28
$\begingroup$

It was recently announced that several SE sites are closing, including Theoretical Physics and Astronomy. Given that our scope here is basically a superset of the scope of Theoretical Physics and that there is a lot of overlap between the sites, there is considerable support for migrating the entire content of that site to Physics Stack Exchange.

However, it's also been mentioned in several places that there is a fair amount of overlap between Astronomy Stack Exchange and this site as well. Indeed, we get quite a few astronomy and cosmology questions posted here, and looking at the astronomy site I see a decent number of astrophysics-related questions. Certainly those questions can find a good home here. But since physics and astronomy are such closely related subjects, I think even the other, less physical questions from the astronomy site might be of interest to our audience. This raises the possibility of incorporating Astronomy.SE into this site as well.

Should we expand the scope of this site to include both physics and astronomy?

To be clear, what I am proposing is that this site expands its scope to include anything that is currently on topic for Astronomy SE (including the non-physics-related questions) as well as anything that is currently on topic here.

If this change were to happen, it might be appropriate to alter the name and/or design of the site accordingly. This is being addressed by a separate question. Obviously, for this reason, the change in scope would be contingent on the approval of the Stack Exchange team. But I would also like to see whether there is community support for the idea.

$\endgroup$
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I think that the expansion of scope needed would be rather modest as there always was a considerable overlap. $\endgroup$ – dmckee Apr 25 '12 at 19:50
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Yeah, that's part of the reason I thought this might be a good idea. $\endgroup$ – David Z Apr 25 '12 at 19:53
  • $\begingroup$ I agree, though I don't particularly like the idea of questions related to knowledge of the nighy sky/etc. But I don't see those on Astro, and everything seems to be Astrophysics. I say we keep our original scope defined on the side of the page, and just allow astrophysics questions. $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Apr 25 '12 at 19:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Manishearth Looking at the A.SE tags list there are probably some, but they're only a minority. Observation, visual astronomy, equipment, astrophotography seem unlikely to fit if the migration is limited to physics. $\endgroup$ – Dan Neely Apr 25 '12 at 20:07
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @dan maybe we can burn em with fire later if we automate the merge. :) I guess those tags could be exempted from an auto merge and then manually trawled. $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Apr 25 '12 at 20:16
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Photo.SE has an astrophotography tag. If not welcome here, that'd be a potential candidate for some of the orphans. $\endgroup$ – Dan Neely Apr 26 '12 at 0:09
  • $\begingroup$ @Manishearth perhaps you'd care to provide the "nope" poll option? ;-) $\endgroup$ – David Z Apr 26 '12 at 1:06
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidZaslavsky: Done ;-) $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Apr 26 '12 at 4:42
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Without changing the name to P&A.SE, I think some of the astronomical questions will become off-topic. Astro.SE does feature questions about different eyepieces or mirror models (although I guess questions about mirror configurations could be tagged as "optics"). If the name does change to P&A.SE, then everything that was on-topic at Astro.SE should be on topic. After all, it'd be in the name! $\endgroup$ – Warrick Apr 26 '12 at 7:59
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think its better to import 80% (?) of the questions and not change our name, then to change the name and enire scope of this site just to import the 20% equipment questions aswell. $\endgroup$ – TROLLHUNTER Apr 27 '12 at 12:46
  • $\begingroup$ @solomoan make sure to vote for Pearsonartphoto's answer, then. $\endgroup$ – David Z Apr 27 '12 at 22:12
  • $\begingroup$ the initial reaction on Meta.Photo.SE to taking the astrophotography questions appears favorable: meta.photo.stackexchange.com/questions/2217/proposed-migration-of-astro-photography-questions-from-astronomy-se/ $\endgroup$ – Dan Neely May 1 '12 at 14:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ For the record, since the Astronomy SE was pretty much dead for a long time anyways, I don't think that the "night sky"/"visual astronomy" questions would clog up the Physics SE feed that much. $\endgroup$ – InquilineKea May 2 '12 at 15:45
36
$\begingroup$

Should we expand the scope of this site to include both physics and astronomy?

