Recently I started focusing on older unanswered questions, and I realized that today we reached 999 questions with no answers and I find this repdigit number (German: Schnapszahl) worth mentioning or celebrating.

Anyhow, my main question is: With no access to site statistics can I somehow determine the answer ratio on Astronomy Stack Exchange of 1.6 myself?

enter image description here

I have the overall number of question (10566), the ones with no upvoted or accepted answers (1077), and the one with no answer at all (999). This looks like an underdetermined equation, so I would love to see a histogram of how many questions have 0, 1, 2, 3, ... answers. Just out of curiosity and since I love statistics.



1 Answer 1


I would love to see a histogram of how many questions have 0, 1, 2, 3, ... answers

A while ago I wrote a query for this for this MathOverflow answer, to demonstrate that it seems to follow Zipf's Law. When I run it for Astronomy, I get the following graph:

enter image description here
(both axes are logarithmic)

If you want raw results, this query is better:

Number of answers Frequency
0 1342
1 5483
2 2480
3 790
4 270
5 95
6 42
7 13
8 7
9 3
10 2
11 1
12 1

and here is your histogram, or at least the best I can do with SEDE:

enter image description here

As for where the 1.6 comes from: community members have guessed the formula and user @rene wrote a SEDE query here and running it for Astronomy Stack Exchange gives a value of 1.558, which is rounded to one decimal.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks so much! I was hoping for power law (with a cutoff), but I am somehow excited that it is indeed one. $\endgroup$
    – B--rian
    Commented Mar 15, 2021 at 14:47

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