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Planetary science questions are generally on-topic both here and in Space Exploration SE.

The recent and rapidly answered question How can I find the depth of a portion of the Valles Marineris? includes the figure below, and the mapping and characterization of this kind of geographic data on rocky planets is done with spacecraft in orbit around the planet.

There are many well-answered questions in SpaceSE about specific geographic features on rocky planets. While not a priori off topic, I'm wondering if we should try to keep this class of questions in one site (i.e. Space SE).

This allows for linking related questions, which we can not do across different sites (currently).

This might include by extension radar mapping from Earth of the rocky planets as well, for which most of the questions are also in Space SE.


enter image description here

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I would say the discussion of the process of exploring or mapping objects beyond the earth, with landers, orbiters, or flyby craft, would fall into Space Exploration, but the discussion of the actual geographic location would fall into Astronomy.

It is possible to discuss the Sea of Tranquility without discussing Apollo 11.

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  • $\begingroup$ Yes, exactly this. :) $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Feb 13 at 13:32
  • $\begingroup$ I would argue that even the sensors used by those landers, orbiters, or flyby craft are most likely on topic for this site. After all, questions about telescopes are on topic, with fifteen tags being specific to or related to telescopes. $\endgroup$ – David Hammen Feb 16 at 14:23
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I would say this would be on topic under our previous ruling that all planetary science that is not specifically Earth science is on topic here.

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  • $\begingroup$ I agree that these questions are currently on-topic and tried to re-affirm that in the question. I'm asking if we should consider carving out a section and making it off-topic, so to my scope-carving question are you saying "no we shouldn't"? $\endgroup$ – uhoh Feb 13 at 13:26
  • $\begingroup$ @uhoh I guess I would say so. I think we should keep those on topic here. They are a big part of the broad field of Astronomy. $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Feb 13 at 13:31

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