Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Astronomy/Archive 18

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Semi-automated bot request to redirect asteroid stubs > 2000

StringTheory11 made a bot request (never performed and aspects previously discussed here, here, here, here, and here) with the following criteria (verbatim):

  1. Article has one or no external links.
  2. Article was created by the users ClueBot II or Merovingian
  3. Article is less than 2000 bytes
  4. Asteroid is numbered above 2000.

I can filter articles in AWB which meet criteria 1, 3, 4, but not #2 (I think).

If y'all want, I can do this semi-automatically, or I can use a different criteria #2v2:

2v2. Article body is a variant of the form "<#####> (<name>) is a <some type of asteroid> asteroid discovered on <date> by <discoverer> at <place name>."

which doesn't restrict pages to those created by ClueBot II or Merovingian, but maintains a similar spirit to the original request, I think.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  17:27, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

I don't think that the replacement for #2 is ideal, since that would miss anything with an infobox, if I'm understanding correctly. Rather, I think doing it semi-automatically for now would be good, and resubmitting the bot request might be a good idea as well. StringTheory11 (t • c) 17:40, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
If the page already only has 1 external link (rule #1), and that link is to the JPL database, then any information in the infobox is either from JPL, or unreferenced. Is that adequate?
If that's insufficient, I can avoid infoboxes with > some minimum, required amount of information (i.e. some list, agreed to here, of non-empty parameters). Pages with infoboxes with < this amount of information can be redirected, as long as they meet criteria 1, 2v2, 3, 4.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  18:45, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
Note: I changed my rule #2 from #2 to #2v2, for referring to later.
You can ignore templates such as infobox when running AWB, so unless there's major dissent I would say go for it Tom.Reding. Primefac (talk) 09:54, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
I wouldn't want to blanket ignore infoboxes - I'll look through the entire page when assessing rule #1.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  15:28, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
If I might ask, what is the significance of the number 2000? Why that number? Fyunck(click) (talk) 17:41, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
See Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Astronomical objects/Archive table of asteroids 2 and Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Astronomy/Archive 14#Minor planet redirection bot?. —Alex (Ashill | talk | contribs) 18:02, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
So from what I read, 2000 is simply a reasonable but arbitrary number. Basically grandfathered in because of their earlier discovery and because they are the "usually" the largest asteroids. Not always but usually. And those above 2000, for the most part, should not have their own articles and should simply be on the list pages. Exceptions, obviously, will happen to a very few above 2000. Ok, this sounds pretty reasonable but the the countless thousands on the list pages whose articles have been or will be removed or redirected need to be "de-linked" to stop circular traveling. I click on one it it simply leads me back to the same page. That can't happen. A bot may have to be deployed to do the de-linking. Fyunck(click) (talk) 08:48, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
I disagree, unless it's a regularly-run maintenance bot. As various asteroids gain notoriety and have legitimate pages created for them, someone/something would have to maintain the links on the list page to only point to non-redirects. Without a maintenance bot, I think it's adequate (although certainly not ideal) as-is.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  12:51, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

───────────────────────── But remember that if placed in a list, MoS tells us to never allow the linking to go circular and link back to it's page of origin. "Do not link to pages that redirect back to the page the link is on." They can be redlinked "IF" it is likely to have a stand-alone article created in the future. But no links back to itself. Fyunck(click) (talk) 20:18, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

The WP:MoS isn't written in stone, nor should it be blanket applied (it says so right at the top); there are, of course, exceptions, which this undoubtedly is. What do you think is the best thing to do, independent of the MoS?   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  15:01, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
It isn't written in stone, but there is nothing special about this case. You cannot have circular links. De-link all asteroids that do not have a separate article. It's as simple as that. If one day a couple of them do get a separate article then we go to the list and link them properly. But a redirect back to the same spot is a disservice to our readers. Fyunck(click) (talk) 18:06, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

I've seen several asteroid redirects which kept the original article's categories (i.e. Category:Astronomical objects discovered in 1990, Category:Discoveries by Kin Endate, Category:Discoveries by Kazuro Watanabe). These redirects are in the minority, but I can see why they'd be useful to someone searching through them. Wikipedia:Categorizing redirects says generally, no, but maybe, sometimes. Should I keep all categories when I make the redirect or just get rid of them as usual?   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  12:41, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

