Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Astronomy

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WikiProject Astronomy

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WikiProject Astronomy (Rated Project-class)
WikiProject icon Wikipedia:WikiProject Astronomy is within the scope of WikiProject Astronomy, which collaborates on articles related to Astronomy on Wikipedia.
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New space station comparison diagram

Size comparisons between current and past space stations as they appeared most recently. Solar panels in blue, heat radiators in red. Note that stations have different depths not shown by silhouettes.

Hello all, I've made a vector diagram to compare space station sizes. It should be updatable and correctable over time. I've been surprised how hard it has been to find accurate plan flat diagrams, so please feel free to direct edit if I've made any errors! T.Shafee(Evo&Evo)talk 04:33, 6 May 2018 (UTC)

You're at the wrong wikiproject. This is a WP:SPACEFLIGHT concern, and unrelated to astronomy. On another note, your Salyut list is wrong. The Salyuts evolved over time, so no single silhouette would be accurate. Additionally, there were two architecture families for the Salyut stations, the DOS and the OPS series. But this discussion should occur at WT:SPACEFLIGHT -- (talk) 04:56, 6 May 2018 (UTC)
Very useful feedback, thanks. I'll move the the conversation there! T.Shafee(Evo&Evo)talk 12:45, 6 May 2018 (UTC)

Discussion: renaming minor-planet article

The proposal to rename and move List of Mars-crossing minor planets to Mars-crossing asteroid has been contested.

Please join the discussion at Talk:List of Mars-crossing minor planets § Requested move 17 May 2018 which also concerns a set of related articles. Rfassbind – talk 03:25, 17 May 2018 (UTC)

User:Bibcode Bot revived

I finally got Bibcode Bot to query the ADSABS database. It meant half-assing things, so I don't yet know if anything broke, so keep an eye on your watchlist and report issues if you see them.

Issues, if anything, will likely be missed arxiv/bibcode/doi because of incomplete/wrong info in the citations, rather than bad info being added by the bot. And bot crashes. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 16:58, 24 May 2018 (UTC)

Got the last of the bot crashes resolved, thanks to the helpful staff at ADSABS. The bot is not as powerful as it once was at guessing things, but I think I can gradually restore advanced guessing functionality. However, the bot will now update temporary/old bibcodes to modern ones. If you see errors, please drop a message on the bot's talk page! Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 20:27, 4 June 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, Headbomb! Not an easy task. --Mark viking (talk) 20:33, 4 June 2018 (UTC)
Actually the hardest part of this was to run down through every solutions suggested ADSABS guys until they gave up and whitelisted the bot to give it unlimited querying powers (the bot historically had those, but something changed a few months ago and it got blacklisted). So that wasn't particularly hard, it just took 2 weeks of emails going "alright, I tried your thing, which worked for a couple of edits, but then bot got blocked again". The hard work was mostly done by User:Betacommand/User:Δ, who resurrected the bot after a Wikipedia API update and who figured out the core of the bibcode update logic. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 20:41, 4 June 2018 (UTC)
ADS are in the middle of some major changes to their backend and API, which might have caused the original problem. My thanks to everyone involved in maintaining Bibcode Bot! Modest Genius talk 13:11, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
Yup, they are. I haven't taken at look at the new API just yet, but I don't think the changes will affect the bot much beyond slight regex changes. Maybe for the advanced bibcode guessing logic since that's currently borked and I haven't sat down to think of a solution for that just yet. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 13:25, 5 June 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I ran the bot on all WP:AST's articles in the past few days. If you expand an article and want me to run the bot on it, or run the bot on some other articles, let me know. I'll be doing physics articles next, but I can always squeeze requests in. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 03:00, 7 June 2018 (UTC)

WikiProject collaboration notice from the Portals WikiProject

The reason I am contacting you is because there are one or more portals that fall under this subject, and the Portals WikiProject is currently undertaking a major drive to automate portals that may affect them.

Portals are being redesigned.

The new design features are being applied to existing portals.

At present, we are gearing up for a maintenance pass of portals in which the introduction section will be upgraded to no longer need a subpage. In place of static copied and pasted excerpts will be self-updating excerpts displayed through selective transclusion, using the template {{Transclude lead excerpt}}.

The discussion about this can be found here.

Maintainers of specific portals are encouraged to sign up as project members here, noting the portals they maintain, so that those portals are skipped by the maintenance pass. Currently, we are interested in upgrading neglected and abandoned portals. There will be opportunity for maintained portals to opt-in later, or the portal maintainers can handle upgrading (the portals they maintain) personally at any time.


On April 8th, 2018, an RfC ("Request for comment") proposal was made to eliminate all portals and the portal namespace. On April 17th, the Portals WikiProject was rebooted to handle the revitalization of the portal system. On May 12th, the RfC was closed with the result to keep portals, by a margin of about 2 to 1 in favor of keeping portals.

There's an article in the current edition of the Signpost interviewing project members about the RfC and the Portals WikiProject.

Since the reboot, the Portals WikiProject has been busy building tools and components to upgrade portals.

So far, 84 editors have joined.

If you would like to keep abreast of what is happening with portals, see the newsletter archive.

If you have any questions about what is happening with portals or the Portals WikiProject, please post them on the WikiProject's talk page.

Thank you.    — The Transhumanist   07:26, 30 May 2018 (UTC)

Starbox unit wrapping

{{Starbox astrometry}}

I noticed that some starbox fields can line-break between a value and its unit, which is usually undesirable. In particular, the parallax, which is having this problem more often with the highly precise Gaia DR2 parallaxes. AG Carinae is an example, at least with my screen layout. I set out to change it, found the template is protected, requested a change, and then found that there are a lot more fields like this, and that I should have discussed it first anyway. So ... discuss. Lithopsian (talk) 13:58, 30 May 2018 (UTC)

I'd say this is pretty uncontroversial. For what it's worth, though, I'm not seeing the number/unit line break you're referring to, but I know everyone's screens are a little different. If you sandbox the changes to show they don't break anything, I'd be happy to implement them (i.e. I don't think "making the templates work better" needs a whole lot of discussion). Primefac (talk) 16:58, 30 May 2018 (UTC)
I've edited the sandbox. I changed the space before all units, not just parallax, to a non-breaking space. Then the parallax broke at the ± sign. I created a second version which doesn't break there either. That's probably OK, but maybe it might too wide one day. Not sure what the solution to that would be; in most fields, the editor has control over formatting the value and the error margin, but for the parallax they are entered separately and combined in the template to allow for distance calculations. Lithopsian (talk) 20:15, 31 May 2018 (UTC)

Some more examples with a long parallaxes that wrap for me: WR 31a, HD 35519, HD 240429/240430, and Nova Persei 2018. Lithopsian (talk) 13:33, 1 June 2018 (UTC)

 Done. Primefac (talk) 14:13, 1 June 2018 (UTC)

Deletion of List of largest galaxies and how to clean up galaxy sizes in articles

I've proposed to delete List of largest galaxies. See the deletion proposal and that page's talk for details.

More broadly, the galaxy sizes on individual wikipedia pages are generally wrong and are certainly inconsistent with one another. The effort required to fix them would be substantial, and there's not even an obviously coherent way to go about it: one would have to use an optical survey with a fixed surface brightness depth and measure the half light radii and get distances via spectroscopy or photometric redshifts. Just taking the various values quoted in NED doesn't make for a reliable list. I'm of the opinion that we're better off just removing the "size" or "diameter" section from the galaxy infoboxes. Ideas? - Parejkoj (talk) 20:06, 1 June 2018 (UTC)

I think in general that specific reliable sources should be used for infobox data, rather than collection sites like NED and SIMBAD. The latter tend to change over time, potentially leading to confusion over the original source. If the galaxy size information is inconsistent, then perhaps it should instead be expanded to accommodate the different methods of determination? Praemonitus (talk) 13:48, 2 June 2018 (UTC)

AU, au or ua?

A discussion has started at the mosnum talk page about the appropriate symbol for the astronomical unit. The present text recommends AU. Some editors are arguing for a change to au. Comments are invited. Dondervogel 2 (talk) 07:47, 8 June 2018 (UTC)

Haven't we been through this discussion already? Praemonitus (talk) 14:23, 8 June 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, this rings some bells for me too. I thought we settled on au at some point before? Modest Genius talk 14:35, 8 June 2018 (UTC)
We settled on AU last time, and for good reasons. People now want to change this. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 14:37, 8 June 2018 (UTC)
I'm new in this discussion, do you have the original discussion? --MaoGo (talk) 14:39, 8 June 2018 (UTC)
@MaoGo You can find the orginal RfC here. Dondervogel 2 (talk) 14:44, 8 June 2018 (UTC)
And the original discussion from 2014. Primefac (talk) 15:23, 8 June 2018 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure there are still other discussions, because I definitely commented on at least one of them and didn't on either of those links. Anyway, point being this has been discussed many times. Modest Genius talk 14:48, 10 June 2018 (UTC)

David Darling's list of notable stars

We should likely created articles / redirects for all the following entries:

Already done as of 13:30, 11 June 2018 (UTC)

Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 20:38, 9 June 2018 (UTC)

