Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Astronomy

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More User:CarloscomB[edit]

At this point, due to the magnitude of the problem of CarloscomB articles, and the fact that many of his articles have absolutely no salvageable content within, I think it may be worth it to simply take the axe to all his articles that have not been significantly edited by another human. See User:StringTheory11/CarloscomB cleanup for why his articles are so problematic, and look at HD 183589 as a typical example. Thoughts? It seems drastic, but basically all his articles are doing are misinforming people. StringTheory11 (t • c) 20:01, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Eek! I just stumbled across HD 183589 randomly. I didn't realise what a mess there was out there, although I think I've come across a few of the other articles before. Lithopsian (talk) 20:44, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Hmm, I sympathise. Trying to think how this would fit in policy. If it were copyvios it'd be easy, but it's just silly misinformation sprinkled into these articles. I've been doing one now and then and will step up the process. also, some have been attended to by others and not checked as yet. Would not oppose mass deletion but think it might not be in policy as such. Will check some more now. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 20:47, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
The absolute magnitude is often wrong, and the cooridnates are often not updated. However some of the material is accurate but annoyingly not sourced. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 06:05, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
He also had the annoying habit of copying the infobox of a preceding article and not changing anything in the infobox to match the star the article is nominally about... -- (talk) 06:08, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I have to suspect that many of the unsourced absolute magnitude calculations on Wikipedia may be in error, as they don't appear to take into account extinction. Praemonitus (talk) 19:15, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
He took another value off the SIMBAD page and assumed it was absolute magnitude - many I have found are just completely wrong. Checking them is mainly removing that value and updating coordinates and parallax. and seeing if the star is notable and has some other material on it. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 20:33, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
What are the notability guidelines? Most of the stars are faint naked eye, or variables down to a magnitude fainter than that, but otherwise of no particular interest that I can see. Lithopsian (talk) 09:26, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Generally it is anything visible with the unaided eye or has had some significant material published on it. Many variables have had significant amounts, anything with a planet etc. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 21:04, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I would disagree that anything with a planet is notable now, given the thousands of exoplanets known... It would be like saying any O-type star is notable. StringTheory11 (t • c) 01:01, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
(yes that was a misclick...damn rollback on smartphone...) - dunno - anything with a planet will have been discussed in detail in at least two peer-reviewed sources in around 99% of cases I suspect, which is the rule of thumb for general notability guidelines. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 04:52, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm going to infer that at least one should be a secondary source, so the article can satisfy WP:GNG. Praemonitus (talk) 18:39, 20 June 2015 (UTC)

Bot Request for Category:Numbered asteroids Maintenance[edit]

The Bot Request folks need WikiProject Astronomy to endorse putting the remaining ~18,708 numbered asteroids that aren't in [[Category:Numbered asteroids]] into that category, which only contains 529 of the ~19,237 numbered asteroids at the moment. Yea/nay?   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  14:56, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Sorting Issues[edit]

It seems that the concern is actually over whether or not there is concensus for how to sort the pages that will be in Category:Numbered asteroids, so that multiple changes don't have to be made to so many articles. To help, I've gone through the numbered asteroids in Category:Minor planets and Category:Numbered asteroids and found:

Numbered Asteroids in Category: Category:Minor planets Category:Numbered asteroids
Pages that use {{DefaultSort:<alphanumeric>}} 16,429 (85.4%) 539 (95.6%)
Pages that use {{DefaultSort:<numbers only, w or w/o "()">}} 1,477 (7.7%) 25 (4.4%)
Pages without "{{DefaultSort" 1,331 (6.9%) 0
Total 19,237 564

There are other categories such as Category:Asteroids named for people for the named asteroids, which is probably why there are 12,335 using {{DefaultSort:<name>}}. Therefore, most straight-forward solution I see is to (with a bot request or 2):

  1. Explicitly use [[Category:Numbered asteroids|<a 0-padded 6-digit number>]] on all current and future additions to this category. 11 of the 564 pages currently use this sortkey.
  2. Explicitly use [[Category:Asteroids named for people|<the non-numeric portion of the asteroid's name>]] on all current and future additions to these types of categories which rely on name.
  3. Not sure how best to handle the {{DefaultSort}} discrepancy. I'd say leave it alone for now, and deal with it after we've sorted out the category sortingpun! (but I naturally prefer using a 0-padded 6-digit number, and since the most important (lowest numbered) asteroids are already {{DefaultSort}}ed this way).

