Talk:Mysterious dimming of Tabby's star likely due to space dust, not alien superstructures, say scientists

Active discussions

Looking good, @Robertinventor:. Add what you think needs adding, fix anything else that I didn't hit straight-on and then change "develop" to "review" so that the review team can get the article out there in time. We've got time constraints here that we don't have on the 'pedia. It would also be great to include some piece of information direct from the official academic paper. I try to do that with life science articles.Darkfrog24 (talk) 12:28, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

For my part, the title is a placeholder. I have no strong feelings about keeping vs. changing it. Darkfrog24 (talk) 12:35, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
Title looks good to me. I have a couple of changes to suggest. Nicely written :). Will post them separately and try a bold edit.

Dyson Sphere or Dyson SwarmEdit

The Sky and Telescope article, as cited[1], says "alien Dyson Sphere (or some other type of megastructure)". But actually, as is explained in other sources, a completed Dyson sphere would block out the sunlight uniformly leaving just an infrared source. If it is a megastructure, it's more likely to be a Dyson Swarm - in other words a swarm of many light blocking structures - or a Dyson sphere mid construction. So the qualification (or some other type of megastructure) is important there - actually it is almost certainly "some other type" if this is what it is. This is a good source on that, write up by Jason Wright [2]. Perhaps "Dyson sphere mid construction, or Dyson swarm". I'll try that as a bold edit and add him as a source, see what it looks like. Robertinventor (talk) 12:40, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

Wow. I only mentioned the alien thing for color, but if a serious astronomer at a major university thinks the Dyson idea is credible, that's another matter entirely. Give it a go, Robert. I've got some stuff to do but I'll check in in a couple hours. Darkfrog24 (talk) 12:45, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
@Robertinventor: It might be appropriate to put in a one-sentence definition of a Dyson sphere or swarm for readers who didn't see that one Star Trek TNG episode. Darkfrog24 (talk) 13:04, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
Oh it's serious though not top on their list of suggestions. It's hard to rule out because you can assume that an alien megastructure has almost any properties you like with advanced technology. Astronomers even did a SETI search for signals from it. I can add a link to that too. Okay I'll give a go at describing what a Dyson sphere is. Robertinventor (talk) 13:10, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
Good. I think it's appropriate to mention that the space fans have thought of this but not to present it as if it were the principal hypothesis. So once you get that down, we should hit the "review" button. That doesn't mean we're not allowed to make further changes and may continue to do so until the reviewer adds the "under review" tag. Instead, it means we're okay with the article hitting the main page as it is.
While we're at it: On Wikipedia, the more sources the better, but on Wikinews doubling up on sources has the drawback that the reviewer must read everything we link to, even if it's just a backup. That's why I didn't post the Scientific American source you sent me. If we don't need it, it'll only slow things down. Darkfrog24 (talk) 13:22, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
@Robertinventor: Your explanation talks about what a Dyson sphere is for but not what it is. It's like you said "insulin lowers blood sugar" but didn't say whether insulin was an exercise or a fuzzy cat or a meditation or a medicine or whether lowering blood sugar was good or bad. What I remember from Star Trek is more like "A Dyson sphere is a large structure built all the way around a star to capture all of the energy it gives out." That's probably not exactly right, but something like that, what the sphere is or looks like, should go in there. Darkfrog24 (talk) 13:38, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

@Darkfrog24: - is it okay now? Do feel free to edit / trim. And okay understand about sources, that makes sense. I did add Dyson's original 1960 paper - I thought it was the best way to quickly establish that the search for alien megastructures around other stars is mainstream astronomy. Could remove the Science alert source, I think I'll do that, kind of intermediate between the one and the in technical level. I thought it was important to give a source that made the connection with Tabby's star, but the one does that. Robertinventor (talk) 14:10, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

@Robertinventor: I agree that it's best removed unless you actually used it for something that you didn't get from one of the modern sources. The reviewer has to go through every source we post up and right now there's only one person doing reviews. If you think it would be interesting for the reader to see it, then add it as an external link but not as a source. Darkfrog24 (talk) 16:08, 21 May 2017 (UTC) This article has an external link. Darkfrog24 (talk) 16:18, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
@Darkfrog24: okay removed it. I'll go through see if I spot anything else, but it is looking pretty good to me. Robertinventor (talk) 18:17, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

EPIC 204278916Edit

I think it should also mention this other star which is the only other known star with such huge dips in its light. [3][4]. The other news stories don't mention it but probably many readers don't know about it so I think it is worth a brief sentence somewhere. Robertinventor (talk) 12:42, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

I've added a mention. Do feel free to trim it or edit it as you like. Robertinventor (talk) 13:11, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

Intro paraEdit

@Darkfrog24: I've just edited the intro para. You may want to rewrite it. It was for factual details - it's not actually citizen observation. Instead it was a kickstarter that funded observation by various telescopes and it was spotted by a robotic telescope at Fairborn Observatory. And not actually observed by Kepler telescope this time.

So I've removed this sentence "the Kepler telescope, top astronomy laps across the hemisphere, and hordes of citizen astronomers ...". You may want to rewrite it in a more news story kind of a way... BTW what are "laps"? Robertinventor (talk) 14:27, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

I'll definitely go through it. The reviewers here are particular about the intro paragraph. Darkfrog24 (talk) 16:07, 21 May 2017 (UTC)


I just had one thought, good to have an image associated with it - shows as the thumbnail if you share in facebook, or in google news. Ideas (all suitable license I think) include

  • Planet eater Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech
  • Dusty comet fragments Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech - this is the one most stories use but it's no longer the leading candidate I think

Both are from [5]

I'll have a look see if I can find any others. Robertinventor (talk) 18:41, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

This is another one, it's from the METI press release so I'd have thought that means the copyright is okay, but it doesn't say the license. for it.
* Crumbling Dyson sphere credit Danielle Futselaar/SETI International
Example, used in this article amongst others. and here is the press release Robertinventor (talk) 19:03, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

Uploaded first one, here is a test of it

Artist’s concept of KIC 8462852, which has experienced unusual changes in luminosity over the past few years

Robertinventor (talk) 21:44, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

External Reference - How to build a Dyson sphere in five (relatively) easy stepsEdit

@Darkfrog24: This could be worth adding as an external reference, just a thought:

How to build a Dyson sphere in five (relatively) easy steps Robertinventor (talk) 18:42, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

Checked this out more carefully, the author is rather controversial - the basic description of a Dyson sphere is okay and it is well written but some of the details may be inaccurate. Notable but controversial. See George Dvorsky.
However I've added the Planet Hunters citizen science project as an external source. Readers might be interested to have a go at helping to search for an exoplanet themselves, if just to get an idea of how it worked? Robertinventor (talk) 00:27, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

Added no signals detected yet with sourceEdit

@Darkfrog24: I thought it was good to say that no signals were detected yet. So added that. It adds one more source though. Also turns out they did six nights of observation instead of the originally planned three so corrected that. Robertinventor (talk) 18:58, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

More commentsEdit

@Darkfrog24: a couple more things. "The alert and the preliminary dimming and other signs were important because major telescopes can't simply be moved and retargeted by hand.". Actually they can be retargeted quite quickly, it's rather that they have their time booked in advance. There's a certain amount of discretionary time normally for urgent observations, but they would need a good reason to do that. Says in the Sky and Telescope article:

"As soon as the sun sets around the world, astronomers will train their telescopes on Tabby’s Star — from the amateur astronomers involved in the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) to the spectroscopists at the Keck I and II telescopes in Hawai‘i. Additional spectroscopy will come from the MMT Observatory in Arizona."