I think including the redirects in the categorization is useful. I've recently created a category for the magnetospheres of planemos, and I've included redirects to sections, because this helps people locate information on these topics for objects whose magnetospheres do not have dedicated articles, which is particularly useful here, I think, because the only moon with a known magnetosphere (Ganymede) does not have one. Keeping the categorization of these asteroid stubs when redirected can have similar uses, unless there are dedicated list articles in place. --JorisvS (talk) 16:24, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
Regarding the first part: Great. It's easier to remove existing cats than to find old ones, so keeping them was the safest thing to do, imo. Since my last post I've kept categories as well as the associated {{DEFAULTSORT}}. Later I can find how many uncategorized asteroid redirects exist, and either copy the cats from the last stub version, or make a botreq if it's a lot.
 Done ~100 of my redirects needed their categories propagated.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  15:01, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
Regarding unless there are dedicated list articles in place: I'm redirecting all asteroid stubs to pages/locations such as List of minor planets: 9001–10000#101 (I guess that wasn't made clear in this thread). Do you disagree with the categorization of all these redirects?   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  17:08, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
No, I don't disagree, because that's not a dedicated list for categories like "minor planets discovered in XXXX", or "discoveries by Y". --JorisvS (talk) 17:12, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
To clarify: Aside from not being sortable, minor planets discovered in a certain year can have quite different numbers, and are hence likely to be spread across multiple such pages. And obviously, this is even more probablly the case for their discoverers. --JorisvS (talk) 17:17, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
I see; thanks!   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  17:20, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

Update: 1st pass on the ~16,500 #redirect candidate asteroid stubs is complete. ~8,240 redirects were made. Exceptions to the above criteria were made on a case-by-case basis, for example: 2307 Garuda, 17543 Sosva, 18155 Jasonschuler, 18809 Meileawertz. This has brought down the WikiProject Astronomy cleanup listing and Category:Articles with topics of unclear notability from February 2012 dramatically!

Proposal: I noticed the potential for a few small expansions of the orignal #redirect criteria. Once I started with an edit summary (..."2) main-body data duplicated on the list page"...) I wanted it to hold true for the entire run. Now, with the original criteria fulfilled, I think the following 3 reasonable modifications (rules) can be added (assuming the page contains no novel information):

5) Pages with orbital parameter data from the JPL database written into the article text (i.e. orbital period like 23315_Navinbrian and 28516 Möbius, or with several parameters like (5903) 1989 AN1). Any page with diameter, mass, density, surface gravity, or escape velocity won't be redirected because those doesn't appear obviously on the JPL link.

6) Pages with namesake information written into the article text (i.e. xxx was named after yyy, xxx is Latin for yyy, etc.), which already reside in list form at Meanings of minor planet names.

7) Pages with specifically these 3 external links: 1) to the JPL database (rule #1), 2) to the Minor Planet Center database (like, which is basically a duplicate of the info on the #redirect lists and/or the JPL database, and 3) to Lutz D. Schmadel's Dictionary of Minor Planet Names, which is the primary source for the Meanings of minor planet names: 2001–2500 family of pages (see top of that page).

Is there a concensus to include some or all of rules 5, 6, 7 in a subsequent run?   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  13:49, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

  • I'd be OK with this. I've never really seen the need to have a multitude of microstub articles containing only information that could be expressed as entries in a table. Reyk YO! 15:13, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Yeah, I don't see these as controversial either, so I won't wait too long before implementing as long as there are no dissenting remarks.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  21:00, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
  • @Tom.Reding:; it's been a week now, so I'd say there's definitely been ample opportunity for somebody to comment here if they disagreed, so I think you'd be fine implementing this now. StringTheory11 (t • c) 17:49, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

Update: 2nd pass using rules #1-7 is complete. ~2790 redirects were made. Of the 16,444 asteroids numbered > 2000, 15,035 are now redirects. The 555 missing-meanings asteroids will be delt with later (next Tuesday).   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  15:07, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

Towards the beginning of the 2nd pass I saw that some asteroid pages which included the discoverer's information did not have the corresponding category. I figured out an easy way to make 431 AWB rules to made sure that asteroids which contained variants of "discovered by <name>" included one (or more) of the 431 corresponding "Category: Discoveries by <name>". I wish I had seen this opportunity sooner, but I applied it to all non-redirects at the time (~4100) and only made 41 additions.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  19:16, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