Headbomb, would you mind if I cut out the 90% of the links that already exist? Primefac (talk) 23:48, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
Go right ahead. I was just lazy and linked everything so we could have an idea of what was already done, but keeping only what is left to do is also fine. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 00:40, 10 June 2018 (UTC)
Done. Left the list for posterity, just hid it. The redirects all appear to point to the proper places (i.e. alt names) but I might have missed a couple. Primefac (talk) 01:30, 10 June 2018 (UTC)
IP Pegasi is in {{Stars of Pegasus}} but not List of stars in Pegasus. UX Orionis is in both equivalents for Orion. L1551 IRS 5 exists. Lithopsian (talk) 19:27, 10 June 2018 (UTC)

Hipparcos reduction question

So I noticed that we have {{cite DR2}} for Gaia's release, and it got me thinking about the Hipparcos reduction by van Leeuwen; the reference is used on almost 3k pages - would it be worth it to create a template to replace all these uses (i.e. to standardize them)? Primefac (talk) 19:12, 10 June 2018 (UTC)

Seems a bit late in the day. Hipparcos has been the main source of parallaxes for the bulk of stars brighter than about 10th magnitude for the last 20 years, but is now on the verge of being obsolete. Gaia DR2 parallaxes are available for the majority of Hipparcos stars and a great many more, and are usually more accurate. Producing the template wouldn't be hard, but the effort of writing a bot or manually editing 3,000 articles seems pointless when 99% of them could be replaced by Gaia parallaxes now or when the final data release comes out. Used to be that we had {{cite doi}} for centralisation of frequent refs but some bright spark decided that was a bad idea so now we have the same thing in 3,000 pages. Hopefully they won't spot {{cite DR2}}. Lithopsian (talk) 19:24, 10 June 2018 (UTC)
Hmm, fair point. As for any potential for deleting DR2, I'd say that a template used on potentially thousands of templates is perfectly acceptable - not to rehash the DOI debate but that family of templates was being used for any DOI, including ones that might have only been used once or twice. Primefac (talk) 19:29, 10 June 2018 (UTC)
One of the reasons of using {{cite DR2}} was so we can add full bibliographic information as & when it becomes available (e.g. volume and page numbers). van Leeuwan's work was published a full decade ago, so doesn't have that problem. I agree that a template wouldn't do any harm, but it doesn't seem worth the effort of incorporating it into all those articles. Modest Genius talk 10:14, 11 June 2018 (UTC)
Some time back there was an effort to use templates for common references, but that has since been rescinded. I didn't see the discussion for that decision. It does seem like references are ripe for inclusion in a common media database. Praemonitus (talk) 17:26, 11 June 2018 (UTC)

FL review for List of nearest stars and brown dwarfs

Hey guys, the featured list nomination List of nearest stars and brown dwarfs could really use some review from experts. Come give input on the Review page. Thanks! exoplanetaryscience (talk) 23:29, 11 June 2018 (UTC)

Fact-checking Request

Can anyone of you fact-check the new top entry SDSS J140821.67+025733.2 in the List of most massive black holes? The purported mass (~200 billion solar masses) seems too high for me and I fear that it might cause another issue just like what happened in Holmberg 15A.

I can't open the reference because my cellphone truly does suck. It just crashes my browser. If anyone can dig open reference 6 and check the values there, that would be awesome! Please let me know. I just want to make sure that it's not an error. ^_^

Warm regards for anyone. SkyFlubbler (talk) 07:09, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

Well the reference itself does not mention the fact. But in the data file the entry with highest field 12 has decimal RA DEC of 212.090299 2.959248 has the given black hole mass by use of CIV. The MgII line calculation does not confirm the mass. (Is CIV the C+3 emission line?). Not only that, but there are 20 with BH mass over 1011 solar masses as determined by CIV. Using MGII there is only one entry with more than 0.1 trillion solar masses. Overall I think that it is an original research to claim the most massive black hole, as no one from a reliable source seems to have made the statement. This paper has been cited 4 times, so perhaps others are not relying on the mass estimates from it. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 08:31, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
I looked upon the table of reference 6 and the highest I've only seen is entry RA 0.00806 and DEC -0.24097 with the mass exponent MBH of 9.39. This equates to only 2.45 billion MSun. Nowhere does any purported ~200 billion solar masses is listed in the reference.
I checked at the article history and I've found out that the entry of SDSS J140821.67+025733.2 was made by User:老干妈2333. He even made an article about it. I can see this as another case of WP:OR. In the meantime, I'll remove the entry of SDSS J140821.67+025733.2 at the massive black holes list. I'll also put his article at requests for speedy deletion. SkyFlubbler (talk) 11:26, 23 June 2018 (UTC)


An IP has made a lot of physics-related proposals. Please comment. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 21:47, 3 July 2018 (UTC)

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