The Keck I and II telescopes particularly are amongst the largest optical telescopes currently in use, so it's got to be pretty major to get time there/ I'll have a go at editing it. Robertinventor (talk) 20:36, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

I've just added a mention of the Keck I and II, for now. What happened after the April 24th is that monitoring was increased. [6]

"On April 24th, the robotic telescope at Fairborn Observatory spotted what might have been a dip in brightness — or a statistical fluctuation. The brightness returned to normal levels within a week. Nevertheless, the event (labeled "Event 1" in the light curve below) caught astronomers' attention and monitoring was increased."

Am just doing a final check through, see if I spot anything else. Robertinventor (talk) 20:42, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

Realized it had no explanation of the 750 day period and I just added that, thought it was important as it is the main point in the title and first para. Robertinventor (talk) 21:12, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

I ended up removing the mention of the 24th April dip. It's rather minor, and I tried to find out more about the comment that it lead them to be more alert - and can't find any details. It seems best left to the reader who clicks through to the sources.

I've also done more work on the Dyson's sphere paragraph - the infrared excess there is a general point for any Dyson sphere that uses the energy internally. It would have to convert the higher entropy solar power from electricity eventually into waste heat at least by known laws of physics. So to avoid that infrared excess, either it has to beam the power away to somewhere else, or it has to radiate it in some other direction from the line of sight. I might try a bit more copy editing for that having explained it here... Robertinventor (talk) 23:14, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

@Darkfrog24: Forgot to say, added some material at the end also about the citizen science project that lead to discovery of Tabby's star in the Kepler data originally. I've been all the way through now and it is good to go as far as I'm concerned. I've just shared a link to my facebook timeline for this version for comments, as I have a fair number of expert facebook friends - astronomers, space engineers, astrobiologists, physicists etc. They may spot something or other that needs to be fixed, but I expect only minor things, will let you know if anyone spots anything. Robertinventor (talk) 23:47, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

Passive voiceEdit

@Darkfrog24: - What's wikinews policy on passive voice? Also what is the policy about tone? It's got rather a lot of e.g. "No radio or laser pulse signals have been detected yet." In my own articles I avoid passive tone almost entirely, and I also write a bit more informally, so I'd write that as "They haven't spotted any radio or laser pulse signals yet", or "SETI haven't spotted any radio or laser pulse signals yet".

Also your earlier version was quite light and informal in tone[7] though it did have a fair bit of passive voice so it's not just that really. It's more it was getting a bit over the top, I found the Dyson paragraph had just about every sentence in passive tone after I'd edited it a bit more so I reversed a couple,

Over all, I'm a bit concerned that I might have made it a bit heavy, but at the same time it's important I think to be accurate. The extra details I added like "14 inch telescope" and "10 meters" etc I think most people would be okay with. It's longer than your original version too, I know, and does wikinews have any policy on length? It's very short by comparison with my blog posts, would be shorter I think than any of them :). And also compared to most wikipedia articles of course.

The main new things added to your original version would be the paragraph on megastructures and the paragraph on the 750 day period. What are your thoughts? As my first article I've worked on here I feel rather new to it all. Robertinventor (talk) 01:06, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

The style guide recommends active voice whenever reasonably practical.
As for tone, this article has to be written in a news style. That means it's probably not best to ask questions like "How could this be?" even if you immediately provide the answer.
Wikinews has published large articles in the past, but right now, we have only one person working review and that person's time is precious. It's possible that this article must be short or it will age out and be discarded. Darkfrog24 (talk) 02:09, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
Oh, okay. Your most recent changes look good. I think my only comment now is that there's a lot of passive voice there still. It's a habit you get into from working on an encyclopedia and I had to work quite hard to get over it when I did my first science20 blog articles. I think I understand about informal tone then, so I'll have a go at active voicing the Dyson and 750 days paragraphs, but I'll do it here rather than in the article - I think that might help. Tabby's star should stay current for a while as this is the most exciting development, which should help, will see if there are any preliminary results in yet from the weekend observations and whether it has dipped any further. If it's headed for a big dip, then 3% would be just the beginning, or it might be the first of a series of dips, some much larger. Robertinventor (talk) 09:16, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
Have just updated with the latest data: "The latest data on 21st May shows that the dip is complex and is continuing, after a brief rise in brightness over the weekend."[8] There's also this spectroscopic observation by the 2 meter Liverpool telescope [9] but that's on 20th May and it's early days yet. Didn't think we should go into that level of detail - but it showed no change in the spectrum so far which is interesting. If there is no change in spectrum it will rule out many things.
BTW, very minor point don't need to change anything. There's s discrepancy between the Sky and Telescope which says the lowest dip is by 2%[10] and Universe Today which says 3%[ [11] Robertinventor (talk) 10:27, 22 May 2017 (UTC)]. Both are reliable sources. Universe Today is going by personal communication with Jason Wright while Sky and Telescope displays the data as brightness relative to "Full brightness" with a graph that shows numbers that go above 1.005 before the start of the dip and a dip down to 0.98 so they are just reading off the 2% dip from the graph. I think the explanation is that Sky and Telescope mean a drop in brightness relative to average full brightness while Universe Today means relative to the average brightness before the dip. I'm inclined to go with the Universe Today definition in that case, so no need to change anything. Robertinventor (talk) 10:27, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

Dyson Sphere passive and activeEdit

Actually not sure if technically it's active / passive, I'm not that good at recognizing grammatical constructions, but whatever it is, makes it a bit heavier. As it is now, with the phrases I'd call "passive voice" bolded:

"In 1960, physicist Freeman Dyson first suggested searching space for evidence of a spherical structure completely enclosing a star. He suggested that an advanced civilization, a few centuries ahead of us technologically, could make it out of asteroids, comets, or large planets such as Jupiter. They could use it, he hypothesized, to harness all the solar power from their host star which they would convert to waste heat as part of their civilization's energy metabolism. However, this would create excess infrared radiation, which astronomers have not observed for Tabby's star. Fans of the Dyson sphere or swarm model for Tabby's star think that it could be used for some other purpose, like beaming signals to other stars, or that the structures might lie within a disk seen edge on, so that most of the infrared is radiated away from the direction of observation from Earth. Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) devoted six nights of observation time to Tabby's star in the fall of 2016 as part of the Breakthrough Listen project. No radio or laser pulse signals' have been detected yet."

Active voiced

"In 1960, physicist Freeman Dyson first suggested searching space for evidence of a spherical structure completely enclosing a star. He suggested that an advanced civilization, a few centuries ahead of us technologically, could make it out of asteroids, comets, or large planets such as Jupiter. They could use it, he hypothesized, to harness all the solar power from their host star which they would convert to waste heat as part of their civilization's energy metabolism. However, astronomers have not observed any infrared excess for Tabby's star. Fans of the Dyson sphere or swarm model for Tabby's star think that it could be used for some other purpose, like beaming signals to other stars, or that the structures might lie within a disk seen edge on, radiating most of the infrared away from the line of sight to Earth. Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) devoted six nights of observation time to Tabby's star in the fall of 2016 as part of the Breakthrough Listen project, and haven't yet detected any radio or laser pulse signals.

