We currently have 19 questions tagged with One was recently closed and one has two close votes, and has 35 questions.

Going through these it seems that some good SETI and extraterrestrial questions have always been on-topic here.

I also think that SETI is a valid subfield of Astronomy and there have always been real astronomers participating in this field.

proximal question

Should we re-open the closed question and keep the one with two close votes open as well?

larger question

What are some effective and actionable guidelines for judging when a good SETI question is on-topic and should be kept open, and which should not be considered on-topic?

What about good METI questions? (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence)


2 Answers 2


I think that I am quite OK with having SETI and METI questions, having already asked a question related to SETI (with 2 upvotes ).

While to some it may seem that SETI questions are usually not well-received in Astronomy SE (it did to me when I joined), if one takes a average of all the votes the tag has received quite average vote count of ~2.21 (yay! my question is quite average!).

Many astronomers were part of, and participated in SETI and I think SETI should be, and is, well-received in the Community. Though METI seems relatively new a concept, it is very nearly related to SETI, and all in all, it has also received some recognition in some the questions mentioned above by @uhoh. But still posting them here.


You have two questions here, and I have opposing answers to them:

I agree with you that good SETI questions should be on topic - but the definition of Good here is key.

METI on the other hand - so far I haven't seen any good (from a site perspective) METI questions here. Those two you highlight, I would firmly class in "not good questions" despite the second one having a good answer.

Which I assume is why some are pointed to worldbuilding - METI is irrelevant until SETI is successful (pretty much) and unlike the search, messaging is philosophical and hypothetical, and until aliens are found, no possibility of a definitive answer.


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