other hand, very low mass objects produced by mass transfer might qualify. Icalanise (talk) 20:43, 12 February 2010 (UTC)


Pea galaxy was added to {{Galaxy}}

Does "pea galaxy" have sufficient heft to be featured on the template? Should it qualify as a morphological type (I rather think it doesn't, since the article seems to talk about several morphologies)? If not, where should it be entered (if it should be entered)

I will note that several types of galaxies do not appear on the template, but have articles (such as blue compact dwarf galaxy, etc) (talk) 08:31, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, I added it. After thinking about it. Maybe it would be like this.
Also, after looking at it further, I think it needs to be alphabetized, not sorted by structure that a person who do not know could not navigate. And relativistic jet is a structure of active nuclei not an active nuclei. Thanks, Marasama (talk) 22:45, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
That looks really wrong now. dwarf spheroidal galaxy is much more prominent that either of the two you added. And it is organized in a reasonable way. Alphabetizing would make little sense. (talk) 07:37, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
After looking at the Galaxy page, it does not mention pea galaxy & blue compact galaxy and is somewhat incomplete. Thanks, Marasama (talk) 08:06, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
After looking up the pages and through google, move the BCD galaxy and pea galaxy to starburst types. Thanks, Marasama (talk) 08:13, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
That still begs the question, are they prominent enough to merit inclusion in the template? (talk) 10:15, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Well there is a peer-reviewed MNRAS journal article that discusses the topic.—RJH (talk) 16:17, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
We have articles on more prominent types of galaxies, so if these are prominent enough to be included, we need to add many more types to the template. (talk) 07:20, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
By way of comparison, the {{Star}} template has grown enormously. I think it has become very inclusive. So perhaps the same approach would make sense with the Galaxy template?—RJH (talk) 18:30, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
That's also fine by me. I just wanted to gauge whether we wanted a more inclusive or a more exclusive template. (talk) 05:38, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Lambda Aurigae

Something is seriously messed up with this article. It states that the binary system has two optical companions, then proceeds to detail four components and describe the orbits of seven objects.—RJH (talk) 18:30, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

Looks like a common mistake I've seen on many Wikipedia articles where semimajor axis is used to represent projected separation and inclination is used to represent position angle. This is of course completely incorrect for many reasons. Yet more of CarloscomB's mess to clean up... Icalanise (talk) 18:37, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I immediately ran into the same problem with V538 Aurigae. Ah well, time to grab the big shovel...—RJH (talk) 18:40, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

Propose an index table for X-ray source organization

There has been a lot of activity in the X-ray astronomy sector lately, stimulated by a large amount of effort Marshallsumter has put in during the past three months. However, I think the organization of the material needs thought and attention, particularly regarding individual sources. We now have an article entitled "X-rays from Eridanus", and another "X-1 X-ray source", which seem like poor choices to me. I object to articles with these scopes (sources in Eridanus, sources whose names begin with "X-1") because (in my opinion) constellations and outmoded designations are are not sufficiently astrophysically notable to serve as organizing principles. I would much prefer a big table of X-ray sources, with some minimal information in the columns of the table: name or identification, position, few-character type code, peak or average intensity, discovery date, constellation if you like, and a wikilink in the first column to a dedicated article if one exists (meaning there is enough reliable information to support one), etc. Right now such a table would have a few thousand entries, and a fair fraction of the sources could have their own articles. We should realize that as instruments (and sky coverage) improve, the number of known sources is destined to explode. This is happening now for asteroids, and happened long ago for stars. Do we really want to start articles that are inevitably doomed (for the Eridanus case) to eventually have 3,000 unrelated sections for a heterogeneous collection of objects, many of which also merit separate, redundant, articles? I have similar feelings about the "X-1" source article, only even more so (why not X-2? and X-3?....) A similar issue has come up for asteroids (above), where I hope we will have consensus soon. The asteroidal situation is simpler because we can organize it by discovery number, as assigned by the Minor Planet Center, and those numbers are permanent so each object stays put in the table. For X-ray sources the organization in the table is more complex, and it seems like the best we can do is source position (J2000 will have to serve for the next 20 years I guess) by RA and Dec, and even that does not give a unique numerical rank & position in the table as new, fainter sources are discovered. (Oddly enough, the fact that asteroids move simplifies the organizational problem; we just have to have an official body charged with assigning permanent numbers.) Wwheaton (talk) 18:37, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

I think it would be best to collect all suggestions and comments at one place, and suggest the X-ray article talk page here. Thanks, Wwheaton (talk) 21:32, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
Cripes that's a long paragraph. Well, for the List of lunar craters, we had a convenient subdivision based on names. So, organizationally, we created a top level summary page with a list of links to the sub-pages. As for how to subdivided a set of X-ray lists, I guess I would favor by RA, since it provides equal angular areas and the lists would be about the same size. We currently have 1,467 lunar crater articles divided into 7 lists, or roughly 200 per list. It's about at the edge of manageability. So for your 3000 sources, that would be about 15 pages. Of course that doesn't split into 24 nicely, so you might want to just do one page per hour of R.A. Anyway that's the suggestions I have. Thanks.—RJH (talk) 21:49, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
Personally I think we are probably stuck with RA & Dec, as those are currently the most standard for (non-solar system) celestial objects generally. Since the distribution of stars is non-uniform (vastly more near the Galactic plane & center, etc) there does not seem to be any simple way to get equal numbers of objects in each group. Alas. Also, of course, many objects have multiple names, which can be handled well enough with redirects, but there seems to be no single naming system that includes all objects. RA&Dec have the virtue of being naturally extensible to every "fixed star" and galaxy, even though (so far as I know) no such generic naming system is yet universally recognized.
But say, can you copy your comment into the X-ray astronomy talk page? Then at least we can focus the discussion at one place. Thanks! Wwheaton (talk) 00:20, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't notice your post because it happened over the X-mas break. If you'd like to start up a discussion on that talk page, I'll try to paraphrase my comment there. Thank you. :-) —RJH (talk) 17:14, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Density units of Template:Planetbox character

Is there any objection to using units of g/cm3, rather than kg/m3 (which is numerically equal to mg/cm3), in Template:Planetbox character (used for exoplanets)? That would seem to be a far more appropriate unit from the perspective of most of Wikipedia's readership. It would also be consistent with standard usage for Template:Infobox planet (used for Solar System planets, e.g. Jupiter), which seems desirable. As I write this, the density given in the planetbox for COROT-7b is off by a factor of 1000, which I think is a direct result of the inappropriateness of the unit used in the template. WolfmanSF (talk) 00:53, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

g/cm3 is more common in scientific literature. So, I agree. Ruslik_Zero 10:31, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
I think the two boxes should (need) to use the same convention to prevent confusion. -- Kheider (talk) 20:13, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I was used to g/cm3 so the kg/m3 units threw me a little. I believe the USGS frequently uses g/cm3. However, the IAU has standardized on SI, so that might be a consideration.—RJH (talk) 16:06, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
If kg/m3 units throw Wikipedia editors, they're certain to throw Wikipedia readers, so on the basis of the apparent consensus I'm going to make the change. WolfmanSF (talk) 03:21, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
What consensus? Generally it's bad coding practice to change the meaning of a parameter in this way. The correct approach is to add a new one with the desired properties, and the migrate to that. This approach has broken all the planetboxes—and for no good reason that I can discern (unless I missed a discussion somewhere else): the planetary literature reports in kg m-3 and using different units will make things harder for everyone. AldaronT/C 04:58, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
A fair number planetboxes were "broken" already (in having values too low by a factor of 1000). The reality is, whether the template is changed or not, someone needs to go through and check the values in all the exoplanet articles (which I was in the process of doing when interrupted). WolfmanSF (talk) 05:16, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
That's why the correct approach is to add a new parameter with the new units and a name that indicates units (e.g. density_gcm), leaving the old parameter intact. Doing that would tip off editors that they should pay attention to the units when they enter values. The errors you cite happen for the simple reason that the parameter doesn't specify units and editors probably just assume some, without double-checking what gets displayed—not because they're thinking in g cm-3. Nor is it a reason to walk away from the field-standard kg m-3 AldaronT/C 05:21, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes I think it makes sense to code the planetboxes to allow the density to be listed in both kg m-3 and g cm-3 when both are provided. That way we cover all the bases.—RJH (talk) 19:20, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
I think those two units are redundant, since they differ only by a three-place move of the decimal. However, I still think using both would be an improvement over just using kg m-3. WolfmanSF (talk) 04:23, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
I see no consensus here. Use SI units or else easily-confused editors will start including furlongs per fortnight and other odd units just because they're comfortable with those. -- (talk) 05:49, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
The discussion is not about opening up the planetbox to any density unit an editor may choose to use, but rather which density unit is the most appropriate standard unit. The template already uses non-SI units for radius, mass (ratios to the values of Jupiter) and gravity (g), without any obvious adverse consequences. The main issue is which unit is most understandable and useful from the standpoint of those who read the articles. WolfmanSF (talk) 21:59, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

RJH has already admitted he was thrown off because he was thinking in g/cm3. I can guarantee you other editors will be also. And that many if not most nonspecialist readers will draw a blank when they see values in kg/m3. I propose the following as an exercise for anyone interested in the subject. Go around and ask nonspecialist acquaintances what the approximate density of water is in g/cm3. Then try the same with another set of people using kg/m3. I think you'll find a dramatic difference in the frequency of prompt correct responses. Keep in mind, Wikipedia is not intended primarily as a resource for specialists. WolfmanSF (talk) 06:21, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

Planets in the solar system are all Featured articles and they all use g/cm3. Casual readers are going to compare exo-planets to Jupiter, Neptune, and Earth.-- Kheider (talk) 06:57, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
At this point I believe I have caught all the errors in the densities. In the end, there were only 3 (WASP-18b, WASP-19b and COROT-7b).
However, I noticed what seems to be a more common mistake: a number of cases where only minimum planetary masses are given, while densities and surface gravities are given as exact values. Is there some nonobvious reason why this apparent logical fallacy is acceptable?
Unless there is an occultation or a direct observation, I'm not sure how you'd obtain a radius and derive those values.—RJH (talk)
Getting back to the choice of density units - if non-SI units (as in ratios to the values of Jupiter and Earth) are acceptable for mass and radius, in order to make the values smaller and more intuitively accessible, why shouldn't an analogous practice be acceptable for density? WolfmanSF (talk) 08:53, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
The guidelines in the MoS state that in "scientific articles, use the units employed in the current scientific literature on that topic". So I think that providing a suitable citation should serve to justify non-SI units.—RJH (talk) 21:24, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
The guidelines also advise to "use familiar units rather than obscure units; do not write over the heads of the readership" in articles on general-interest topics, which I think exoplanets qualify as. This is my argument for using g/cm3 in a nutshell. Since there has been both support for using g/cm3 and resistance to abandoning kg/m3, maybe we should seriously consider using both, similar to the common use of multiple units for distance, semimajor axis, orbital period, mass and radius (see e.g., COROT-7b). Are there objections to this? WolfmanSF (talk) 01:46, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes we can always use a {{Convert}} template to add the SI units. But personally I think the conventional units used in the scientific literature should be the initial value. Thanks.—RJH (talk) 17:18, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
That makes sense. I was looking over some exoplanet papers recently and was reminded that the confusion here is really the fault of the literature (or at least journal editors): in several cases (notably in Nature), for example, a paper wold use kg/m3, while the accompanying news or summary article would use g/cm3. AldaronT/C 17:54, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Category:HD and HDE objects

Category:HD and HDE objects has been nominated for renaming, see Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2010 February 23. (talk) 06:27, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

Template:Current moon Formating & Template:Current Moon

{{Current Moon}} and {{Current moon Formating}} have been nominated for deletion. These could be made into something useful, but are not now useful. (talk) 13:08, 24 February 2010 (UTC)


FYI, Image:MercuryOrbitResonance.gif has been nominated for deletion at FfD. (talk) 06:59, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

This was transferred to commons as: File:Orbital resonance of Mercury.gif
There also exists still images: Image:Mercury's orbital resonance.svg and Image:Mercury's orbital resonance.png (talk) 14:14, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Moon Skeleton

...was nominated for deletion. I have no idea where the term came from.—RJH (talk) 17:30, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

The best I can find with google. [2], Thanks, Marasama (talk) 19:24, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

(202084) 2004 SE56

(202084) 2004 SE56 was prodded for deletion. I removed the prod, since we have an open discussion on what to do with these articles. As it should exist either as an article or a redirect to the list article, it should not be deleted in any case. (talk) 06:08, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

Black hole

There's a notice at WT:Physics about Talk:Black hole, concerning people posting personal theories about the things. (talk) 06:21, 10 March 2010 (UTC)


FYI, {{Adsabs}} has been nominated for deletion. (talk) 04:27, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

This seems a potentially useful template, but which has not yet been used in any article namespace. Let's try it out, and see if we like it. Wwheaton (talk) 11:34, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
I have now tested it once, for the HEAO 1 article. It was not easy to get the bibcode (1980ApJ...240L.127G) correct. I had to test it, failing, and then go to the ADS search form and put in the author, approximate date, and title word (I used "pulsation") to get it right. Wwheaton (talk) 12:25, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
Not entirely sure how useful this is, especially given that the more common template {{Cite journal}} has a bibcode parameter that appears to do much the same job. Icalanise (talk) 22:23, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

X-1 X-ray source

Since this was last discussed last year, the article X-1 X-ray source has ballooned from under 100k to over 200k in size. That's an unreasonably large article. (talk) 06:57, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

Marshallsumter (talk) has done a lot of useful information gathering work in the past several months, which I hope can eventually find its way into separate articles on these objects. I continue to support an index table for X-ray and gamma-ray sources, perhaps organized by RA & Dec (as is fairly standard for astronomical catalogs generally) with a link in the table to a single article for each source which has enough information in the literature to merit a notable Wikipedia page. I think popular alternate names should have redirects to the single master article about each source, which might or might not have the "X-1" designation ("Scorpius X-1" and "Cygnus X-1" would be obvious examples), but which should have "See also" links to other Wikipedia articles with significant additional information about them (eg, radio data on the Crab Nebula). The SIMBAD catalog seems to me to be the place to go for alternate designations, as it lists a large number of designations for the better known objects. The NED catalog fills a similar need for extragalactic sources which do not appear in SIMBAD, and of course there are other resources as well.
This is too big a project for me to undertake alone, but I would be eager to help out on it. The definition of what should go into the index table needs some consensus and community input to get it started, I think. After that it could grow naturally. Wwheaton (talk) 11:27, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Useful ref. for open clusters

The VizieR lookup from the following reference has proven pretty useful for looking up open cluster information:

Dias W.S., Alessi B.S., Moitinho A., Lepine J.R.D. (2002). "New catalog of optically visible open clusters and candidates". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 389: 871–873. Bibcode:2002A&A...389..871D. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20020668.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help) Note: see the VizieR catalogue B/ocl.

RJH (talk) 22:36, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

I find WEBDA quite useful for stellar clusters information. [3] Icalanise (talk) 23:10, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
The video game community has a web page listing useful (and dubious) sources for referencing articles, which I've found to be helpful (Wikipedia:WikiProject Video games/Sources). Perhaps we should have a page of useful and reliable general astronomy references, along with insertable inline cites?—RJH (talk) 17:53, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

Cygnus arm

There was a question raised on Talk:Cygnus Arm about the location of the Cygnus arm. The illustration on the Cygnus Arm article does not show that arm, whereas it is visible on this map. This NASA article doesn't even mention the Cygnus Arm; nor does this annotated image (although it does say "outer arm" as an extension to the Norma arm).—RJH (talk) 20:46, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

I think we need a few more articles, according to that annotated NASA image... we're missing the near 3kpc arm, far 3kpc arm, galactic bar, long bar... (talk) 22:15, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Exploration of Io

This article was posted for Peer Review here.—RJH (talk) 19:43, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Exploration of Io has now been nominated for featured article candidacy. Please go to the nominating page to provide support, opposition, or your constructive comments. Thank you! --Volcanopele (talk) 17:11, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Hot companion

There's a relatively new article... Hot companion ... which says that a "companion" is an object that orbits a star... (talk) 05:02, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