Is that an improvement do you think? I'll try the other paragraph too. Robertinventor (talk) 09:24, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

750 days passive and activeEdit

As it is now:

Tabby's star had its first major dip 800 days into the Kepler observations and a series of further large dips lasting for a few months each started 1500 days in. Astronomers predicted Thursday's dip by hypothesizing that it was caused by material orbiting Tabby's star with an orbital period of around 750 days. However, no substantial dip was noticed during the first 800 days. One idea is that whatever blocks out the star actually formed during that brief interval of time. Possibly, two planetary embryos collided after Kepler started its observations of the Tabby's star system. Many such collisions have taken place in Earth's solar system, including the theorized collision of a Mars sized planet Theia with early Earth, with the debris forming the much smaller Moon. However to give Kepler even a decent chance of spotting such a rare event, there would have to be an average of 10,000 such collisions per system. It is also possible that the dips are associated with the orbiting remnants of a planet eaten by the star 10,000 years ago. The astronomers estimated that unless we were exceptionally lucky again, ten Jupiters' worth of planets and other debris would need to fall into an average star in its lifetime to explain these observations, which would exceed expectations considerably. "

Active voiced

"Tabby's star had its first major dip 800 days into the Kepler observations and a series of further large dips lasting for a few months each started 1500 days in. Astronomers used a hypothesis that material orbiting Tabby's star with an orbital period of around 750 days to predict Thursday's dip. However, on this hypothesis, there should have been a substantial dip in the observed light curve around 50 days into the observations. One idea is that whatever blocks out the star actually formed during that first brief interval of 750 days. Possibly, two planetary embryos collided after Kepler started its observations of the Tabby's star system. Earth's solar system has evidence of many such collisions, including the theorized collision of a Mars sized planet Theia with early Earth, with the debris forming the much smaller Moon. However to give Kepler even a decent chance of spotting such a rare event, there would have to be an average of 10,000 such collisions per system. It is also possible that the dips are associated with the orbiting remnants of a planet eaten by the star 10,000 years ago. The astronomers estimated that unless we were exceptionally lucky again, ten Jupiters' worth of planets and other debris would need to fall into an average star in its lifetime to explain these observations, which would exceed expectations considerably. "

I've also fixed a minor detail - the Moon didn't collide with early Earth - it was a Mars sized object according to the theory which has been called Theia and the Moon, a much smaller object, formed from the debris, and fixed a couple of typos. Robertinventor (talk) 09:48, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

Just minor update to the active voice paragraph, " first brief interval of 750 days" because with the mention of 50 days it then became a bit confusing which brief interval it referred to. Robertinventor (talk)

BTW on the "which would exceed expectations considerably" - just to say, that they do think that reasonably often, one or more Jupiter masses could fall into an average star, so 10 Jupiter masses, is more than they'd expect but not so excessive as you might think - that's something they realized recently with discovery of many hot Jupiters orbiting close to their sun once every few days. For this to happen, they think there probably were other Jupiters before them that were eaten by their sun. It's not as bizarre as you might think as the sun when it forms would leave behind a massive gas cloud, and it could easily have several Jupiter's worth of mass, and as it condenses and forms into planets, some of those planets then could spiral into the Sun, others ejected from the solar system until the whole thing settles down. So - don't want to go into that level of detail of course, but maybe should just mention something as the average reader might not realize that astronomers think that eating Jupiter sized planets is commonplace. Ten of them per star is rather a lot but not really excessive. The New Scientist article just says "more common than expected" and Jason Wright is quoted as saying of the planet eating scenario "This paper puts the merger scenario on the table in a credible way, I think this moves it into the top tier of explanations" I think I'll just quote New Scientist there. Robertinventor (talk) 10:40, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

I do not see "collisions have taken place" as less active than "the solar system has evidence."
Does the article need that level of detail on matters not directly related to its subject? Does the reader need to know that the thing that may have created the moon was Mars-sized, was called Theia, etc.? Remember, everything you add means a lot more work for the reviewer. They absolutely do not have the option of not reading sources that you think are extra and as of last night this thing had more than twelve. Darkfrog24 (talk) 11:18, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
For another example, I notice you added parentheticals with the sizes of the telescopes at different institutions. A general-audience reader is not going to know why that's important without some explanation. I think we should just leave that out unless there is some reason why it is highly relevant to this dimming event in particular. It looks like bloat to me. Darkfrog24 (talk) 11:25, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
Look at this article. I didn't need to explain every detail about how the electoral college worked, just the parts immediately relevant to the concept of faithless electors. Darkfrog24 (talk) 12:01, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
Okay yes can remove the diameter of those telescopes. It was just to show that some of the world's largest telescopes are being used in the search. But I suppose those who know how big a 10 meter telescope is probably know already that Keck is huge :). With the Moon, the thing is that what you wrote was inaccurate, it was not a collision with the Moon. It could be put more simpler as "collision that formed the Moon". But not "collision with the Moon" because the Moon didn't exist before the collision. Okay I got that one wrong, I'm not good at detecting active / passive :). Anyway I leave it to you, if any of those changes are worth doing, then go ahead, if not, ignore. I'll delete the telescope sizes and simplify the Moon statement. Robertinventor (talk) 12:07, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
See, right there. I had no idea that they were the world's largest telescopes just from those numbers, and the reader doesn't really need to know to understand the dimming event. Only someone who already knew a lot about astronomy would read "10 meters" as "one of the biggest in the world." (They'd still go "uh, I guess that's ...big?" but "one of the biggest in the world" would have more meaning for them.) Same deal with the collision that formed the moon. It's not directly relevant. Darkfrog24 (talk) 12:28, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

Okay interesting. That's fine. :) Robertinventor (talk)

Added imagesEdit

@Darkfrog24: - also added a couple more images - I think helps break it up like "bullet points" - and they don't add to the workload of a reviewer. I've added the new scientist quotes also - comment says the NS article is the source for the quotes so the reviewer wouldn't have to read the whole thing. I think that just leaves the active / passive voice which is a very minor thing. I think the active voiced versions of those paragraphs read a bit better perhaps - but defer to your judgement on that as you may have another perspective. Anything else? I think the reviewer would probably check this talk page so if we clearly sign it off as finished here that will make their task easier. Robertinventor (talk) 11:11, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

Not necessary. This article is already in "ready for review."
Regarding images, you might want to look at other articles and see about how many images they have. Usually it's just one.Darkfrog24 (talk) 11:42, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
Okay - is that policy though, or just that it's easier to find one image than three images? Is there any problem with three images? I find that they tend to help the reader find their place in the articles and break it up so I think they have a benefit if they don't cause problems. And nowadays Wikipedia also often uses many images per article which helps in the same way. Depending on the article. But especially astronomy articles there often have many images in them, as it is such a visual subject.
If we want to remove two of them, I'm inclined to go with the one of Wasp-12 eating a hot Jupiter as the one to keep as it is a good illustration of what's currently the top hypothesis, plus also it helps illustrate this point that stars do eat Jupiter sized planets so the planet eating hypothesis is a not unreasonable one. Robertinventor (talk) 12:13, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
On "signing off" I know it says "ready for review" but that template also says at the end "Please check the talk page history before reviewing." which I take it as meaning a reviewer would look at the talk page - and what else could they be checking for except for evidence that the article is still being edited? If I was a reviewer I'd wait until talk page discussions were over before reviewing, especially if there are other articles to review without discussions. If so, it might help the reviewer if we decide here, "Okay all the things we discussed are now settled".
I think they are pretty much. That active / passive voice - just go ahead and see if there are any changes there you want to commit to the article, ignore the rest, if none of the changes I suggest improve it I'm fine with that :). I see you've removed the telescope sizes for Keck etc which I'm fine with, and I've done the Moon simplification, is there anything else left except these images? Robertinventor (talk) 12:19, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
On images with astronomy - I think the thing is that rather more than for politics - an image can explain things much more quickly than you can in words, for instance the Dyson swarm image and the planet eating star, especially do so. Like you see at a glance and then you read, and the image is also something many people can remember more easily than text too. Robertinventor (talk) 12:22, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
If we remove one image, I'd remove the middle one, so my priority for the images is the planet eating star one first, then the Dyson swarm and then the middle one which I've got for the collision section but it might be planet eating. I think I can just remove that one, it's the least important, will give it a go and see what it's like. Robertinventor (talk) 12:27, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
Have just removed the middle image. I think it works well with just the two images. What do you think? Robertinventor (talk) 12:29, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
Of the three, I would not delete the one that is actually of Tabby's star because the article is about Tabby's star. Dyson spheres and planet eating are secondary to that. Darkfrog24 (talk) 12:30, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
Oh okay, but they are all just artist's impressions, none of them are actually "of" Tabby's star, as we know so little about what causes the dips, and the articles about them typically use images like these. Anyway I don't think that's the best one to use for Tabby's star there are three more here.



