We've decided to keep Astronomy Stack Exchange in PRIVATE beta for one more week. The Community Manager team reviewed the site so far and, while we love the enthusiasm here, we are deeply concerned that many of the questions and answers are poor or literal copies of material available elsewhere on the internet. We want to make sure this is a site for people "doing" astronomy—whether you're a PhD or into backyard astronomy. We don't want to create a site where folks are simply repeating content they heard elsewhere.
Let me paraphrase something Joel Spolsky (Stack Exchange co-founder) wrote:
There are only 200 easy [astronomy] questions, and they've all been asked 100 times on every other site on the subject. But there are 20,000,000 detailed, difficult, long-tail questions that only an expert can answer, and we'd be doing a REAL service to the Internet by creating a place where you can find answers to the 20,000,000 hard questions, not the 200 easy ones.
The current list of questions comes close to being a complete set of the 200 easy questions with pitifully few of the hard ones. Let me call out one counter-example: How can I collimate a dobsonian telescope with a laser collimator? What I love about this question is that Wipqozn clearly was trying to do some astronomy, ran into a problem, and chose to ask here. Then TildalWave answered the question by pulling out some equipment and taking pictures of the process to show how it's done.
There is an odd disconnect between the questions being asked and the folks we see on the site. Many of you are working on (or actually hold) advanced degrees... or work in academia, engineering, or astronomy. If there's some misunderstanding about why we're all here during the private beta, it's time to hear from you... right now. If you're holding back waiting for the site to get better, now is not the time to wait. Whether it's a question from your studies, or a particularly intriguing problem you might have once encountered in work... the time to ask your question is right now.