Ok, I've obviously been watching far too much Doctor Who and Firefly lately... --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 05:03, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
I thought hot companions gravitated toward the rich and famous? Grins.—RJH (talk) 14:53, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
I hope this is for real. And if it isn't, I'll encourage folks to make it so. AldaronT/C 16:25, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
Ha ha ha. Then again geology has all its talk of "cleavage". In any case, since these objects are likely white dwarf stars, perhaps the subject would be best dealt with there? Icalanise (talk) 22:00, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
Not to mention "fracking". I have my fingers crossed that it turns out the be the real deal. And if not, that I can get someone to adopt the term and publish something where they use it. In the meantime though, I don't think we can guess at their nature; white dwarfs maybe—but who knows. For now I think the expert request has it covered. AldaronT/C 22:18, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
Are you looking for citations that will explicitly say "in astronomy, a companion means an object orbiting a star" and "a hot companion is a companion hotter than its host"? I imagine that at least the first exists somewhere, but would be hard to find, and the second statement almost certainly does not. That said, companion is used quite regularly in the sense used in the article, and a handful of papers use "hot binary companion" or "hot companion" in exactly the sense defined in the article without ever saying explicitly that that is what they mean. Is a reference like that sufficient, or is the person who added that tag looking for something more? —Preceding unsigned comment added by James McBride (talkcontribs) 05:47, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
Ah, but is a companion something other than something orbiting a star? (such as as asteroid orbiting a moon) . If you were to see "companion" in a sentence, would it automatically signify something orbiting a star? (like "planet" would) (unlike, say a galaxy, and another galaxy...) It is defined prescriptively in the article, instead of just being an English word used in a descriptive manner.
As for hot companion, we have an article for it, and it claims to be a prescriptive term, not a descriptive title. As such does "hot companion" usually mean an object in orbit around a star that is hotter than the star? Can the term be nailed down in such a way to show that, instead of just being a turn of phrase using common English terms in a descriptive manner? (talk) 06:04, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
Yes, you are of course correct about general usage of the term companion. I feel like the it is often used to mask ignorance, so while I do not recall having heard it used to describe satellites of planets, I suppose it might be used in that sense in some situations. As for hot companions, yes, it does seem to be prescriptive, in that I can only find instances of it being used when the companion is hotter than its host. It will be challenging though to find any definition that limits its use to that. All things considered, I am not sure that it would be a loss if the article was deleted due to lack of verifiability. James McBride (talk) 06:24, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
So... remove the line about "companion" being something orbiting a star (unlike, say, the binary companion mentioned below for asteroids, or companion galaxies [4] ?
The article also lists two examples of hot companions... but the definition used, could mean a yellow dwarf star in orbit of a red supergiant star, the yellow star being the hotter of the two would be a hot companion... or a microquasar orbiting any kind of star, also being the hot companion... what kind of examples should be used in the article, and are the current ones in the article useful examples?
With the definition given in the article, if a cool red dwarf orbited a hot blue giant, then there would be no hot companion, since the blue giant is not in orbit around a cooler star, rather the reverse. (talk) 10:40, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I think both examples you list would qualify as hot companions. A cool red dwarf around a blue giant would certainly not qualify. James McBride (talk) 16:28, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
But that brings us to the two examples listed in the current version of the article... are they useful as examples? We certainly couldn't list every single hot companion. What examples should be used? If we remove the two examples, then the article quickly becomes a dictionary definition, which would need to be expanded, or some "helpful" soul will get it deleted. If they aren't removed, some other person may rename it to List of hot companions, which would then become large and bloated with binary stars. (talk) 05:03, 20 March 2010 (UTC)
We can leave just the definition (companion that is hotter than the primary) and provide broad examples of when that might occur. I am not really sure of a good way to make it an article worth keeping, which maybe means that it is not. Perhaps Kepler will help us answer this question by finding more of these things, forcing astronomers to eventually clearly define "hot companion." James McBride (talk) 07:54, 20 March 2010 (UTC)
When binary asteroids are similar in size, the Minor Planet Center refers to them as "binary companions" instead of referring to the smaller body as a satellite. -- Kheider (talk) 08:58, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
Okay, that is good to know. Perhaps an article listing the uses of companion in astronomy might be useful then? James McBride (talk) 16:28, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
I think the line saying that "companion" is something that orbits a star should be removed, considering the other uses (ie. asteroids orbiting each other, galaxies orbiting each other, star orbiting a black hole, ...) (talk) 04:59, 20 March 2010 (UTC)
Yes, certainly. James McBride (talk) 07:54, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

New portal

There is a new Star portal..pls add it to your watch list!!..tks!!Buzzzsherman (talk) 07:36, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

Category:Exoplanets detected by radial velocity

Just a heads up here: User:BlueEarth has been removing this category from several planets discovered by transits, which have also been detected by the radial velocity method. My understanding is that the fact that the initial discovery was made by non-RV methods should not affect membership in this category but not sure. Icalanise (talk) 09:25, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

Personally I don't see any harm in including all methods of detection, regardless of which was first. For example, having a star in one catalogue hasn't stopped other catalogue categories from being added. Perhaps the above category text should be changed to say "detected or confirmed" to cover the ambiguity?—RJH (talk) 15:17, 21 March 2010 (UTC)
Looks like there is a need for a separate hierarchy for planet by discovery method... (talk) 04:37, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
I've seen that there are most of the known planets detected by radial velocity but not by transit. Almost all transiting planets are then taken radial velocity observations just to determine mass. So I think that radial velocity category should not be included in these articles with bunch of planets detected only by radial velocity. If planets were detected by radial velocity first and later by transits, such as HD 80606 b and Gliese 436 b, I will have both categories. I will add notes in two category pages. BlueEarth (talk | contribs) 19:42, 22 March 2010 (UTC)


FYI, there is a notice about Systemizer (talk · contribs) making edits to articles at WT:PHYSICS. One of the articles noted is Dark energy star... (talk) 04:43, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

Dark (something) star

User:RK wants to do some weird things with articles Dark energy star, Dark star and Dark matter star. See the talk pages for dark energy star and dark star. (talk) 05:05, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

Astronomy infoboxes

I wonder if it would be worthwhile at this point to take another look at the astronomy infoboxes? For example, there are template:Infobox cluster, template:Globular cluster and template:Cluster templates. The latter two list the cluster masses in kg's(!) with the solar masses in parentheses. The Infobox cluster template lacks several fields that are in the other two templates, and appears specific to open clusters (as per the "see also" list"). Any interest?—RJH (talk) 20:49, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