I'm inclined to go for the second one. The comet one is a striking image but it's not the top hypothesis, would be a good one if we wanted to illustrate that though. The one I deleted I felt was visually a bit unclear what it was showing. Was it planet eating or a collision? I'll add in the colliding one for now. Will check in again later, probably a few hours from now but will do before then if I can. Robertinventor (talk) 13:04, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

External linksEdit

Have just added a couple of extra links - to Tabetha Boyajian twitter feed for the latest news, and the KIC 8462852 subreddit to discuss Tabby's star with enthusiasts. They are saying there that the current dip has finished, but if it was like last time 750 days or so ago there may be a flurry of more dips over the next few weeks. Robertinventor (talk) 20:27, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

If the dimming event is over then we need to say that in the lede and give a source. Taking this from review to development until the matter's addressed. I can't do it myself right this second. If you get around to it, just hit "review" right after to put it back in the hopper. Darkfrog24 (talk) 21:23, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
Okay done. It's a couple of tweets from Tabby Boyajan and Jason Wright saying it is over and I've quoted from Tabby in the first para. Robertinventor (talk) 21:43, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

Stale news tagEdit

Just to say - I'm sure this is not the last for Tabby's star. First, if it is like the Kepler observations from 750 days ago, this last dip is just the first of many as Tabby and Jason both said in their tweets. Also we are going to get the results of the observations which were made by all those telescopes worldwide last weekend. Expect some of the results to be released informally in the next few weeks, peer reviewed perhaps a month or so from now.

So Tabby's star is bound to hit the news again, and we can use this article again updated with the latest results. It is a complex subject and so not surprising that it took a fair while to gt the article in shape. But it should be a lot easier with the next news story for Tabby's star. Robertinventor (talk) 00:42, 26 May 2017 (UTC)

@Robertinventor: While I'm glad to know we haven't necessarily lost our only opportunity to cover an interesting ongoing story, when you say it'll be a lot easier with the next story there are two potential flaws in your reasoning. One, it's only true if the text that has been written doesn't have any significant problems other than being no longer fresh; I have no idea whether that's so, since I haven't yet had the opportunity to attempt a full review of it. Two, you're only talking about ease of writing; this looks, on the face of it, like a bear to review, a fairly lengthy article with a very large number of sources. Nothing has happened yet to reduce the size of that future review load, so as things stand now, the next article if including this material as background will be even more difficult to review than this one. If this had already passed review and thus been published (which, alas and obviously, has not happened), it would then be easy to use the material in another article. A common technique, both on Wikinews and in conventional journalism, is to write a series of articles on aspects of a story, starting with small items and slowly building up a supply of background material that can be conveniently drawn upon. --Pi zero (talk) 01:26, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
@Pi zero: Thanks for your feedback about the article, that's really helpful and it confirms what @Darkfrog24: was saying. Yes as originally posted[12] by @Darkfrog24: it had few sources and I am used to working on wikipedia and didn't understand this issue that the reviewer has to read all the sources. So as we discussed it, whenever I worked on the article, I added multiple sources, as you do in wikipedia. It only needs one main source for each of the main sections. Some others could go into "External links" for readers who want to find out more. It would also need minor sources for some of the statements - I can add comments for minor sources needed for just one detail or a couple of details - would that help? For instance, New Scientist <!-- this source is only needed for the quote from Jason Wright: "This paper puts the merger scenario on the table in a credible way, I think this moves it into the top tier of explanations" -->, and <!-- Royal Astronomy Society - this source is only needed for the intro describing how Tabby's star was first discovered in a citizen science project, and section 5.2 for the original statement of the 750 day prediction --> .
Yes we could build the other ideas up in a series of news articles but the issue is that we are coming to the story rather late in the game for that. It is drawing from news stories for the last three years, so if we'd been covering those stories here already we'd have plenty of material - but "as is" we don't have any way to run a new story about them now. Tabby's star is likely to be breaking news again in the near future, in the next few weeks, or month at most, but none of the other sub stories are likely to be breaking news any time soon. For example:
* The Planet eating story is from 12 January 2017 - and it is no longer news, it's just accepted as one of the top scenarios to explain it. Can only run it as news now, if they come up with some other hypothesis or tweak on the idea.
* The SETI search is from autumn 2016 - they may do new searches, if so we could run a SETI / mega architecture story then but meanwhile have no way to run such a story as "news".
* The planetary collision idea is still current as one of the main hypotheses but it's a long time since that one was "news".
The problem isn't so much mentioning those main hypotheses. The problem is with going into any detail about them to explain them to the reader. The breaking news stories about Tabby's star - just as you suggest for wikinews - don't go into them in detail but instead refer back to older stories. So if we are to reduce the number of sources we wouldn't be able to go into them in any detail here either - but then - there would be no earlier stories on wikinews to refer to, so we have to just refer to these other sources and then the reader then goes to them to find out about the earlier stories. We could refer to the earlier stories as external sources of course, but not explain what those sources say. E.g. maybe "External sources on Dyson Sphere / Swarm and SETI search", "External sources on planet eating", "External sources on planet collision".
So - that's basically the issue really. We could have a much shorter story here simply by not telling the reader anything in detail about the various hypotheses on Tabby's star.
So, one idea is to roll back to @Darkfrog24:'s original article which had only three sources [13]. There are some very minor things that would need to be fixed in it, without need to add any new sources, choose an image to add to it, and that could be a basis for a much simpler version, add latest tweet by Tabby herself, when next dip starts, add some external sources, and call it finished at that point. If I'd had a better understanding of how wikinews works, that's what I'd have done at that point :).
We could then add some of the new sources as external sources. And then I could then do a longer version on my Science20 blog that uses the work we did since then, under CC BY SA. It gets a fair number of views, typically into the thousands, sometimes into the tens or hundreds of thousands and often appears high in the first page of google news. So I'd link to the wikinews story here, and explain that I'm using material from an earlier draft under CC BY SA. It would be nice if we could link to my blog post as an external source here but not sure of Wikinews policy on that, as it is not peer reviewed, nor is there any editorial oversight - I'm free to write anything in my blog that I wish (I'm not paid for it either). So, probably it has to be one way, that I link to Wikinews but not vice versa. I'd be okay with that. This will be much easier in the future if I work on other articles like this as I'll have a better understanding of how wikinews works.
And perhaps if we did it like that - then in later Tabby's star articles then we could gradually add in mentions of the earlier stories where relevant. How does that sound as a way ahead? Robertinventor (talk) 13:38, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
One thing Pi Zero explained to me a while back was the concept of poaching. If something would work better as part of an encyclopedia article, we should click through to the 'pedia and just put it in the encyclopedia article and let the Wikinews article focus on the recent event. This is especially useful for science publications, most of which tend to cover the discovery something that has been true but merely unknown to humans for a long time. I recently found a Eurekalert article on a discovery about the evolution of large whales. It's neater as a longstanding fact than as an event, so I pinged a couple of the Wikieditors who'd worked on Baleen whale and brought the source to their attention. Darkfrog24 (talk) 14:06, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
For this article, Wikinews has done long pieces, but right now we have a one-to-two-person review team, so shorter with minimal sources is a practical matter. Doesn't mean we can't recycle any of it, though. Darkfrog24 (talk) 14:08, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
Oh okay. Much of what we have in this article for the background information is covered in the wikipedia article on Tabby's star. I didn't copy it from there, as I worked from the sources themselves, but they use the same sources so cover just about all of it plus some other things. And they do of course cover this latest dip KIC_8462852#Hypotheses . Yes for astronomers that is generally what the news often is. For instance the pretty much confirmed Europa geysers recently - confirmation - it's very exciting news for astronomers, but it is a discovery of geysers that presumably have been doing their thing for a long time. Or all the discoveries about Pluto during the New Horizons flyby. On astronomy news sites, you get actual astronomical events like comets, supernovae and gamma ray bursts, or observation reports of meteor showers, a good example would be the impact of the comet Shoemaker Levy on Jupiter. You get eclipses and conjunctions and so on, but they are hardly really news as you can predict them centuries in advance, so they are more like observation alerts. You get news of space launches. But a lot of it is this discovery of something that has been there all along as far as we know but have only just discovered.
I'd call that large whale result news myself. Because as someone following the science news you want to be alerted to new discoveries like that. You aren't going to find it by monitoring wikipedia unless you specifically are searching for whale sizes. At any rate it runs as a news story, in news channels. That particular story ran in the news section of the BBC site for instance Whales reached huge size only recently. I mean it's relevant for wikipedia too, but I'd say definitely it's also top level science news too - has to be pretty important to appear on the BBC site for instance. However we do have to work within the current constraints of wikinews, and it makes sense to do short easily reviewed stories for now. Robertinventor (talk) 00:58, 27 May 2017 (UTC)
Note, I still haven't reviewed this article. It's clearly not fresh anymore, and I could easily not-ready it for that — but it's not entirely impossible, if I have a bit of time available, I could do a more thorough review and, although it certainly wouldn't be publishable, I would be able to either point out problems with it that should be made known to the reporters, or possible verify it so that it could then be salvaged with much less additional review labor. Of course, I haven't been finding time for it, and it's possible I won't; but I'm still holding out some hope. --Pi zero (talk) 01:22, 27 May 2017 (UTC)

