Read the rules sub before posting!

Hi all,

Friendly mod warning here. In /r/Astronomy, somewhere around 70% of posts get removed. Yeah. That’s a lot. All because people haven’t bothered reading the rules or bothering to understand what words mean. So here, we’re going to dive into them a bit further.

The most commonly violated rules are as follows:

**Pictures**

First off, all pictures must be original content. If you took the picture or did substantial processing of publicly available data, this counts. If not, it’s going to be removed. Pretty self explanatory.

Second, pictures must be of an *exceptional* quality.

I’m not going to discuss what criteria we look for in pictures as

1. It’s not a hard and fast list as the technology is rapidly changing
2. Our standards aren’t fixed and are based on what has been submitted recently (e.g, if we’re getting a ton of moon pictures because it’s a supermoon, the standards go up)
3. Listing the criteria encourages people to try to game the system and be asshats about edge cases

In short this means the rules are inherently subjective. The mods get to decide. End of story. But even without going into detail, if your pictures have obvious flaws like poor focus, chromatic aberration, field rotation, low signal-to-noise ratio, etc… then they don’t meet the requirements. Ever.

While cell phones have been improving, just because your phone has an astrophotography mode and can make out some nebulosity doesn’t make it good. Phones frequently have a “halo” effect near the center of the image that will immediately disqualify such images. Similarly, just because you took an ok picture with an absolute potato of a setup doesn’t make it exceptional.

Want to cry about how this means “PiCtUrEs HaVe To Be NaSa QuAlItY” (they don’t) or how “YoU hAvE tO HaVe ThOuSaNdS oF dOlLaRs Of EqUiPmEnT” (you don’t) or how “YoU lEt ThAt OnE i ThInK IsN’t As GoOd StAy Up” (see above about how the expectations are fluid)?

Then find somewhere else to post. And we’ll help you out the door with an immediate and permanent ban.

Lastly, you need to have the acquisition/processing information in a top-level comment. Not a response when someone asked you. Not as a picture caption. Not in the title. Not linked to on your Instagram. In a top-level comment.

We won’t take your post down if it’s only been a minute. We generally give at least 15-20 minutes for you to make that comment. But if you start making other comments or posting elsewhere, then we’ll take it you’re not interested in following the rule and remove your post.

It should also be noted that we *do* allow astro-art in this sub. Obviously, it won’t have acquisition information, but the content must still be original and mods get the final say on whether on the quality (although we’re generally fairly generous on this).

**Poorly Researched Posts**

This rule means you need to do your own research before posting.

* If we look at a post and immediately have to question whether or not you did a Google search, your post will get removed.
* If your post is asking for generic or basic information, your post will get removed.
* If your post is using basic terms incorrectly because you haven’t bothered to try to understand what the words you’re using mean, your post will get removed.
* If you’re asking a question based on a basic misunderstanding of the science, your post will get removed.
* If you’re asking a complicated question with a specific answer but didn’t give the necessary information to be able to answer the question because you haven’t even figured out what the parameters necessary to approach the question are, your post will get removed.

To prevent your post from being removed, tell us *specifically* what you’ve tried. Just saying “I GoOgLeD iT” doesn’t cut it.

**Object ID**

We’d estimate that only 1-2% of all posts asking for help identifying an object actually follow our rules. Resources are available in the rule relating to this. If you haven’t consulted the flow-chart and used the resources in the stickied comment, your post is getting removed. Seriously. Use [Stellarium](https://stellarium.org/). It’s free. It will very quickly tell you if that shiny thing is a planet which is probably the most common answer. The second most common answer is “Starlink”. That’s 95% of the ID posts right there that didn’t need to be a post.

**Pseudoscience**

The mod team of r/astronomy has two mods with degrees in the field. We’re very familiar with what is and is not pseudoscience in the field. And we take a *hard* line against pseudoscience. Promoting it is an immediate ban. Furthermore, we do not allow the entertaining of pseudoscience by trying to figure out how to “debate” it (even if you’re trying to take the pro-science side). Trying to debate pseudoscience legitimizes it. As such, posts that entertain pseudoscience in any manner will be removed.

**Outlandish Hypotheticals**

This is a subset of the rule regarding pseudoscience and doesn’t come up all that often, but when it does, it usually takes the form of “X does not work according to physics. How can I make it work?” or “If I ignore part of physics, how does physics work?”

Sometimes the first part of this isn’t explicitly stated or even understood (in which case, see our rule regarding poorly researched posts) by the poster, but such questions are inherently nonsensical and will be removed.

**Bans**

We almost never ban anyone for a first offense unless your post history makes it clear you’re a spammer, troll, crackpot, etc… Rather, mods have tools in which to apply removal reasons which will send a message to the user letting them know which rule was violated. Because these rules, and in turn the messages, can cover a range of issues, you may need to actually consider which part of the rule your post violated. The mods are not here to read to you.

If you don’t, and continue breaking the rules, we’ll often respond with a temporary ban.

In many cases, we’re happy to remove bans if you message the mods politely acknowledging the violation. But that almost never happens. Which brings us to the last thing we want to discuss.

**Behavior**

We’ve had a lot of people breaking rules and then getting rude when their posts are removed or they get bans (even temporary). That’s a violation of our rules regarding behavior and is a quick way to get permabanned. To be clear: Breaking this rule *anywhere* on the sub will be a violation of the rules and dealt with accordingly, but breaking this rule when in full view of the mods by doing it in the mod-mail will 100% get you caught. So just don’t do it.

Claiming the mods are “power tripping” or other insults when *you* violated the rules isn’t going to help your case. It will get your muted for the maximum duration allowable and reported to the Reddit admins.

And no, your mis-interpretations of the rules, or saying it “was generating discussion” aren’t going to help either.

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While these are the most commonly violated rules, they are not the only rules. So make sure you read all of the rules.