For {{Globular cluster}}, I made some modifications to the distance and mass fields so that they would only display when they have values assigned. I also moved the mass in kg inside the parentheses and the solar masses to the start.—RJH (talk) 21:36, 24 March 2010 (UTC)


On Talk:Mizar (star) there is a note about the naming of the article, since it also covers Alcor, and another note about the layout of the article, since it seems to contain inappropriately placed information about mythology and popular culture (manga comics from Japan) in the midst of astronomical information. (talk) 13:13, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

Radius charts for non-transiting extrasolar planets

Just a heads up, Aldaron has been adding radius charts for various non-transiting planets. I suspect these fall under the category of original research and should thus be removed, and in the cases where true masses are unknown (e.g. Gliese 581 e) are misleading as they fail to incorporate the entire range of possible planetary masses. Icalanise (talk) 22:39, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

If you read the image descriptions you'll see that they represent several possible modeled (cited) values for radii based on reported (cited) masses (which I are also clearly identified as minimum masses: "For non-transiting planets, all modeled sizes will underestimates to the extent that the planet's actual mass is larger than the reported minimum mass."). There may be ways to improve them (and I'm open to suggestions, which is why I've only uploaded a few) but they are certainly not WP:OR. AldaronT/C 22:55, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
This is not stated in the image captions in the articles... the image+caption should not be misleading if the reader fails to click through to the image page itself. Also you do not seem to be taking into account the uncertainty on the mass value even for the case of just using the minimum mass. Plus for super-Earths not taking into account the possibility of inflated atmospheres or hydrogen-rich envelopes is definitely misleading in the image, especially in the light of the existence of large radius super-Earths/mini-Neptunes such as GJ 1214 b. Icalanise (talk) 23:28, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
I've linked directly from each caption to the image description in which all these issues are addressed. That seems like an approach that addresses the issue with a minimum of disruption and the greatest ease of maintenance. AldaronT/C 18:13, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
Another simple solution is to just put a big question mark in the center of the circle. That will leave no doubts that is it uncertain. ThanksMarasama (talk) 23:57, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
I like that idea and will experiment with it in the next update. Note that one (perhaps too subltle) approach I've taken is to make the "known"-radius planets white (but still blank and blurry to represent our uncertainty) and the unknown-radius planets dark (to represent our much deeper uncertainty). This was perhaps too obscure so reinforcing with a question mark may be a better approach. AldaronT/C 00:06, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

(deindenting) I simply don't understand why it is so hard to admit we do not know the radii of these objects. Sure it would be nice to have this information, but the information is lacking. To me, these range diagrams look like internal structure diagrams, which they are not, and still the information that these diagrams rest on a huge bunch of theoretical modelling and not on direct observation is relegated to a subpage. A diagram is a powerful thing, it is very easy to be misleading. Icalanise (talk) 18:25, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

Because it's not about "we" the editors. That would be OR. It's about what's reported in the literature. These figures are simply the direct application of what's reported there for possible radii. Certainly these planets could be a lot larger, but that's not what's considered in the cited references. If the concern is truly with misleading images, then let's purge the artist's conceptions first. Moreover, you'll note that all of the planets in question are well below the mass for which there is any evidence (from corresponding transiting planets) for the kind of ballooning you're concerned about. (I don't intend to post any similar figures for anything over 10 Earth masses.) So that that it can be equally well argued (perhaps even more persuasively argued) that emphasizing this possibility (especially given the caveat already in the captions and the explicit "warning" already in the image description) is erring in the other direction, and is thus more misleading (and even borders on OR, since it does not reflect what's represented in the literature). AldaronT/C 19:03, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Are these radii reported for the specific case of this planet though? What you are effectively saying for these diagrams is "if the planet has X composition, the radius is R". Now possibly for the rocky-type compositions you might be fairly close, assuming you know the mass of the planet (in fact we only have a lower limit and an upper limit based on certain dynamical assumptions that may or may not be accurate)... although how much outgassing might this planet have undergone to build up its atmosphere? For an icy composition, do these models take into account the effect of high temperatures on the structure of the planet? The expectation would be that the upper layers of the planet would vapourise into a substantial atmosphere that merges into a supercritical ocean - without taking into account the specific energy balance of this planet, the degree to which this is true cannot be known, and the models of super-Earth radii consistently predict that atmospheres have very significant effects on the radii. How much is the atmosphere's energy budget from tidal heating? This also depends on the internal structure and composition of the planet. Furthermore these models require equations-of-state in the temperature-pressure domain that are not particularly well constrained by experiments, by virtue of the fact that attaining and maintaining such conditions is very difficult. Essentially what we have is a bunch of models that say, for a planet of mass M with composition X, (plus some set of assumptions), we predict a radius R. Going from that to predicting radii for a planet with unknown mass, for which the assumptions may or may not be relevant, is getting into OR territory. Icalanise (talk) 19:58, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Exoplanet Comparison Model v Actual GJ 1214 b.png
I follow your reasoning. But I think the issues you raise are adequately addressed in the notes and captions, and some (such as the fact that these figures are based on a minimum mass) are, in any case, general issues with regard to non-transiting exoplanets (fully discussed in the appropriate articles). In the specific cases of the illustrations in question, I disagree that they are in any sense misleading, based on the published literature. For example, if one compares the inferred vs. modeled figures for GJ 1214 b (see right) I don't think a case can be made (again, especially in light of the text) that the latter is misleading (again, for low mass planets; it would be a very different matter if we were discussing figures for > Jupiter mass planets). I'm happy to entertain suggestions for making the figures clearer (e.g, the suggestion of a question mark, above; or perhaps emphasizing the largest radius, which is now hard to see, over the smaller ones), but I don't think removing the figures can be justified. AldaronT/C 20:46, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Returning to this discussion again (and it would be nice to have editors other than myself and Aldaron participating here!) - it is interesting to see how apparently desperate some people are to fill in the gaps in the data. I just went through the catalogue of planets at John Whatmough's Extrasolar Visions website. On that website, he plugs the minimum mass into a mass-radius relationship and then quotes the values to 4 significant figures, despite the fact that the actual mass is unknown and thus the entire thing is garbage. Nevertheless, in the majority of cases, the equivalent Wikipedia article had the radii copied into the infobox, complete with density and gravity values derived from minimum mass and this model radius! (I have removed these fictitious values from the articles they were in). These radius diagrams just muddy the waters in a similar way (and remember that graphics are a powerful way of conveying information, more so than putting a number in an infobox field). They may be fiction with a basis on physical models, but they are fiction nonetheless. This differs from the artist's impressions which do not pretend to be conveying quantitative information about a given planet. Icalanise (talk) 19:53, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Removing orbital speed from the exoplanets infobox