Oh, okay. If there is some hope of this, I can make it a lot easier for you by removing the duplicate sources or moving them to external links. Only needs one SETI source, one planet eating source, etc, apart from the minor sources, where I can add a comment "see this source only for xxx on page ...". That was just a matter of me not knowing how wikinews works, and once @Darkfrog24: explained, I didn't want to remove a source at a time when you might be reviewing it. I think one can say rather confidently that Tabby's star will be back in the news some time in the next few weeks, with the results of the observations, if nothing else. Anyway I could do that some time over the weekend, say, does that sound a good idea? Not committing you to anything, you could see what it's like after that's done. Robertinventor (talk) 01:43, 27 May 2017 (UTC)

If the review team weren't so crunched, I'd think it would be a good idea to ask one of them to do a review-pending-new-development of this article, but as things stand I don't think that's our best option for Wikinews overall.
However, Robert, if I could direct your attention to the prepared story category. It's like the "develop" and "review" hoppers except it's a place where we stage a story for an event that we reasonably expect will happen, like an election or the return of a comet, or scientists publishing promised findings. We set up the format, write the background section, fill in the categories and we're ready to go as soon as the news comes out. I have an article on turtles that I'm planning (I missed the freshness limit for the most recent development by almost two weeks), so if you think it would help I can set up a prepared article there on my dear Rafetus swinhoei. Darkfrog24 (talk) 01:50, 27 May 2017 (UTC)
Okay we could do that. Though, actually I was responding to @Pi zero:'s kind offer to look over the article if she has time and not do a full review but to give us a heads up about how we can improve it. I think it would be good if we reduced the number of sources first if she does that, to make it an easier job.
Anyway I've had another idea today which could make it much easier to reduce the number of sources. The idea is to start by choosing are our main sources. I suggest Sky and Telescope for the most recent dip, this SETI one [14] as it also has lots of details about Dyson spheres, for planet eating the one [15], we could just leave out the section on planetary collisions, or have the briefest of mentions if it is mentioned in the other ones, as we can't mention all the ideas.
We can then have maybe another section on "minor sources". That can include the tweets for instance, and the Astronomer's telegram - though we'd have new tweets and a new Astronomer's telegram of course for a new event. If the next news story is about the results rather than a new dip we can leave those "as is". Since you said it's important to explain the idea of a Dyson sphere in detail to the reader, I think we also need Dyson's original paper as a minor source - it is quite short as such things go and also an easy read as such things go.
We could also mark some material with comments as "optional" - I think the paragraph on EPIC 204278916 is optional as most stories don't mention it - but I thought it was good to mention it as few readers will know that Tabby's star is now one of two stars known to have such deep dips in their light curve. It was news in September 2016 so it's an example of a story we could have referred back to if we'd been covering such things already last autumn.
So then the idea is, the Sources section has just those three main sources. The "Minor sources" has the tweets, the New Scientist article just for its quote, last sentence, the Astronomer's telegram, for list of telescopes, Dyson's paper for energy metabolism etc, Tabby's original paper "Where's the Flux?" for its intro paragraph explaining how they originally found Tabby's star through a citizen science project, and for the page ref with the 750 day prediction - and then other things like the original Astrowright explanation of the megastructure hypothesis can go into External links.
We can also give the wikipedia articles on Tabby's star, Dyson spheres, collisions in our solar system etc as external links.
Anyway that's just a suggestion, so in summary the main idea is to
  • start by working on which sources to use as the main sources, keep to about three max, and have those as the list of sources.
  • Have some minor sources, such as tweets, but not too many. Add comments to say exactly why they were included, and which sentence or paragraph needs to be read.
  • Then have rest as external links.
Then go through the article and delete anything that isn't backed up by the three sources we have chosen, or that can't be backed up with a short sound bite from a minor source that is easy to identify.
We could go further than that and omit most of the minor sources too. But then e.g. we wouldn't be able to have those introductory few sentences about the Dyson sphere. Anyway that could be for discussion but the basic idea is to start with the sources and use those to filter the article by deleting anything not in them, which we'd do in order to make it easier to review. In my Science20 article I'd include everything. How does that sound? Robertinventor (talk) 09:44, 28 May 2017 (UTC)
As to how we do that, your idea of doing it as an "article in preparation" sounds good to me. Robertinventor (talk) 09:46, 28 May 2017 (UTC)