What're everyone's thoughts on this?   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  18:54, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

First of all, it appears your number of objects with numbers instead of names is perhaps(?) incorrectly counted, as nobody had used the 0-padding 6-digit number sort before me, and I find it hard to believe 10 times more asteroids than I had edited are already using this. However, the current sort is to list the name of an asteroid, and if it does not have a name to simply include the provisional designation. As a result, I believe your defaultsort:<number> asteroid listings are off by approximately an order of magnitude. exoplanetaryscience (talk) 19:36, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Hmm, in my search I looked for either a number or an A-Z character (case insensitive) after "{{DefaultSort:" (also case-insensitive) with the possibility of spaces after the colon and/or an opening parenthesis, so you're right, I think I certainly picked up a lot of numbered asteroids which are sorted by their provisional designation. I'll run this search again, except looking for number-only sortkeys. I updated the table above to reflect this and I'll update it again once I'm finished.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  20:03, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Updated.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  22:13, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
A remark concerning the 0-padding. Right now, because there are asteroids under 10000, you only need to pad with 3-zeroes at most (e.g. 0001-9999). If you include asteroids with numbers under 100000, you would need pad with 4-zeroes (e.g. 00001-99999). The exact number of zeroes things should be padded with depends on the biggest asteroid number. If the largest asteroid numbers is say ~975000, then it's likely that the million threshold will be crossed soon, so we should plan ahead and sort things to accomodate asteroid number 0000001 to 9999999. If it's 25000, then padding to accomodate asteroid number 000001-99999 is reasonable. I mentionned 6 zeroes because I can't recall seeing something with a number above a million, but that many zeros may not be needed, or more might be required.
Now concerning what should be done, IMO, explicit sorting by number in :Category:Numbered asteroids and by name in Category:Asteroids named for people seems the best. For the defaultsort, let's imagine what should happen when they are in something fairly generic, like Category:Radar-imaged asteroids. IMO, things should be sorted according to asteroid number. So to me, it seems like a good argument for defaultsorting according to number, except perhaps in the case of Ceres, Vesta, and similar.
Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 20:58, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
There are currently approximately 435,000 numbered asteroids at my last count, and based on the current rate of adding of numbered asteroids, it will reach a million in about 8 ± 2 years. exoplanetaryscience (talk) 21:26, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Also, I'd previously been sorting asteroids by articles simply containing physical or orbital characteristics by their numeric designation, or provisional if not available; Asteroids in categories pertaining to their name e.g asteroids named from greek mythology are sorted using their names; Asteroids in categories relating to dates are sorted by significant dates- Asteroids visited by spacecraft I sorted by the date visited, Astronomical objects discovered in YYYY I sort by the date discovered, Near earth objects in YYYY I sort by closest approach, and comets in YYYY I sort by the perihelion date if in that year, a close approach made by that comet in the year, or the comet's discovery date, in that order of preference.
Based on this, I sort asteroids with numeric designations as a six-digit number. For 4 Vesta, for instance, I would sort 000004; and for 385446 Manwë I would sort 385446.
Asteroids with provisional designations are titled as YYYYMNNNP; for instance 2014 RC would be expressed as 2014 R000C, and 2015 DB216 would be expressed 2015 D216B.
Any object pertaining to the year is sorted YYYYMMDD, with the year being included even if sorted for objects in the same year, as otherwise objects would be sorted 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12 but only show up as 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 1, which is confusing and causes little help, so the year is included for simplicity. Additionally the time of the discovery in decimal in UTC can be included, but isn't necessary again for the purpose of simplicity.
Comets with numbers are expressed as PNNN, with N being the number. For instance, Halley's Comet is P001. The presence of the P is to separate Periodic comets from numbered asteroids in categories of both.
Comets with provisional or normal designations are assigned based on their orbit type, year, and designation. C/1980 E1 would be represented C1980E01. D/1770 L1 would be represented D1770L01. P/1997 B1 would be represented P1997B901. X/1106 C1 would be represented X1106C01
For comets with provisional designations, the scheme is CYYYYMNNNP, with C/2013 US10 being represented as C2013U010S.
I know it's a bit wordy, but I hope this helps in what you will do with sorting. exoplanetaryscience (talk) 21:47, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