It seems that in the vast majority of articles, the value for orbital speed has been calculated assuming the circumference of an ellipse is given by 2πa, where a is the semimajor axis. This is of course incorrect. Furthermore I am not entirely sure what the point of including this value is other than to prove Wikipedia editors can (or in this case cannot) do calculations. I suggest this value is removed from the infobox. Comments? Icalanise (talk) 17:18, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

Yes, I'm not sure what value the parameter holds. It would also need to be recalculated each time the orbital data is updated. I support removal.—RJH (talk) 18:15, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
IIIIIIII disagree. You know some planets have very low eccenticity, so we can use the formula 2πa, and hence the orbital speeds I calculated are correct. But planets with highly eccentric orbit, maybe instead of removing it, we should recalculate and correct it using the ellipse perimeter formula divided by period. BlueEarth (talk | contribs) 18:31, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
Okay, perhaps then you could clarify what value that parameter has for the typical reader? I am unclear why I would want to know that, unless it is used, say, in the calculation of average impact velocities or stellar transits.—RJH (talk) 22:29, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
It's also unclear whether the value given should be astrocentric or barycentric, add more possibilities if the system is a multiplanet system. Furthermore, for a planet on an elliptical orbit the speed varies throughout the orbit. Add the issue that you are basically requiring editors to recalculate elliptic integrals every time they amend the orbital parameters, is it worth the effort? I can see two likely possibilities: either the value gets "left behind" because editors forget to recalculate it (or don't know how to do so, rather like you didn't realise the perimeter of an ellipse is not 2πa), or the editors realise the value should change but either cannot be bothered to go through the calculation or don't know how to, and just delete it. Icalanise (talk) 22:45, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
I support removal. It is not a well defined (constant) quantity unless e = 0. Also, in a quick search, I was not actually able to find an article that had this number in the infobox, but instead it seemed to appear in the prose of the article. Has removal from the infobox already begun? James McBride (talk) 00:37, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

While we're at it, we should also perhaps remove the semimajor axis in milliarcseconds: it is not entirely clear how this parameter is relevant, especially as it seems to currently be calculated without taking into account projection effects that would be relevant for actual observations. Icalanise (talk) 13:02, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

Just how notable are individual extrasolar planets these days?

Arbitrary break 0

Been going through the extrasolar planet articles doing cleanup: almost all of them seem to contain one or more of made-up classification schemes, made-up radii (which are then combined with m sin(i) to generate density and gravity values!!!), and various claims of classification schemes which are unreferenced. The text in many of these articles is apparently written by an editor with a compulsive need to show that they can convert AU into gigametres and microparsecs, or days into megaseconds, etc. and is just a repetition of the infobox in prose form. Are these really notable enough to warrant separate articles, or should we just redirect them to either the articles on the parent star or the list of extrasolar planets?— Preceding unsigned comment added by Icalanise (talkcontribs)