Review of revision 4317126 [Not ready]Edit

Thanks. @Darkfrog24: and @Pi zero: Now it's not pending review, we can try a more radical rewrite, so I've just moved the sources around as suggested above. It now has three main sources and many minor sources. Most of the minor sources only back up one detail in the article. The reviewer would only need to read those three sources in their entirety. So - we could
  • Delete everything in the article unless it is mentioned in the three main sources. In that case we don't need the minor sources. We can move them all to external links or remove them altogether, but either way they are not used as sources for the story. This means that for instance, we can't explain in detail what a Dyson sphere is. But we can still do a reasonable news story. It's just more sketchy when it comes to Dyson spheres because we can only say what is said in the three main sources about them.
  • OR, keep the minor sources and explain what each one is used for by comments. Delete the few things not included in the minor sources.
  • OR a mixture. The tweets for instance I think are reasonable as minor sources. And if it is important to have the explanation of a Dyson sphere, I think Dyson's original 1960s paper is the best choice for a minor source as it is a classic that hasn't been superseded as it is a straightforward concept, and remains one of the best and most WP:RS sources on Dyson spheres that I've seen and is also reasonably short and not overly technical either.
I forgot to add the wikipedia external links so will add those. So the idea isn't that the article would necessarily have all those links as sources. Rather, by separating them out like this it will make it easier to decide what to use and what not as sources, then we just trim away anything that isn't in those sources. Just an idea for discussion. If it seems a good idea, then the trimming should be easy enough to do. Robertinventor (talk) 00:32, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
Three isn't necessary. The principal event of the article must have at least two independent sources (two articles from the same publication are not independent; an academic paper and the press release written by the research team are not independent) but for everything else once is enough. Two's better; one's enough. My personal view is that three is overkill given the reviewer shortage. Except for the principal event, no source should be presented to the reviewers unless it supports some part of the article by itself. Darkfrog24 (talk) 01:20, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
@Darkfrog24: Okay, well in this case the Sky and Telescope would be the only essential one of those three, but it would mean deleting most of the article. The thing is every news story will have its own slant especially in astronomy, something they pick up on that particularly interests the author of the article. By having only one or two main sources then we have to follow the same news slant as that article basically. As an example, the Sky and Telescope slant is towards describing the observations with not such detailed theory. While an article on would be much more slanted towards describing the theory and models and not so much detail on observations. A SETI release of course focuses on SETI and so on. The two extra sources were to support the sections on the Dyson Sphere and on the planet eating scenario which is currently the top one. Without them we have to leave out most of the details for those scenarios, if it's just the Sky and Telescope article then it could only support a one sentence mention of the Dyson sphere and it doesn't cover the planet eating one at all, even though it is probably their top hypothesis. Perhaps we can find another article that goes into those in a little more detail but we would be very lucky to find one that goes into it in this level of detail about all three of the things mentioned in the article as it is now.
So, basically we are back to your original article. I think you have a better idea of how to do this than me, and would be best writing the article and I can help with details. Maybe I'll get the hang after we've done a few, but you are good at writing these sorts of articles, so maybe you only need me to help with details. If I'd realized these restrictions then I'd have kept to minor comments and not added any extra sources except as external links. We can add the external sources from this article. I don't think we can cover Dyson spheres in much detail then, apart from a passing reference, e.g. can't explain how they work, unless there is another SETI search in which case we'd get new stories describing Dyson spheres as part of the reporting of it. But still we are go for the complete article on my Science20 blog when Tabby's star next hits the news :). Robertinventor (talk) 20:03, 29 May 2017 (UTC)

Basically I think in future it would work best at least to start with if you write the article, and I don't add any new sources to the article, just work on what needs to be summarized and which details are important, make sure they are summarized accurately etc. Then, can discuss background on the talk page, but e.g. if you say "can you explain more about Dyson spheres" instead of adding the Dyson paper I'd say - "well the sources you have don't describe how they work but there's this paper from 1960 which does, do you think we can use it or what?" Sort of like that, it might work better at least to start with. What do you think? Robertinventor (talk) 20:14, 29 May 2017 (UTC)

@Darkfrog24: - so, I'm saying your original sources were fine according to those guidelines and practical issues which I didn't know at the time. So your original article is probably what we should work on, and there isn't much to do, mainly change the first and last paragraphs to match the latest version of the article, of course updated to the latest news story when it breaks, and you could add a mention of the SETI search since it is mentioned in the Universe Today. Depends what the next story is, may need some tweaking, if one of the hypotheses for instance, is confirmed of course have to edit it to say which it is. But I don't think we need to do much more as far as an article "in preparation. Just that one plus the latest for the Science20 article. Robertinventor (talk) 12:58, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

It sounds like the final draft resulting from such a process would only have four or five sources, which is certainly doable. You want to do the honors, revert this page back to our starter version and change {{stale}} to {{prepared}} so we'll have it all staged for the next dimming event? Darkfrog24 (talk) 13:55, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
Okay I'll do that. I'll make a copy of it in my user space here first for the Science20 article. Robertinventor (talk) 02:06, 31 May 2017 (UTC)

New prepared versionEdit

@Darkfrog24: - here it is. I copied over the new first and last para and the external links, and for the minor sources, just the tweets and Astronomer's telegram. So those are like place holders, when the new story breaks we can rewrite those, might not need to change much more depending on the story. I've put the draft into my space as a "User Sandbox" as there doesn't seem to be a User page template - or is there? Anyway will do for now User:Robertinventor/Draft. Robertinventor (talk) 02:22, 31 May 2017 (UTC)

Oh, and I added the short sentence about the SETI search, forgot to say. Anyway I expect we'd be using new sources, though quite probably from the same places, e.g. Sky and Telescope, so I think details will depend on what they say for the next story. Robertinventor (talk) 02:34, 31 May 2017 (UTC)

And added the image about the planet eater as perhaps the top hypothesis at present, but again a place holder. Robertinventor (talk) 02:36, 31 May 2017 (UTC)

Tabby's star dipping againEdit

@Darkfrog24: Just to say, though they haven't made a major announcement of it yet, Tabby's star is dipping again, has been for a week now. To start with it could just be a statistical anomaly - but they think it is reasonably convincing. Could it be the start of a big dip? Anyway - not sure if it is a news story yet but it's definitely a case of "Watch this space". Update here [16]. Robertinventor (talk) 20:53, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

Tabby's star dipping again, this time looks like it's heading for a big oneEdit

@Darkfrog24: Just to say, it's had several very minor dips but it now seems to be heading for another big one. The update is here [17] I got Tabby's newsletter and she says

"We are currently prepping to execute an alert to trigger spectroscopic observations, etc. "

So that might be a good time to run this story, when they do that alert. We could wait for some of the astronomy sites to pick it up first. Anyway just to say, I think it's likely to be a good time to run it soon, though not quite yet. Robertinventor (talk) 14:52, 8 August 2017 (UTC)

@Robertinventor: Good idea. But remember, the reviewers here don't like to publish stories that are more than two days old. Darkfrog24 (talk) 19:30, 8 August 2017 (UTC)
@Darkfrog24: Rightio. Need to keep a close eye on it. I think it is not enough of a story to publish yet as it is just an update on her blog. Latest is here [18] but if she puts out a call for spectroscopic observations then she is calling in the big guns at that point as it were and it's a bit more newsworthy. If a magazine like Sky and Telescope publishes it then that proves its newsworthy. I think the main issue publishing it first before the astronomy magazines and online astronomy sites would be showing that this new development is news worthy enough to publish here. [19] Robertinventor (talk) 11:38, 9 August 2017 (UTC)
Just to say, it turned out not to be such a big dip after, all, returned to normal[20], so still waiting for the "big one". Robertinventor (talk) 03:19, 22 August 2017 (UTC)
That's why I keep an eye on the prep category. Darkfrog24 (talk) 15:20, 22 August 2017 (UTC)

January 2018 and pending developmentsEdit

@Robertinventor: I checked out the link you sent me, and while I don't agree with the common view that science news should be held to the same "it must be an event" standards as other news articles, much of the review team does. This is dated December 26, but it doesn't look like it's been released to the public yet. We could treat that public release as the event. That would double as a solution to the problem that this reads like an editorial or forum post (clearly an expert's post, though). I'm still having trouble following it on the first read-through, though. Am I correct in tihnking the new focal event would be "new findings [this was pretty vague but I'm removing it anyway]"? Darkfrog24 (talk) 01:46, 3 January 2018 (UTC)

