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This is probably answered somewhere, so apologies for my weak search-fu...

Why can a question have two tags that are synonyms? Shouldn't the synonym instead appear as its "parent" tag?

For instance in this question Calculus used by Gauss to find Ceres' position?, [astronomy] and [observational-astronomy] both appear, even though [observational-astronomy] is a synonym of [astronomy].

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Contrary to merging of tags, the creation of synonyms does not alter posts retroactively. If a question is edited after the synonym was created, the tags of the question will conform with the new synonym rules.

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