I'd say an extrasolar article likely warrants a separate article if it has been the subject of multiple scientific journal articles, or if there is a wealth of detail available. Otherwise, in most cases short planet articles could just be merged, per WP:MERGE. Hopefully later on, as more information becomes available, the planet article can be split off again as size warrants it. The biggest issue with the merge, as I see it, is the resulting template bloat, which can create layout issues on narrower browsers.—RJH (talk) 17:06, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
I strongly disagree on merging extrasolar planets. It's fun to have articles about extrasolar planets, even with only a limited information. I added speculations to a lot of extrasolar planet articles, but I won't do it again unless there is a reliable source about it. All extrasolar planets have categories extrasolar planets, exoplanets discovered by year, exoplanets detected by method, constellations about where planets are located, and important classes of exoplanets such as hot Jupiters and super-Earths. In planetboxes in extrasolar planet articles, there is more data than mass, period, semimajor axis, and eccentricity. There's also a datas about the parent star, argument of periastron, time of periastron, semi-amplitude, other angular properties such as inclination in some articles, physical properties other than mass in some articles such as transiting exoplanets and planets detected by direct imaging, and discovery information. I got an idea, we should expand those articles, including the info about how the planet was discovered, more about its orbit, including dynamics, mass, and planetary models. Many journals have access to PDF that contains lots of information about how the planet was discovered and their characteristics (in most cases talking about orbit and mass). BlueEarth (talk | contribs) 22:09, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
True, there is a certain amount of data available on each of the planets. However, per Wikipedia:Merging (3), "if a page is very short and is unlikely to be expanded within a reasonable amount of time, it often makes sense to merge it with a page on a broader topic." Planets usually should be described in the context of the star that they orbit; hence, Wikipedia:Merging (2) and possibly (4) can also apply. Please understand that a merge is not a bad option; you're simply bringing together topics that are closely related, rather than requiring page hopping to get the full picture. A separate page is more appropriate in cases that satisfy Wikipedia:Splitting, which is usually around 40–60 Kb. The Epsilon Eridani page is a decent example of an article where separate planet articles are probably justified.—RJH (talk) 15:23, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
Being that Epsilon Eridani is already a well developed B-class article with 54 references, I am not sure that it is a useful example of how or when it would be a good idea to start an exo-planet article separate from the star. Epsilon Eridani does not settle the discussion on whether and when there should be separate articles for lesser known exo-planets. -- Kheider (talk) 07:41, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Sorry but your comment doesn't make sense. Perhaps you could provide an example of when it make sense to split stub- or start-class stellar system articles? Thanks.—RJH (talk) 16:04, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Off the top of my head, I can not think of a stub or start-class stellar object that obviously needs a separate article on each planet. Even the pulsar PSR B1257+12 is listed as a B-class article even though it has only 4 inline references and 5 generic references. Perhaps the article PSR B1257+12 is overrated and should only have a C-class rating? I have not rated many star articles. -- Kheider (talk) 17:45, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
I think the choices of the astronomers who discover extrasolar planets might be a good guide at this point. Ten years ago, any discovery got an article of its own. Now, only particularly interesting exoplanets get their own paper, and most are grouped in with a handful of others. Planets with their own discovery paper automatically meet notability, I think, while planets that are part of a list of discovered planets in a paper might belong in a list on wikipedia too, until the planet gets coverage of its own. James McBride (talk) 23:38, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
As more (likely hundreds) of exoplanets (or at least "candidates") are discovered using transit photometry, I'd agree that we need to limit which ones get their own articles. I'd argue that the deciding factor should be confirmation using radial velocity. Considering the amount of work and of limited and expensive resources that go into a radial velocity confirmation, any planet that's gone through that process ought to have it's own article. Whether such planets are reported in single or multiple papers, or whether each such planet gets its own paper, isn't really a relevant measure of notability, and is more a function of how the various research teams work, and the policies of the journals in which they publish. Moreover, it's unclear to me what the cost of having "too many" exoplanet article around is in the first place. And let's not waste the limited time of exoplanet contributors here arguing about deletion; let's spend it (following BlueEarth's example) improving and expanding the articles (so that their value is made clear). AldaronT/C 01:08, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
Note I am not considering deleting information, I am proposing use of redirects. And secondly we should not be thinking in terms of costs of hosting these articles, but in terms of benefits to the readers. Does having one article basically just saying "this is a star which hosts a planet", and another just saying "this is a planet that orbits this star" really help anyone? If there is so little information present, why force the reader to go to the effort of additional navigation? Icalanise (talk) 13:54, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
Considering that exoplanet detections are exploding, I think we should treat them like the asteroids in the section at the top of the page. The first several are definitely independently notable, because of the great interest in the subject. But now, interest has wained in the general population, and if all that is known are its basic orbital characteristics and mass range, then it should be merged into the star article, and a planet list (well... it should already appear on the planet list, since that is frequently updated...) and then redirect to the star or the planet list. (talk) 05:51, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
I think the decision should basically boil down to "can I create an article that is more than a stub, given the information that is currently available?" I highlight the part about currently-available information because obviously there is always the possibility that some future set of observations will reveal a huge number of details, but that is irrelevant to the state of the article now. Rather than having lots of itty-bitty stubs, it might be better to have one stub and a bunch of redirects. Obviously if there is enough material to go make a decent article (and no, an infobox plus text saying "this planet orbits at X megafurlongs in a period of Y centifortnights" is not a decent article), then go ahead. Icalanise (talk) 12:45, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
This just sounds like the deletionism. Stubs serve as a useful scaffolding for potential future articles and for attracting future contributions, even when they take a long time to grow; and they serve to ensure consistent presentation and predictable navigation and organization. Creating a patchwork of merges, and collections, based on some (to most readers) invisible logic about significance or patterns of publication makes little sense, benefits no one (neither readers nor contributors) and solve a problem that doesn't exist. Every exoplanet confirmed using radial velocity should have its own article, period. AldaronT/C 02:19, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
What have you of the asteroids at the top section of this talk page then? Circumstances are similar, lack of information, existing lists that would contain most if not all the information available in articles such as they are, redirects from the valid names for the objects to the list (or in this case, star) Should not the same remedy be used for both the asteroids and these planets? (talk) 05:42, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
No this is not deletionism. You have confused not having an article with not covering the subject. Furthermore it is easy to talk about these stubs being encouragement for a full article to grow, but I have recently been through the majority of the hundreds of extrasolar planet articles systematically removing a whole bunch of made-up crap that seems to be all-too-common in the Wikipedia extrasolar planet articles. Most of these articles had been untouched at stub class for years, with the occasional bot passing through or an interwiki link. Evidence is that these stubs just stay as stubs. I don't get why the idea of merging to form a somewhat more substantial article that can provide context is so abhorrent. Redirects and merges are a perfectly well-accepted part of Wikipedia, we should use them. Icalanise (talk) 08:47, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Arbitrary break 1

I suggest that instead of merging planets into stars, we should merge stars into planets. Merging stars into planets means we can add info to extrasolar planet articles about their parent stars such as characteristics and lifecycle. There are lot more star articles than exoplanet articles. In planetboxes in exoplanet articles, there are info about the star, including position, magnitude, distance, spectral class, and physical characteristics in addition to all the info about the planet. BlueEarth (talk | contribs) 01:05, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

If merging is going to happen, that makes some sense. But In general I just don't see the case for merging in the first place. AldaronT/C 02:19, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
The planets are generally named after the stars, and should stars have more than one planet, such a merging makes no sense. Were we to merge multiple planets into a star system article, why not do so for single planet systems? (talk) 05:42, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
The stars are generally better studied simply because it is the stars Doppler spectroscopy and/or dimming that allows the discovery of the planet(s). So merging the dominant host star (and then re-directing the star article?) into what could easily become a multiple planet system would be weird. Once ~1,000 exo-planets are known, they like the asteroids will become "old news" and fewer and fewer exo-planets will even gets stubs. But just like with the asteroids/TNOs, we should not allow a bot to go around creating 100s of exo-planet stubs that never get updated (and thus never get maintained) by the bot. I have created quite a few TNO/Centaur articles, but I hand-pick the ones I can at least get up to a strong-stub/weak-start class category.-- Kheider (talk) 07:32, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
The benefit of a merge would be to have all the information on the system in one place, instead of having to flip back and forth. But infobox collisions and resulting layout problems could make the effort less than worthwhile. Having multitudes of stubby planet articles lying around is no worse than having thousands of unmaintained and essentially useless minor planet articles, but it may not much better either. Shrug.—RJH (talk) 18:53, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Adding radius and inclination to OrbitboxPlanet

We should add radius and inclination to OrbitboxPlanet since these are two more important properties, especially for transiting exoplanets. Radius is an important property for planets in addition to mass. Inclination is important to determining true mass of a planet and the angle of the planet's orbit relative to the plane of the Earth's orbit. We'll add radius after mass and inclination after eccentricity. Like mass, radius should optionally use Jupiter's radii or Earth's radii. For Jupiter's radii (RJ), we'll just use radius and for Earth's radii (R), we'll use radius_earth. Radius and inclination should be hidden if those parameters are not listed in orbitbox. BlueEarth (talk | contribs) 22:29, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

Strongly disagree here. The orbitbox templates are meant to be a quick overview, and secondly because the table header and table rows are in different templates you'd basically end up having to specify a whole bunch of extra layout parameters to cover the cases (no radius, no inclination), (no radius, inclination), (radius, no inclination) and (radius, inclination), all of these combinations occur among the list of planets. Icalanise (talk) 06:18, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
To me it would only make sense to include this data if we have reliable published sources. If I might ask, do we know what the convention is for the radius information in scientific journal articles? Avoiding unnecessary recomputation every time data gets updated would be a plus.—RJH (talk) 20:37, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

Regarding the discovery date of 197856 Tafelmusik

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When Quasars enter the Milky Way?

Don't you hate it when Quasars enter our galaxy? Umm apparently wikipedia doesn't :(. It seems as if almost every Quasar labeled QSO in Category:Quasars has entered our galaxy! QSO B1203+645 is only 24 ly away (now listed as 5.1 billion ly). Well at least wikipedia told you so... Does anyone have a reliable source for the distances on these guys? Looks like the original poster was relying on Size D for the distance in kiloparsecs? -- Kheider (talk) 09:47, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

Oh joy, CarloscomB again. Icalanise (talk) 10:47, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
Yep, another steaming pile of good news. I went through all of the articles that included {{Quasar}}, then changed 'ly' to 'kly' and trimmed the precision to a reasonable number of digits. I don't know if the actual values are correct, however.—RJH (talk) 17:10, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
No, the values he used are wrong. He's taken the projected linear size as the distance (i.e. what Kheider said). Quasars are located near the edge of the observable universe, but the 7.6 kiloparsecs figure quoted in the QSO B1203+645 article puts it closer than the Magellanic Clouds. Icalanise (talk) 18:42, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
Okay. Here are articles that may have dubious distance values (Note that significantly different distance have been inserted since original posting):

Should we just blank the distances?—RJH (talk) 19:28, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

My general position is that it is better to say nothing than to say something incorrect, so I think blanking these distances would probably be the best measure for now. However most (all?) of these articles are basically "it is a quasar" - if it hadn't been decided that all astronomical objects are inherently notable, would these actually be considered notable? Is the existence of the stub really useful? I'd suggest expanding List of quasars to provide more substantial information and replacing these articles with redirects. Icalanise (talk) 19:59, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
A problem with CarloscomB "quasars" is that alot of the objects he tagged as quasars are not quasars, and aren't even catalogued as quasars (they could be Seyfert galaxies, radio galaxies, even regular non-active galaxies). I don't think expanding the current "list of quasars" is a good idea, since the current list was a rebuild of the old list that CarloscomB just dumped any old quasar onto (and not all of those were actual quasars), and someone said it would be a never ending list. Instead, it should be merged into something like the asteroid lists. List of quasars by right ascension... (talk) 11:13, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
I have stripped QSO B0316+413 (re-directed to NGC 1275), QSO B0104+321 (moved to NGC 383), QSO B1409+524 (re-directed to 3C 295), and QSO B1637+826 (moved to NGC 6251) of their Quasar status. I have restored the Quasar status of 3C 47 and 3C 215. -- Kheider (talk) 19:43, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
I have moved Mrk 421 from 360Mly (uncited) to 397-434 Mly (per ned and ned-dist) since it is listed as the closest BL Lac object. -- Kheider (talk) 21:53, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
I have noticed that some users have started to copy the crap left by CarloscomB to create their own articles, and then when you tell them the error of their ways, they say, that if it's not supposed to look like crap, then why didn't the WikiProject already clean up the mess? Which is not encouraging... (talk) 06:09, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
This is part of the reason I have tried to do a basic clean-up of some of the articles. I am hoping that the wiki-mirror sites will soon cover up some of the gross errors in these articles dating back to 2007 that suggest these are near-Earth-Quasars located inside of the Milky Way. -- Kheider (talk) 07:41, 29 March 2010 (UTC)