As everyone should know that there is another old closed Astronomy SE. So how is the current website compared with the old one? In particular, how about the question quality? I am not quite sure about the reason it get abandoned, but you may learn a bit there.

You can have a look of old questions in the public data dump there. Please don't copy those questions here as most are already merged to the Physics.SE.

  • $\begingroup$ Looks like the old site's activity dwindled away (1 question per day and very few views per day). $\endgroup$
    – user8
    Commented Oct 6, 2013 at 21:38
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    $\begingroup$ I'd say it's too early to tell, because the old Astro had a pretty good private beta iirc (I wasn't around, I just know from some graphs I made when it was getting closed) but support dwindled later on in the public beta and didn't pick up again. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 7, 2013 at 10:12
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    $\begingroup$ Similar question at Area 51: Why wouldn't this just be part of the existing physics Stack Exchange site?. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 5, 2013 at 1:14

1 Answer 1


I was active in the previous astronomy SE, and my impression is that it failed because of lack of questions. I think what questions we had were of reasonable quality, not really distinguishable from the ones I have seen here, and they usually got good answers, but as time went on there just weren't enough of them.

My overall impression of the nature of the community was that there were a small number of enthusiastic members, some of whom were quite knowledgeable. So, questions got answered (and answered well), but once this core community ran out ideas for seed questions, there were too few questions from people outside of this core to sustain the site.

So, I think the challenge this community needs to address to avoid the same fate is how to attract more questions, hopefully without sacrificing quality. This subjective impression matches up pretty well with what I see on the final stats for the previous beta.

On the meta side, we had many of the same questions about what is "on topic" as I see on this meta (theoretical questions allowed? amateur only, professional only, or both? What about questions on astronomy software?)


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