Poll: Exoplanet Catalogue planet ordering

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You're in the 55 Cnc A system and you hit the '1' key. Which planet should be selected?

Poll ended at 17.03.2020, 02:06

55 Cnc Ae - it is the nearest planet to the star.
12
92%
55 Cnc Ab - it is the first alphabetically and in order of discovery.
1
8%
 
Total votes: 13

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Poll: Exoplanet Catalogue planet ordering

Post #1by Sirius_Alpha » 07.03.2020, 02:06

In the Celestia Discord, SevenSpheres proposed changing the ordering of the planets in the Exoplanet Catalogue such that when hitting 1, 2, 3, etc... on the keyboard, rather than selecting the planets in order of discovery, it is changed to selecting them in order of the distance from the star.

If the keybinding is changed such that they are in order of the distance to the star, it will bring it into conformity with the original extrasolar.ssc file. However in situations where there are unconfirmed planets, since they are in separate .ssc files, reaching for the 1 key may not select the nearest planet to the star anyway in cases where the nearest planet is unconfirmed.

Take for example 55 Cnc A. There are five known planets. The innermost planet was the fourth planet discovered, then the final planet discovered was ~in the habitable zone, the fourth (known) planet from the star. In my mind, 55 Cnc e is the "fourth planet" in the system because of the discovery order. If I'm in the system and I want to select it, I would instinctively reach for the 4 key. But I understand that not everyone thinks that way because not everyone is so mentally attached to the history and development of the scientific literature on the system.

So I am putting it up to a vote.
Last edited by Sirius_Alpha on 07.03.2020, 02:12, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #2by Lafuente_Astronomy » 07.03.2020, 02:11

I think logically speaking, 1 should be the nearest planet.
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Post #3by SevenSpheres » 07.03.2020, 02:20

So apparently ordinary users can make polls in "Add-on development" too... so confused...

Anyway, I think ordering by distance definitely makes the most sense, because in the long run the discovery order is irrelevant, and the planet letters are sometimes inconsistent between papers (e.g. Mu Arae, the Tuomi et al mess). This would only be for confirmed planets; I would not want the 1 key to select an unconfirmed planet unless there are no confirmed planets in the system.
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Post #4by Art Blos » 07.03.2020, 05:21

Better to act by analogy with the Solar system, where is the order by distance.
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Post #5by jujuapapa » 07.03.2020, 06:16

Agree with ArtBlos. :wink:

After all, we are well on the third rock after the sun ! :smile:
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Post #6by Gurren Lagann » 07.03.2020, 14:18

Actually, Earth can be anywhere from the 4th rock (Mercury, Venus, 2020 CD3, and Earth) to beyond the 15000th rock - because of NEAs, comets, and more
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Post #7by jujuapapa » 07.03.2020, 15:14

As the title said : "planet" not rock or stone or... :eek:

The day is far to detect anything around another star smaller than a rocky planet ! :biggrin:
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Post #8by Gurren Lagann » 07.03.2020, 15:36

Then what about Kepler-37b? Its around the size of the moon.
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Post #9by Sirius_Alpha » 07.03.2020, 17:10

Art Blos wrote:Better to act by analogy with the Solar system, where is the order by distance.
The Solar System is compatible with both conventions. The classical planets -- Mercury through Saturn -- have been known since antiquity and therefore there's no "discovery order" for them. Uranus and Neptune were discovered in the order of their distance as well.
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Post #10by jujuapapa » 07.03.2020, 17:45

@sirius_alpha : FYI, Mercury through Saturn with visual method (human eyes),
Uranus and Neptune : discovered by mathematical methods... :biggrin:
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Post #11by Anthony_B_Russo10 » 07.03.2020, 18:07

Uranus was discovered with a telescope, Neptune was discovered with math.
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Post #12by Art Blos » 07.03.2020, 18:57

Sirius_Alpha wrote:The Solar System is compatible with both conventions. The classical planets -- Mercury through Saturn -- have been known since antiquity and therefore there's no "discovery order" for them. Uranus and Neptune were discovered in the order of their distance as well.
The order by discovery date can be interesting only when user viewing a table on Wikipedia.
When he using the simulator, ordering by distance to the central body is much more convenient.

If the numeric keys worked with the moons of Jupiter according to the discovery date, this would not give the user anything.
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Post #13by Fafers_br » 08.03.2020, 14:56

The tree displayed in the solar system browser, with the star on the top and the planets below, also gives the "feeling" of increasing distance from the star as you go down the planet list. So, it's one more reason in favor of the distance order. As long as the order of discovery date is reflected (and respected) in the names' letters, this information will not be lost.

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Post #14by jujuapapa » 09.03.2020, 06:00

Anthony_B_Russo10 » 07.03.2020, 19:07
Uranus was discovered with a telescope, Neptune was discovered with math.

Professional astronomers realize mathematical searches before official publishing, right ?
I think that Herschel didn't believe to the chance... :wink:
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Post #15by Sirius_Alpha » 02.04.2020, 03:43

Well, the results of the poll are unambiguous to say the least. The .ssc order of the planets has been changed as of the April 2020 version of the exoplanet catalogue.
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