Okay, I checked the "why my posts are private" note and it refers to "9:00 a.m. Jan 3, when the embargo lifts." I have taken the liberty of kicking this paper to development. Guess it's a good thing I couldn't tell what they were talking about on first run-through. Darkfrog24 (talk) 02:35, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
@Darkfrog24: Okay we'd better leave onlinw discussion of what the post means until the embargo is lifted but that's not long and it means we are all ready to go when it happens. But Jason Wright is one of the authors of the paper so in this blog post, he is giving an informal account of what his paper says. The paper itself is very technical and rather hard to read. They shared it to backers a while back. I will send you a link to it also via email as collaborator but I'm sure that also will be embargoed until tomorrow when hopefully we can use it as a source also. That's an assumption - they don't actually give an embargo date on the paper itself but it seems a reasonable guess that this embargo date is also the release date for the paper.
I think a blog post by one of the authors of the paper explaining in ordinary language what they have found out would be one of the best sources you can have, would you agree? Robertinventor (talk) 02:57, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
Oh just checked the email, the paper is embargoed until tomorrow too as expected :). So we are good to go with that when the embargo is lifted, to use it as a source for the article. Robertinventor (talk) 03:01, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
The paper abstract is a useful short summary but the paper body is very technical and the blog post is useful for a much more detailed understanding of what the results mean than the abstract gives, and it also has additional discussion of the implications of their results. Robertinventor (talk) 03:07, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
While we wait, can we discuss the meaning/usefulness of this sentence: "The Tabby's taking a scheduled dip and not to kill fleas"? Is it anything more than just cutesy literary device? If not, it should probably be removed. Cheers, --SVTCobra 03:11, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
Another one is "stellar indigestion after chowing down on a planet". Wikinews is not a scientific journal by any means, but this metaphor doesn't seem helpful and only cheapens the article. Cheers, --SVTCobra 03:40, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
I think it's for @Darkfrog24: to comment - but I just read it as humour. I don't know what wikinews policy is on humour in the articles. Robertinventor (talk) 12:06, 3 January 2018 (UTC)

The embargo is lifted now - as the blog posts no longer require a password. Here is the reply I couldn't do until it was lifted:

The main finding is that he dips are colour dependent - that blue light is extinguished more than yellow and yellow more than red.

They also have new findings on sodium and calcium line extinctions.

The original Kepler data did not distinguish between the frequency of the light so this is a major new development.

That's why they can rule out many hypotheses. For instance large obscuring bodies which are optically opaque would have to block out all the wavelengths equally. The hypothesis of neutral or ionized gas are ruled out by the sodium and calcium line results. They also ruled out many (but not all) of the hypotheses involving intrinsic variability of the star. They ruled out intervening dust clouds as very unlikely because interstellar clouds would always have gas as well as dust.

They are left with just a few remaining hypotheses all of which still have problems. These include exocomets and a black hole accretion disk and I think the planetary collision idea is also still on the menu as it were. I need to do another re-read of the blog post and the paper.

The headline news is probably that mega structures are all but ruled out (you can suppose almost any optical properties for mega architecture just by saying they designed them that way - but they would have to have unusual optical properties - not just block the sunlight). And detailed news that many of the other hypotheses such as interstellar clouds are also ruled out pretty much.Robertinventor (talk) 12:06, 3 January 2018 (UTC)

The blog post is here [21] and the paper is here [22] Robertinventor (talk) 12:11, 3 January 2018 (UTC)

@SVTCobra: Since the article is no longer about the star taking a scheduled dip, the sentence is moot regardless of how you feel about my having a bit of fun with the language. You will find that, unlike encyclopedia articles, news articles cover a wide range of tones and levels of formality. ("Tabby" is a type of house cat. One would give a housecat a flea dip, a kind of bath that the animal often finds hilariously unpleasant, if it caught exoparasites.) Darkfrog24 (talk) 12:25, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
Just looking at the article to think about how it needs to be rewritten. The first two paragraphs are out of date of course and need to be replaced by a summary of the latest results. I suggest we add in this image [23] and describe what it means - that blue is extinguished more than yellow and that in tun more than red - that's the crucial thing and would be good to highlight it by having an image to draw attention to it as the main point in the article. In the next paragraph when it talks about the Kepler mission - that phase of its mission is now over so it should say "monitored" rather than "monitors" for the 150,000 stars. @Darkfrog24: would you like to have a go at writing a new first two paras and then we can comment on it? Because you are good at that. Robertinventor (talk) 14:12, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
And title and one of the main points in the intro should be that the mega-architecture idea is pretty much ruled out, sadly probably not a partially completed Dyson Sphere or Dyson swarm, because they would block out all the light (already seemed unlikely because of lack of infared excess) - and then other main points are the way it favours dust and rules out gas either neutral or ionized, plus the bit about the dip depending on frequency which Kepler couldn't measure. And it's good also to say that it's only because of crowd funding that they were able to do this research at all, I think that needs to be touched on in the first couple of paras too. Those are the main points come to mind, anyway interested to see what you make of it :). Robertinventor (talk) 14:17, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
Darkfrog24, I know what a tabby cat is and I understand tone. I mean, who do you think you are talking to? Other news outlets have the option to be witty or snarky or a little tongue-in-cheek. It has been long established on Wikinews, however, that is not acceptable in the pursuit of neutrality. We don't have that option here because it can easily be misinterpreted. --SVTCobra 14:30, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
Just to say - I don't read it as any of those, not witty, or snarky or tongue-in-cheek. I just see it as a light tone, and would depend on whether wikinews has to be always somewhat solemn and serious or is permitted to be somewhat lighter in tone at times. It's not a pointed remark at anyone, it's just using a somewhat light hearted imagery that may help the reader, may make it easier for them to remember the ideas. As to what wiki news policy is on that I've no idea, but just saying how I read it. Robertinventor (talk) 17:43, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
Also just to say I think it's good myself because it makes the article more memorable and the tone and level of formality is within the range of what you'd expect of a news article. Robertinventor (talk) 18:08, 3 January 2018 (UTC)

I added the paper itself as an external link for now. We can move it to the source section easily if we need to. I've got some other stuff I need to do for a couple hours. @Robertinventor: I have a special request: Is there anything you can take out to reduce the size of the source list? Back in May, one of the reviewers brought up how hard it would be to work on something with this many sources to it. Darkfrog24 (talk) 21:08, 3 January 2018 (UTC)

I added this to the sources. --SVTCobra 23:40, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
@Darkfrog24: Oh yes I remember that. We could replace the older sources by more recent ones and simply go through the article and delete anything that isn't mentioned in the newer sources, which isn't much. There has been enough time now for the top astronomy online sources to do articles about it - probably prepared before the embargo was lifted. I suggest Sky and Telescope and Then see if there is anything not supported in either of those + your link, the paper and the Jason Wright blog posts and then if there is we can discuss whether it needs to be included. Those two sources could also help you writing the intro paras. If the same topic is covered already in detail in a more recent source then I don't think we need a duplicate in external sources but if it is covered in more detail it can be useful to retain it.
Matt Williams is the only main topic not covered by the new astronomy articles - useful for details about the planet eating hypothesis which is still mentioned in the paper introduction which talks about (page 5)
"Specific models for the brightness variations have been explored by Katz (2017), who modeled a circumstellar ring; Makarov & Goldin (2016), who suggested interstellar “comets”; giant circumstellar exocomets, suggested by Boyajian et al. (2016) and modeled by Bodman & Quillen (2016); Neslušan & Budaj (2017), who modeled dust clouds associated with a smaller number of more massive bodies; Ballesteros et al. (2017), who suggested a ringed planet and associated Trojan asteroid swarms; Sheikh et al. (2016), who find the statistics of the dips to be consistent with intrinsic processes; Metzger et al. (2017), who model the consumption of a secondary body; and Foukal (2017), who invoke intrinsic variations perhaps related to magnetocovection"
However with the paper as an external source, then it might mean that we should leave it out of the article in interests of reducing the amount of sources to check plus that being more like what wikipedia does (which does have an entry on the planet eating hypothesis already) - unless it is mentioned in one of those sources we now have (I don't remember seeing it there but could have missed it).
You could do the Jason Wright post as an external source also as it is quite techy in places and the other sources say the same things and are easier to check. It is good to include it for the more techy readers, especially things like explaining the reasoning that rules out neutral and ionized gas in an easier to read way than the paper - it's a good post, also linked at the end of the article but I think it should be easy at hand here. I think the minor sources can all be removed as they were used to support the previous introductory paragraph and were topical when the article was first written but not any more. I think the rest of the external sources should be kept. Robertinventor (talk) 02:14, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
@Darkfrog24: I would leave the paper as an external source as it is too technical to expect a reviewer to read it. The abstract, intro and conclusion is reasonably readable but easier to read the other sources that easily count as reliable sources. @SVTCobra: that's a good source for the recent update on the megastructure hypthesis, thanks. Robertinventor (talk) 02:20, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
I would have to read that Wright post more than once to really get it, and there are plain-English sources available, so there's no reason to spend the extra time.
Robert, I pinged out on the removing unnecessary sources issue because you're the one who added most of them and you're more likely to remember what went with what else than I am. Darkfrog24 (talk) 03:03, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
Yes indeed, no need to reread the Wright post but good to include it as an external source. Okay I can remove the extra sources. This is a recent article by Phil Plait who is an excellent high reputation third party source on astronomy - he thinks the planetary collision idea is one of the top possibilities. You could add it either as a primary source or external source - either way reading it may give you some ideas because he writes very well and it is an easy read but technically very accurate. [24] Robertinventor (talk) 03:21, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
Okay updated the sources. I recommend moving the Phil Plait article to the primary sources if it doesn't make it too much to read but for now put it as an external source. No minor sources this time but left the header in place in case we come up with one. Robertinventor (talk) 03:35, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
Robert, I think you might have removed some sources that actually were supporting the text. Darkfrog24 (talk) 03:43, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
Yes I did, sorry, should be fixed now, see below. Robertinventor (talk) 08:34, 4 January 2018 (UTC)

