Proposal: Astronomy Space Exploration

These are two major areas in Space where both Space Exploration and Astronomy might claim significant overlap, and I think it's worth exploring in more detail. What do we do with Planetary Sciences?

Planetary Sciences is the science of other planets, comets, asteroids, moons, etc. What is Jupiter made out of? Is there life on Mars? Are there valuable minerals in Asteroids?

These questions fall outside of the traditional realm of Astronomy, but are more sciency than most of the proposed questions on Space Exploration. I think these types of questions belong on one of the two proposals, and if we can figure out now how to distinguish them, both sites will be better off during the private betas.

1 Answer 1


Starting with what I think are the most obvious points.

  1. Anything relating to how equipment in space works belongs to Space Exploration.
  2. Observations using telescopes, whether space based or ground based, belong to Astronomy, even if the object is in the solar system.
  3. The physics of interaction between two or more objects in the solar system belongs to Astronomy.
  4. The exploitation of physics by spacecraft belongs to Space Exploration.

Then comes the point where the line is a bit fuzzier. Let's see what kinds of questions in that grey region came up in the two proposal phases.


Space Exploration

Given that, the divide is made somewhat clearer.


  • General planetary conditions
  • Physics between planets

Space Exploration

  • Exobiology
  • Mission specific science results


  • Physics of space telescopes.

And for my personal interpretation to sum it up, and include some new stuff


  • Physics of naturally occurring objects.
  • Any questions relating to telescopes, Earth or Ground based
  • Large scale science for planets

Space Exploration

  • Exobiology
  • Small scale planetary science
  • Operations, design, etc of Space Telescopes
  • Specific space mission science.
  • So where do the questions about building a telescope to be flown in space go?
    – Joe
    Commented Mar 29, 2013 at 14:03
  • My feeling is, they could go in either location. Both have an interest in it, and it could be on topic either way. I'll say that the author can post where they want to, and if there's an issue, then it can be discussed. Commented Mar 29, 2013 at 14:05

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