Proposal: Astronomy & Astrophysics

I haven't found it in the description, but is there room for outdated astronomical methods and theories too? To clarify, I wouldn't want here any horoscope-making or similar superstitions (that were commonly associated with astronomy in past), but usage of primitive methods like work with a gnomon and historical/ancient astronomy-based cosmology might be interresting for me. What should be plausible here and what not?

  • Astronomy pretty arouse out of astrology as a side effect so if you wan't to understand the history of astronomy in detail, you have to understand the astrological theories that caused the original astronomical observations to be made and recorded.
    – TechZen
    Oct 21, 2014 at 18:48

2 Answers 2


It's about where you're getting your experts from. People who practice astronomy and astrophysics will generally know more about the history of these subjects than others. But unless they took an interest in the history of their fields, they will only know that history to the extent that it impacts the current fields.

For example, a physicist or chemist working in thermodynamics would know about modern thermodynamic principles and theories. But you wouldn't expect a physicist to know much about the caloric theory of heat or phlogiston theory. A physicist would probably know they exist and that they were overturned, but anything deeper than that would only be due to personal interest or just happening to come across it.


These questions should be asked at History of Science, and I think it should be prefered to asking them on Astronomy&Astrophysics. Btw. it will go to beta soon.

  • Great point. Not sure it would have been off-topic on Astronomy (we've had a few along these lines) but it would definitely fit better on History of Science and Mathematics.
    – HDE 226868
    Oct 22, 2014 at 14:41

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