Yep :-)

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ If somebody posts an answer just saying "nope" we'll have a poll, LOL :-) $\endgroup$ – Dilaton Apr 25 '12 at 20:11
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ If anyone votes no, I will challenge them to a cage match to the death! As someone who managed to get a couple badges on both sites, I hope that stuff transfers over as seamlessly as possible. $\endgroup$ – Larian LeQuella Apr 25 '12 at 22:34
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ I think 80% of the questions on Astronomy will fit quite well, there's a fair number about equipment and similar that might not fit as well... Bottom line, I think we should do some filtering first... $\endgroup$ – PearsonArtPhoto Apr 27 '12 at 3:41
  • $\begingroup$ If you expand the scope, you will need to include observation and equipment questions. The programming questions can go to StackOverflow. $\endgroup$ – Arlen Beiler Apr 29 '12 at 19:36
  • $\begingroup$ @Larian hey, ince you were an Astro mod, could you give some views here ? Specifically on the tags we should create--I myself have no idea what tags you guys may have had.. $\endgroup$ – Manishearth May 6 '12 at 5:33
6
$\begingroup$

There seems to be a fair bit of decent, so I'm going to put forward the third proposal.

Take most of the questions, but filter out the ones that really aren't on topic. Basically, don't take equipment, observational help, etc. I suspect that around 80% of the questions fit into this category, but there might be a few that get left behind.

Some that I suspect should be left behind (All stolen from my own questions, so as to not offend anyone else;-): But most of them should be brought here, for sure.

https://astronomy.stackexchange.com/q/1573/71

https://astronomy.stackexchange.com/q/1901/71

https://astronomy.stackexchange.com/q/1434/71

https://astronomy.stackexchange.com/q/93/71

$\endgroup$
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ This is my view as well. Though, if you filter out the observational questions, everything else is on-topic(which makes this entire metapost moot). If we are to take these, then my opinion is that we should implicitly allow these, without changing the sitename to "Phy & Astro" or some nonsense. $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Apr 27 '12 at 4:03
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, thanks for posting this - we should also consider this option. $\endgroup$ – David Z Apr 27 '12 at 4:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ +1 for showing a few examples for the Physics.SE community. $\endgroup$ – Warrick Apr 27 '12 at 6:59
1
$\begingroup$

If the Physics Stack Exchange is renamed into the Physics and Astronomy Stack Exchange, I actually would wonder - how much "damage" would be done if we also migrated over the questions related to equipment and observation help? Since the Astronomy SE was pretty much dead for a long time, I don't think that those questions would really clog up the Physics SE feed, and I'd hate to lose some of the good discussions that were on equipment/observations.

(am saying this as someone who didn't post anything related to equipment/observation help, as my interests in astronomy are purely theoretical).

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There seems to be broad support for migrating over those questions, so the plan is to do that. $\endgroup$ – David Z May 2 '12 at 18:15
0
$\begingroup$

Should we expand the scope of this site to include both physics and astronomy?

Nope :O

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ CW since I don't agree with this--I'm fine as long as we hand-filter [observational-astronomy] and the likes. $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Apr 26 '12 at 4:42
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Well, let's be clear on what you're not agreeing with: my proposal is that pretty much everything that is currently on topic for Astronomy.SE becomes on topic for us. That will probably include the observational questions. (After all, if you eliminate those, what's left is basically just physics anyway and is already on topic.) $\endgroup$ – David Z Apr 26 '12 at 4:48
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @DavidZaslavsky: Hmm... alright... I think it's fine if we include observational astronomy. As long as we don't change our sitename to "Physics&astro"/ change the snippet to "active researchers, academics and students of physics/astronomy". Implicit support is OK with me. $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Apr 26 '12 at 4:51
  • $\begingroup$ Ha ha @Manishearth, now you are my enemy ;-)... And be careful, Larian will shoot everybody that gives you an upvote on this :-P $\endgroup$ – Dilaton Apr 26 '12 at 7:37
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @Dilaton oh, I'm not upvoting this--I don't agree with it.. Just to keep a polling option :) $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Apr 26 '12 at 7:38
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah I know, just wanted to tease you a little bit ... :-) $\endgroup$ – Dilaton Apr 26 '12 at 7:46

You must log in to answer this question.

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