Missing Meanings of Minor Planet Names

While going through the asteroids, I found that there are many Meanings of minor planet names which exist in Lutz D. Schmadel's Dictionary of Minor Planet Names (Google Books link) but not in the list pages. If someone here would want to put in and wikilink some of the missing meanings, that would be very helpful. Only a small phrase is necessary for each entry (i.e. 3905 Doppler: Christian Doppler, Austrian mathematician and physicist).   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  19:28, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Trivia about names may be trivial, but it seems a shame to just lose it. Perhaps the bulk wipe should have bypassed articles with edits by non-bots? Or did I miss something? --GhostInTheMachine (talk) 17:40, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
If an asteroid page contains variants of "named/dedicated/honored after/for/in/to/for" etc., and no entry or a null entry exists in Meanings of minor planet names, then it doesn't get redirected (though when I started, I assumed all asteroid pages had at least a null entry in the meanings-list, which I found relatively early on not to be true). I'm asking for existing null entries in the list to be turned into a proper entry via a small phrase from Schmadel's DoMPN.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  15:15, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
Ah. Thanks. Missed the List of ... vs. Meanings of ... thing. Maybe there could be a cross-link in the headings of List of minor planets: 12001–13000 to Meanings of minor planet names: 12001–13000 etc. --GhostInTheMachine (talk) 15:36, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
I see that the Meanings link is at the bottom of the List of pages actually.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  15:43, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
Below is a list of 555 redirect candidates that are missing a Meanings of minor planet names entry. The information on (probably) each asteroid's page is duplicated on the JPL/MPC databases, but I prefer not to redirect these pages until a complete Meanings entry exists on Wikipedia. Right now, they are distinguished from the redirected asteroid pages which have a Meanings entry, and I prefer to not relax the redirect criteria further, at least for now (unless everyone's ok with redirecting, iif the data exists on JPL/MPC).
If you add the missing pages to a Meanings page, please feel free to strikethrough <s> what you've done.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  19:03, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
I say go ahead and redirect them anyways; I don't view such information as important to preserve in the slightest, especially since a quick Google search will give the same thing. No big loss. StringTheory11 (t • c) 19:06, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

Update: 3rd pass using rules #1-7, but relaxed rule #6, is complete. All but ~3 of the above 555 missing-meaning asteroids were redirected. ~3 of them had live AfDs so were not touched.

There should now be ~857 non-redirected asteroid articles numbered > 2000. The Astronomy cleanup listing is now down from 20% of all astro articles being marked for cleanup before I started to 10%.

I also went through all current asteroid redirects, adding {{R to list entry}} to ~3704, and propagating categories on ~45 uncategorized redirects (entirely-uncategorized redirects were actually in the minority). However, this doesn't mean that all redirects have all of their parent article's categories (but the ones I touched do).   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  18:55, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

Code: To facilitate the redirect process, I made an AWB module to increment and/or decrement any number on a page. I thought I'd share it here: User:Tom.Reding/Inc & Dec AWB Module.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  20:46, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

Update 4th pass using the parent Category:Minor planets (instead of the child Category:Main Belt asteroid stubs) added 223 redirects and 1584 "keeps" numbered > 2000.

Of the 1584 keeps were 183 unnamed asteroids numbered > 2000 with only a preliminary designation (no final designation per JPL), and an additional 26 numbered <= 2000, for a total of 209. Therefore, they are without a list to redirect them to (that I know of). If anyone knows if there's a place to redirect these that would be helpful. Otherwise, some of these could actually be proper AfDs (@Boleyn:). I'll separate these 209 in #Summary of Remaining Redirected & Unredirected Asteroid Articles below.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  14:10, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

Summary of Remaining Redirected & Unredirected Asteroid Articles

Asteroids in Category:Minor planets # of redirects # of non-redirects Total
numbered <= 2000 71 1851 1922
numbered > 2000 15,594 1721* 17,315
unnumbered 2 209** 211
Total 15,667 3781 19,448
Thank you for the number counts. But this is also why I think the largest asteroids of their type (such as 3737 Beckman) should not be re-directed. I have noticed that regardless of size (or absmag), all asteroids at CAT:NN are being sent to AfD. It looks to me like re-directing 80% of the bot created stubs with higher numbered asteroids has fixed the fundamental problem. (I was away from Wikipedia all March and April as I had to deal with multiple family emergencies.) -- Kheider (talk) 15:19, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
I agree, if the diameter was determined using the known (as opposed to assumed) albedo of the asteroid, or if the absmag is unusually bright or dim (and the albedo isn't yet known). To be safe,and easy I did not redirect asteroids with a diameter listed.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  16:08, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

  ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  15:32, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

