As per the help center,

Avoid asking questions about unidentified aerial objects unless you are prepared to provide detailed pictures and/or sufficient description to identify the time, location, and characteristics of the sighted object. Specifically, this is not a UFO reporting site, but identifying things in the sky is a part of astronomy. If you must ask about that thing in the sky, be prepared to explain a lot and add additional information requested by commenters, or your question may be closed quickly.

I've seen a fair number of questions along these lines. Many are not good, because they're basically, "I saw this light in the sky. What is it?" I've done some searching, but I really can't find an example that I think meets the criteria in the help center.

So, I have to parts to this question:

  • Do we have any really good "What is this thing in the sky?" questions we can reference in the help center?
  • If not, what does a good question in this category look like? Can we come up with an itemized list for a prospective asker to go over?

1 Answer 1


These questions are generally very poor and I'm not sure they add anything useful to the site in terms of knowledge.

How many times have we seen the "moving flashing lights in the sky" type question ?

How many ways are there to say "navigation lights" ?

How many times is useful in terms of StackExchange's function ?

Yes, astronomy is about observation, but these questions are just not about astronomy. They're about aviation most of the time and about people with too much imagination the rest of the time.

So could we just automatically close these ? Pretty please with cream on top. :-)

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The community would have to vote their approval to take such action, as in the past the community decided that these questions are on topic but should be strictly regulated. Fortunately, upvotes on this answer would be a good way to indicate community decision. I disagree, however, that we should close questions just because a certain topic is generally poor. That just means we should keep a closer eye on those questions. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage Mod
    Commented Jul 17, 2017 at 13:34

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .