CZ Talk:Astronomy Workgroup

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The Citizendium Astronomy Workgroup
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High priority articles listing

When the listing of high priority Astronomy Workgroup articles is brought to a more complete state, I anticipate that there will be approximately 150 to 200 such articles.

The Citizendium has about 50 Workgroups and if each developed a similar list (and similarly sized), that would represent about 7,500 to 10,000 articles total. This is not overly large for the project goals and thus the number of articles in the Astronomy Workgroup list does not appear to be excessive.

Considered from another point of view, Wikipedia has about 1.6 million articles. Eliminating the well over half which are insipid stubs, incapable or highly unlikely to ever be developed beyond that stage, and then eliminating the very large number of other artilces which only by a great stretch of the imagination belong in any Encyclopedia, we are still left with a few hundred thousand articles. The 10,000 figure mentioned above would then represent the top 5% (approximately) of the total.

Likewise, the Philip's Astronomy Encyclopedia states that it contains a total of about 3,000 entries, so again, the 150 - 200 entries on the "high priority list" for Astronomy represents about 5% of that total.

Thus the list would appear to be properly selective.

If it is felt that some sub-set of the articles should be designated "of extreme importance" (or something similar) then this could be done with an asterisk or some other prominent marking.

James F. Perry 17:30, 1 February 2007 (CST)

a short question, the IAA "degraded" Pluto last year to dwarf, shouldnt they be in the list? Robert Tito 20:59, 1 February 2007 (CST)

I thought that was the IAU (International Astronomical Union), which is on the list. Of course, a wag such as I might be tempted to say that since they "degraded" Pluto, maybe they themselves should be degraded!

Seriously, though, I'm not done and I am having some difficulty with the list of organizations. RAS. AURA. AAS. I think they should be included. James F. Perry 21:22, 1 February 2007 (CST)

LOL, well I wouldn't call you a wag, you at least have the guts to start pages with this HUGE range. Besides your remark made me doubt my remark too. When appropriate I will make some astronomical additions - if you would like me. I have some (read a little) knowledge about astrophysics and cosmology, as well as black holes - more from a theoretical point of view (Stephen Hawkins thesis) and might be able to add some stuff as well - if you will let me.
regards, and thanks for your great effort and articles. Robert Tito 21:45, 1 February 2007 (CST)

Organizing the work

The listing of high priority articles is intended as a means of organizing the work of the Astronomy Workgroup. I certainly do not intend (nor am I qualified) to work on all of the articles on the list. But by means of the listing, Workgroup authors (and others) should be able to see at a glance just what work needs to be done.

A word of caution: there is a tendency for folks on CZ to deprecate the work of WP. However, my own experience as an extensive WP reader (and editor) is that the WP is uneven in its coverage and quality. Further, it is a general consensus among knowledgable people that the WP's strong suit is in science, computers, and technology.

Many of the articles in the Astronomy category appear to have benefited from the work of very capable and knowledgable individuals and we should be cautious about deprecating their fine work and, in the process, insulting the authors. In many cases, the articles could be brought over to CZ and, after vetting, put straight up for approval.

In any case, each article needs to be dealt with individually. Please be careful about overgeneralizing!

James F. Perry 12:38, 2 February 2007 (CST)

I've looked at a few articles in this field over at Wikipedia, and found some of them to be of quite high quality. I've just written some very stubby articles on star and black hole, and I'm going to replace my star article with a cleaned-up version of the Wikipedia article. The black hole article at Wikipedia needs some help, though.

With regards to prioritizing the work, I've copied Wikipedia's list of articles every (language) Wikipedia should have to User:Anthony Argyriou/WPbasicarticles1; I think that's a good start for top-priority articles. Anthony Argyriou 00:41, 27 March 2007 (CDT)

proper place for astronomy?

subject discussion "proper place for astronomy?" moved to Citizendium Pilot talk:Discipline Workgroups James F. Perry 11:15, 3 February 2007 (CST)

Hello All,

something to consider: is astronomy not a subdivision of physics (with huge links to math)? If so why create a new workgroup for astronomy as it (possibly) should be a sub-group for physics? Please your thoughts on this. Robert Tito 10:48, 3 February 2007 (CST)

You could be right. What we need to do is to collect all such requests for changes in one place. I suggest Citizendium Pilot talk:Discipline Workgroups. --Larry Sanger 11:06, 3 February 2007 (CST)

There are two main issues to consider here. First is that the discipline of Astronomy must be considered not just in its present, modern-day form, but also historically. Was Astronomy always a sub-discipline of Physics? Historically, all the natural sciences were considered sub-disciplines of Philosophy (natural philosophy - remember Newton's Philosophiae naturalis Principia mathematica or Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy). Surely you wouldn't want to see Astronomy (and with it Physics) rolled into Larry Sanger's discipline ;-) ? Just as interesting is the somewhat unfortunate phrase almost metaphysical (unfortunate because I don't know what it means to be almost metaphysical) which occurs in the lead paragraph of the present version of the CZ article on Astronomy. So maybe, at least in some respects, we are returning to that earlier era of natural philosopy.
Secondly, taxonomy is as much a practical as a theoretical task. The above exposition shows how very arbitrary it can all be. Basicaly, Astronomy should be a separate workgroup, in spite of its enormous and growing integration with math and physics, because that is what people have come to expect and that is where people expect to turn for work on the subject. It's somewhat like organizing books in a bookstore. If your customers are expecting to find astronomy books in an astronomy section, then you create such a section, otherwise you lose sales. That's the way it is with essentially artivicial systems of taxonomy. James F. Perry 11:10, 3 February 2007 (CST)

Mr. Perry, I do not agree with you to let historical views determine present place. The present situation is a result FROM the past, not the other way around (it seems to me) Robert Tito 11:34, 3 February 2007 (CST)

It's true a major part of astronomy is strongly related to physics (both at the present and in the past), there are other areas that are less related, archaeoastronomy and astrobiolgy for instance. In other words astronomy has a big overlap with physics but it's not a subset of the latter. And thus I think astronomy does deserves its own independent workgroup. --Lawrence W. K. Lo 10:20, 15 February 2007 (CST)

common sense tells me astronomy is part of physics, with sub fields shared between other fields. Robert Tito | Talk 10:35, 15 February 2007 (CST)