I hope you are NOT declaring open season on near-Earth asteroids which is a whole different concept than bot-generated numbered main-belt asteroids! -- Kheider (talk) 15:48, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
No, not specifically. However, there are ~12,500 known NEOs, and if a stub was made which met the criteria set above (links only to JPL/MPC, no non-JPL/MPC information in the article, no diameter measurement, etc.) should they not be redirects?   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  16:05, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
I am assuming none of the unnumbered NEAs were bot-generated. I would think low-numbered NEAs would be notable as they would again be among the largest such asteroids. -- Kheider (talk) 17:47, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
Going through the 209 unredirected, unnamed asteroids above, only these 8 9 are legitimate redirect candidates: NEOs: 2001 YB5, 2003 BV35, 2003 RW11, 2007 OX, 2013 RH74, not-NEO: 1992 OV2, 2005 SA, 2005 SB, 2007 WX3. None are bot-generated. What are your thoughts on these?
The first one on the list has numerous good hits with Google: I have crudely updated the article: 2001 YB5. But I agree most of those 8 are probably not very noteworthy. -- Kheider (talk) 20:09, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
2001 SG286 and 2002 DH2 were redirected to List of Apollo asteroids by Exoplanetaryscience, for example, which to me is a better alternative to deletion, but that's the only alternative I'm aware of. There are some asteroids which get perturbed and migrate to other named groups, but presumably that would make them notable enough to have that information in the article already (which none have).   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  18:41, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
What if, instead of deleting the content and redirecting to the list, the asteroids' content is still kept, but additionally with a redirect. I'm assuming that the main problem with deleting/redirecting these articles is the loss of data on these asteroids, but doing this would remove unnecessary articles from the main part of wikipedia, but still be accessible for later updates by users, and if they achieve notability later, instead of having to revert old edits, one simply has to remove the redirect at the top. exoplanetaryscience (talk) 18:51, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
Support WP:REDIRECT says "A redirect is a page that has no content itself but sends the reader to another page", but I like the idea as an occasional exception if others here agree, and {{R with possibilities}} can be added to make the intention more clear.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  19:22, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
By the way, this is a bit off-topic, but considering you were able to create this list of asteroids, I'm assuming you're using a program to find/make the list. Would it be possible to use a similar program to sort every numbered asteroid into Category:Numbered asteroids? exoplanetaryscience (talk) 19:58, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
Absolutely! I'm using AWB's category-recursion, tweaking the settings to process the category's articles fully-autonomously, then taking what I need from the log files to make these lists. Do you want a list of all the numbered asteroids in, say, Category:Minor planets for you to then make a bot request to add that category? I have that handy right now.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  20:56, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, if that works. exoplanetaryscience (talk) 21:27, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
In case anyone else is interested: User:Exoplanetaryscience/List of numbered asteroids.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  13:51, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Support Certainly better than just deleting other wise usable content. But a lot of deletionists may not like the extra cut&paste work required. I still think the best idea is that for asteroids that have "wiki-defined" borderline notability, just keep the largest 20-50 asteroids of a certain type as that will still eliminate most of them. -- Kheider (talk) 20:09, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
Looking through Asteroid spectral types, very few asteroid-type pages list their largest (or any) members. Is there an "easy" way to find/determine/and then list which are the largest 20-50 asteroids of each type, to then make it easier for someone to use this criteria?   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  21:08, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
Support, a reasonable compromise. This way, we follow WP:NASTRO, but if the asteroid becomes notable in the future, it is trivial to remake it into an article. However, I think probably only the largest 10 of each type should be considered notable. StringTheory11 (t • c) 21:00, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

Proposed Changes to WP:NASTRO

Currently being discussed at Wikipedia talk:Notability (astronomical objects)#Proposed Changes. WikiProject Astronomy's input is requested.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  17:57, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

KOI-1686.01 listed at Requested moves


A requested move discussion has been initiated for KOI-1686.01 to be moved to KOI-1686. This page is of interest to this WikiProject and interested members may want to participate in the discussion here. —RMCD bot 23:19, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

Creation of additional categories for multiple-designation objects

Certainly anyone who has done searches into asteroids' provisional designations for wikipedia or otherwise has noticed that a large portion (if not all of) of the first discovered asteroids have multiple designations from before there were easy ways to discover if the object you're observing is already known or not. Even some of the first asteroids have multiple designations. Ceres is additionally known as A899 OF and 1943 XB. Astraea is known as 1969 SE. However only one date is included in the Category:Astronomical objects discovered in [year], so I propose that asteroids discovered multiple times, and given multiple designations, be either sorted into a separate category, for instance Category:Asteroids rediscovered in [year], or something similar. Or, alternatively, be sorted into multiple discovery year categories. Additionally, while I'm on the topic, a number of asteroids discovered after around #300 are listed as being discovered multiple times, but a true date of discovery is included because after observations on the previous dates, it was lost. Should its discovery date noted on the article be the most recent one of which sufficient observational data was found to have it not be considered a lost asteroid, the first discovery date displayed, or should both discovery dates be listed? exoplanetaryscience (talk) 21:04, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

Regarding the first part, would [[Category:Asteroids with multiple designations]] be sufficient? Then, an interested reader can look up the various designations, which should be in the infobox. The alternative seems a bit clunky.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  21:45, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
Well my reason for suggesting as described is that when an asteroid has multiple 'discovery' dates, should the first discovery date simply be included, even if it was subsequently lost and rediscovered several decades later? I would simply like to define a definition of which year to include, or whether multiple should be. exoplanetaryscience (talk) 22:19, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
All numbered asteroids have multiple designations. They have their provisional designation, their number, and if they have names, their name. So many have atleast 3 designations. Early asteroids from the period when they were considered planets have many more, such as their astrological sign. -- 04:48, 29 May 2015 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Bot Request for Category:Numbered asteroids Maintenance

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

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)

Chaotic rotation

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)