As of last week, (432949) 2012 HH2 is the highest-numbered asteroid in Category:Minor planets. According to the MPC, there are currently 433,937 numbered, 247,275 unnumbered, and 685,070 total minor planets. That works out to the IAU numbering ~330 asteroids/year. And judging by the fact that there are roughly the same # of unredirected asteroids from 2000-433,000 as there are from 1-2000 (i.e. lack of notability strongly correlates with number), 6 digits is probably good for a while.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  21:48, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Are we in agreement with 6 digits for point #2?

Exoplanetaryscience and I are for it, and I assume Headbomb is for it, based on his comment and the information provided after it. Anyone else?   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  14:25, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
I'm fine with an ~8 year window before we revisit the question (6-digits), but I'm also fine with future-proofing things with 7-digit sort key. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 18:36, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Regarding point #3 (using the name in a cat's sortkey), I guess we should agree on which categories should have this done. All categories starting with [[Category:Asteroids named ...]] (there are 14) and [[Category:Minor planets named ...]] (there are 2)? Anything else?   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  13:45, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

That also includes Category:Asteroids with names of unknown origin? exoplanetaryscience (talk) 16:07, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it does now.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  16:10, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

what can Wiki Education Foundation do to help WikiProject Astronomy?[edit]

Hi WikiProject Astronomy,

The Wiki Education Foundation wants to know what it can do to empower editors who work on science-related content on Wikipedia.

If you're familiar with Wiki Ed, it's likely by way of our classroom program, which grew out of the Wikipedia Education Program and through which we provide support for instructors and students who work on Wikipedia as part of a class assignment. This post is about something different, though. We'll be continuing to develop that program, of course, but we also want to start working on ways to help the existing Wikipedia community directly.

In 2016, Wiki Ed will be running a campaign tentatively titled, "Wikipedia Year of Science". The goal, generally stated, will be to improve the content and coverage of science-related content on Wikipedia ("science" interpreted loosely). Whereas our classroom program, as with many other extra-organizational initiatives, is premised on attracting and/or training new users, my aim is to figure out the sorts of things we can do to help the editors who are already engaged in the improvement of science content. The question is indeed wide open, but think about it this way: we have staff and a lot of institutional connections; how can we use our resources and relationships to support you? For example, is there a special collection of photos we should try to get on Commons? What about a document archive? Databases or specific journals? Organizationally, is there software that could be built that would help people working on these topics? What kinds of research could we conduct or help to organize that would help you to work more effectively? What are ways we can connect you with other human resources -- experts, for example (though, again, this is not intended to be an outreach program)? How could we motivate people to contribute, whether it be adding content, improving content, conducting reviews, adding images, improving sourcing, or any other part of the process? How can we get more astronomy-related articles to FA/GA? How could we help you to spend more of your time working on things you find fun and interesting and less time on process, organization, and functionary duties?

These questions are really just intended to get the ball rolling as this really is a nascent idea. So all ideas are welcome: big, small, obvious, obscure, ambitious, simple, technical, organizational.... I want to be clear that this is not just some survey -- the feedback I get will help to give shape to the "Year of Science" campaign.

I should also mention that this community engagement program we're starting isn't limited to the Year of Science campaign. Researching and planning it is high on my priority list right now, but we can also talk about shorter- or longer-term projects you may have in mind, too.

