We currently have the solar-system tag, with the tag wiki excerpt
For questions regarding a star and the area comprising its gravitational dominance. While they are not part of its technical definition, it colloquially refers to the planets, moons, asteroids and other bodies orbiting the star.
Some people - in the real world, not just Worldbuilding - use “Solar System” (note the capitals) to refer to our Solar System, that is, the Sun and all the bodies that orbit it. Others use it to refer to any system of one or more stars and objects orbiting it. We appear to use this second definition here, although only partially. It’s poorly worded, and I think I’m allowed to say as much because I did some (or most of) of the editing that made it confusing.
At any rate, we currently use it according to both definitions, and I feel this is a bit confusing. On the one hand, we have questions like Where in the solar system is the most viable place to put my colonists, after Mars and Luna?, which use the tag to refer to the Solar System. On the other hand, we have questions like Nine Different Earths in One System--How to Make That Possible, which use the tag to refer to a completely fictional system of planets orbiting a star. I’d argue that we need two different tags in these situations, because the Solar System is much more than any old planetary system. Lumping it under a general tag referring to planetary systems would be like getting rid of the earth tag and just using planets instead.
Here’s my proposal. We split solar-system into two tags:
- solar-system, to be used for questions about the Solar System.
- planetary-systems or [tag:planetary system], to be used for questions about other planetary systems, real or imaginary. This would also encompass asteroid belts, extrasolar equivalents of the Oort Cloud, etc. It would be more than the planet tag, because it deals with interactions between planets and with/between other non-planetary objects in the system.
I’d consider having stellar-system be a third tag, but 1) worldbuilders are rarely concerned with stars if there are no planets, and 2) the stars tag should be sufficient.
If we do decide to split the tags, though, it’s going to take a while to figure out which questions deserve what tag, since it seems like there are a lot of cases where planetary-systems could be used but solar-system was not used (incorrectly) instead. This is something that would have to be addressed if we go back and do some retagging to add consistency.
What are people’s thoughts on this? Do we need to fix the issues with the use of the solar-system tag, should we create a planetary-systems tag to fill in the gaps, and how can we deal with the retagging?