State of thingsEdit

I believe the article is presentable in its current form, which is why I feel comfortable hitting review. The title is up for grabs, for anyone who can think of a better one. If anyone wants to make improvements or changes to the article before the reviewer gets to it, remember to make sure that the article either remains in reviewable form at all times or that you use the editing tag. Remember, the review team won't start if it looks like we still have any open issues to resolve. Darkfrog24 (talk) 03:43, 4 January 2018 (UTC)

@Darkfrog24: there is a minor issue, sorry. Not with your new material. It's the third paragraph. It relies on the sources I removed. I've rewritten it to make it clearer that it is past tense about the first dip, and for now I'll just add in those sources. If the reviewers are okay with that fine. I need to add in the minor sources + the old sky and telescope and universe today. I'll also make it clear the Jason Wright quote is about the May event rather than recent. I'll comment here again after doing that. The alternative is to remove that paragraph or most of it and add a brief summary instead. Robertinventor (talk) 05:04, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
@Darkfrog24: I've added the necessary sources back in as "Sources for May 2017 event". Hope that is acceptable. We need to act quickly as the sooner it is published the better being very topical breaking news, so I thought that was the quickest solution to keep it in review status. Also have finished rewriting to make clear it is about the May event for that third para. Robertinventor (talk) 05:15, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
@Robertinventor: Isn't the source for January 3, 2018 just a mirror of the original at Penn State? (also I fixed the url). Cheers, --SVTCobra 05:28, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
@Robertinventor: Why would you choose the mirror instead of the original? I think Penn State University lends more credibility than which is just a news aggregator. Either way, I am fairly certain the text is the same. --SVTCobra 05:39, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
@SVTCobra: - it was a coincidence - I spotted the duplication at the same time as you and fixed it before I saw your comment. I removed the original because it is not accessible to read here for some reason now though it was earlier on - so I wonder if the readers might have trouble accessing it. It is in the wayback machine here for those who can't read it. These things sometimes depend where you are - can be accessible to readers in some locations and not in others. I don't think it matters much which you use, normally the original would be better but has a good reputation so I think it's okay to use it too. Robertinventor (talk) 05:44, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
And I agree the text is the same. I haven't done a diff but did a quick read through of both and they seem identical. Robertinventor (talk) 05:46, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
It was just a temporary glitch and is back up - now edited it to show the original url. Also tried to add: "(mirrored at )" but it messed up the source formatting so I've just added that as a comment in the wikicode instead Robertinventor (talk) 05:54, 4 January 2018 (UTC)

@Darkfrog24: Re-read several times, don't see any remaining open issues. The title is fine. The article is well written and I like it! I did one more minor edit to make it clear that the dust hypothesis includes the exocomet hypothesis as indeed the recent Jason Wright quote says.

My only thought was to mention that neutral gas and ionized gas is ruled out. It's touched on in the earlier quote: "If there's gas in that dust, that gas should absorb very specific wavelengths. " - the answer is that they checked and found none of those expected absorptions so there is no gas in the dust at least up to the signal / noise ratio of their measurements.

But though that's in the paper (section 2.2) I don't think any of the primary sources mention it not even Phil Plait, only the paper and the Jason Wright blog, both of which we are giving as external sources. They just present it in positive form that it favours the dust interpretation. So on that basis your "is likely to be clouds of color-warping space dust" is all we need to say - geeky readers can follow through the Jason Wright post or the paper for details of why the latest results favour dust over gas. Robertinventor (talk) 06:41, 4 January 2018 (UTC)

Preview imageEdit

This is just a comment, not something we can fix probably. I just shared this on my facebook page to show to friends and I noticed the preview image is not related to the article, it is this one: [25]

The line of code in the source for the page is <meta property="og:image" content=""/>

I've noticed this before, don't suppose there is anything we can do about it. It's okay but when shared on social media people are so often drawn by the image first before the title so it must lead to wikinews losing some customers to have generic rather than specific images for articles. Not related to the review process, just wondered if anyone knows more about this and why it's done like that. Robertinventor (talk) 06:11, 4 January 2018 (UTC)

@Robertinventor, Darkfrog24: What about using this illustration of the dimming of Tabby's star? It is by NASA/JPL and can be uploaded to Commons. Cheers, --SVTCobra 06:47, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
Uneven ring of dust orbiting KIC 8462852
Image: NASA/JPL.

Oh, it's already on Commons. --SVTCobra 06:51, 4 January 2018 (UTC)

Oh that's a good image to add, I've added it with the caption which also adds information content because the caption from NASA / JPL talks about the size of the dust and how it is characteristic of stellar rather than interstellar dust. But sadly there doesn't seem to be any way to replace the image used as a thumbnail at the top or the preview image for social media sharing. At least if there is I haven't found it. Robertinventor (talk) 08:31, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
@Robertinventor: Yeah, I don't know much about sharing on social media or how the previews are generated, but it occurred to me that the first image might be used. So I moved the Uneven Dust Ring image up before the Space Infobox. Does that change the way it looks? Also, is there something wrong with the Space Infobox? I got a message about an infinite recursive loop when I saved my changes. Cheers, --SVTCobra 13:17, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
Love the new pic. Darkfrog24 (talk) 15:30, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
works fine. Yes the og:image has changed to your new image so it must autogenerate based perhaps on first image in the code. I did a refresh share attachment in Facebook and it shows this image now so that's perfect. Whatever that error message was about it can't be serious - I just did a test minor edit and no error messages so it displays fine, is still editable fine and it is a good place for the image which sums up the story in a visual sense and is an image NASA released specifically for this very story - right at the start next to the intro para. Robertinventor (talk) 15:36, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
And space info box displays fine. Robertinventor (talk) 17:44, 4 January 2018 (UTC)

Review of revision 4374163 [Passed]Edit

Return to "Mysterious dimming of Tabby's star likely due to space dust, not alien superstructures, say scientists" page.