Apologies for the long message and thanks for your time. Looking forward to hearing what you think. --Ryan (Wiki Ed) (talk) 04:07, 28 May 2015 (UTC) (volunteer account: User:Rhododendrites)

Astronomy appears to be one of the better supported areas on Wikipedia. If you look at the list of vital topics, Astronomy is doing very well. But there are a few areas of weakness; one of those is in the area of cosmology. Perhaps more attention is needed for the Physical cosmology article? Cosmic microwave background is an important topic that it would be good to bring up to a GA level. Perhaps another is the Cosmic distance ladder article? Praemonitus (talk) 19:28, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

61 Cygni is at WP:FAC[edit]

  • For anyone interested, 61 Cygni is at WP:FAC. • ArchReader 05:18, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
    • It looks like it failed, but it is unclear, perhaps no one said it was ready, see Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/61 Cygni/archive2. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 12:06, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
      • Certainly failed. For now at least. I don't know how these things usually work, but nobody ever said they supported the nomination so it was killed. Presumably the reviewers knew they had to do that and it was a deliberate choice not to rather than just an oversight? Lithopsian (talk) 19:36, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
        • Usually the way it goes is an article needs a minimum of three supports. If an article stalls for a time then it gets archived, even with one or two supports sometimes. The idea (I guess) is that the process is supposed to be rigorous. Sometimes articles stall for lack of interest and bad luck, and sometimes (I think) reviewers take a look and see that too much needs to be done. I looked a few times - I was happy that the nominator was enthusiastic but found too many things to correct so figured it was going to require too much of an overhaul....and couldn't rustle up the enthusiasm for that. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 12:31, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
  • As is Eta Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Eta Carinae/archive1 cheers, Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 01:54, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

Chaotic rotation[edit]

Prompted by some recent news stories, I started an article on chaotic rotation. But it could use a more careful introduction and a clearer explanation. The article [1] discusses properties of the shape of a moon that contribute to it, and some of the math involved, and I won't claim to understand all of it - it would be nice if someone can dig into the theoretical foundations. Wnt (talk) 19:00, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

Messier 87 vs M87[edit]

I am fine with the article being at Messier 87...but what do folks call it most of the time? I've always abbreviated. The reason I ask is that in writing the article what we should call it each time we use the term in the text.....Messier 87 vs M87...input at Talk:Messier_87#Messier_87_vs_M87_and_other_things Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 01:29, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

Both are fine, and using both in the article is fine too. No need to pick one. (It should perhaps technically be Messier 87 when at the beginning of the sentence of a sentence isn't supposed to start with an abbreviation.) I more often say M87 in conversation but try to say Messier 87 when speaking to an audience that may not know what Messier objects are. —Alex (Ashill | talk | contribs) 02:29, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
The problem with "M" is that it is frequently used in military weapons, so "Messier" is better terminology for article titles. -- (talk) 05:10, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
Nobody says Messier unless they're trying to make a specific point, or perhaps are incredibly pedantic. M87 in the pub, Messier 87 on its tax return. Lithopsian (talk) 13:04, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
I would say 'Messier 87 (M87)' at first usage, and M87 thereafter (with exceptions for stylistic reasons e.g. first word in a sentence). But both are fine and acceptable. The full version is preferable for article titles because it is less ambiguous. Modest Genius talk 18:42, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
I compared the search results for "Messier 87" and M87 on Google Scholar. The predominant usage was M87, but there were plenty of instances of "Messier 87". Even articles labelled one way in the title switched to the other in the body. I would suppose that "Messier 87" is the more formal usage. Praemonitus (talk) 02:01, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
Agree...but would you personally switch to M87 for the body of the text? Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 03:10, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
Switching to the abbreviated form seems to be fairly common practice in many science articles. As long as it is clear and unambiguous, I think that is a reasonable practice. Praemonitus (talk) 19:11, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

Need independent fresh eyes on this AfD[edit]

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Self-creation cosmology.

jps (talk) 11:52, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

Astronomical Unit at the MOS[edit]

This discussion may be of interest to many of you. See Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers#Symbol for astronomical units (again). Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 11:12, 14 June 2015 (UTC)

Ugh, even being 3 kly (did that on purpose) away from the MOS is WAY too close for my liking. StringTheory11 (t • c) 04:48, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
I followed it for a while, but it boiled down to one person with a fetish arguing with a bunch of people trying to come up with sensible policy and template settings. At least one person may now have started on an edit spree changing AU to au. Lithopsian (talk) 10:43, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
That editor wants it to be mentioned in the MoS. He supports using "AU", but until it is mentioned in the MoS, he will use "au" and (sometimes?) change "AU" to "au". I have just made a proposal there to officially sanction using "AU" on Wikipedia. --JorisvS (talk) 10:51, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
Is this about me? I will never apologise for preferring symbols that are defined by international standards bodies such as the IAU and the BIPM. JorisvS has summarized my position on use of AU accurately, and I support his proposal at MOSNUM. Dondervogel 2 (talk) 11:08, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
@Dondervogel 2: Making the same change to three different articles which is clearly contrary to consensus in a discussion you are participating in (and are therefore well aware of) is not appears to me to be disrupting to make a point and seems to me like something for which an apology and self-revert might be appropriate. —Alex (Ashill | talk | contribs) 13:51, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
@Ashill: The consensus that I have seen, until very recently has been "There is no need to adopt a single harmonised unit symbol for the astronomical unit on Wikipedia". There is gathering support now for harmonisation, and I will support that process if it leads to a clear choice between AU and au. (I would also support a process that leads to either of AU and au being permitted - what I seek is clarity). Dondervogel 2 (talk) 14:00, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
@Dondervogel 2: Right. Meaning there's no consensus to change to au. And making any widespread change based on an editor's own opinion while in the midst of an ongoing discussion is not good form, regardless of whether the change appears to be supported by the early !votes. —Alex (Ashill | talk | contribs) 14:06, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
No problem. I will refrain from editing astronomy articles for as long as the discussion at mosnum continues. Dondervogel 2 (talk) 14:20, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
Thank you, Dondervogel2. I agree with Ashill wrt the timing (during discussion). I might add that so long as the consensus remains that either is acceptable, that it is also the consensus that there should be no changing of one to the other (given past circumstances). I still object to your characterization of "au" as "harmonization". It harmonizes nothing. This topic has done nothing but divide and disharmonize the editing community, and I think the present way to harmonize things is to give it a rest. Evensteven (talk) 18:26, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
It is fairly common practice in style guides to use caps for abbreviations that consist of the first letter of a series of words. There are some exceptions, such as for pronounceable abbreviations like 'laser'.[2] I'm not clear why there is so much disagreement over the point. Praemonitus (talk) 16:52, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
There is an international standard that the abbreviation is in uncapitalized letters. However, common usage goes both ways. The consensus at WP is that either is acceptable usage. The disagreement is therefore about common usage vs official standard. Evensteven (talk) 19:18, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
I believe the IAU standards were intended for use in comparing results. I.e. for scientific data exchanges. But, as a counter example, it makes little sense to use the IAU standard 'a' for year when you're communicating with a lay reader. Even the IAU admits that 'yr' is frequently used in scientific papers. I don't think those standards should be blindly followed when communication with the public is our goal. Praemonitus (talk) 22:06, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
Personally, I agree. More importantly, the editing community has decided not to force compliance. If you'd like to talk more with me, let's take it to my talk page. I think the editing community is tired of this subject. Evensteven (talk) 01:32, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

Discussion about lead image for Earth[edit]

There is currently a discussion at Talk:Earth about what the lead image for Earth should be. Images are very subjective, so having more voices to help build consensus will be very useful. Come by to give your preference on the existing candidates or to propose a new candidate (with an explanation for why it is better than the existing candidates). Editors who can make informed comments on astronomical photography will be especially valuable. Thanks! A2soup (talk) 22:34, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

Copyright Violation Detection - EranBot Project[edit]

A new copy-paste detection bot is now in general use on English Wikipedia. Come check it out at the EranBot reporting page. This bot utilizes the Turnitin software (ithenticate), unlike User:CorenSearchBot that relies on a web search API from Yahoo. It checks individual edits rather than just new articles. Please take 15 seconds to visit the EranBot reporting page and check a few of the flagged concerns. Comments welcome regarding potential improvements. These likely copyright violations can be searched by WikiProject categories. Use "control-f" to jump to your area of interest.--Lucas559 (talk) 22:34, 25 June 2015 (UTC)