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[sci.astro,sci.astro.seti] Resources (Frequently Asked
Section - A.03 What are the guidelines for posting on astronomy (sci.astro*) newsgroups?

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Top Document: [sci.astro,sci.astro.seti] Resources (Frequently Asked
Previous Document: A.01 What are the sci.astro* newsgroups about?
Next Document: A.03 What are the guidelines for posting on astronomy (sci.astro*) newsgroups?
See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
Author:   Philippe Brieu <>,
         Walter I. Nissen Jr. CDP <>,
         Steven Willner <>

 If you will follow this group for a month or so before posting here, you
will greatly reduce the likelihood that you will participate in making the
newsgroup less productive and friendly and then end up regretting it.  If
you are new here, it is likely that any question you have has already been
asked.  If so, its answer is probably in one of the FAQ files.  Check out
the newsgroups *news.answers*, *sci.answers*, and *news.announce.newusers*,
or ask your local help file or administrator to point you toward the FAQs.
Also, please check an Usenet archive like _Google_,
<URL:>, to see if somebody has posted a comment or
query similar to yours recently.  If you become really frustrated, pick on
one of the more helpful posters here and send e-mail (not a post) politely
asking for some help.  Conversely, if your question is novel and not in a
FAQ, readers will likely be intensely interested in considering it.

 Certain topics repeatedly come up and lead to lengthy, loud-mouthed
discussions that never lead anywhere interesting.  Often these topics have
extremely little to do with the science of astronomy.  Experience also
shows that when messages are cross-posted to other groups, followups very
seldom are appropriate in *sci.astro*.  It would also help if you would ask
yourself a few simple questions before posting:

 If you do ask a question, please consider writing up the answer for a FAQ
file.  New entries to the FAQ are always welcome!

 There are also a number of common rules for all newsgroups.  The following
types of posts are NOT acceptable (see the newsgroup
*news.announce.newusers* and its FAQs at,
<URL:>, for more

  *  advertising (other than announcement of availability of products of
 direct use to people interested in astronomy without any kind of hype);

  *  late breaking news (e.g., "CNN just announced that..."), although
 questions about recent announcements are acceptable;

  *  questions answered in the FAQ: always check the appropriate FAQ before
 asking a question;

  *  answers to questions covered by these or other FAQs or posts saying that
 the answer is in the FAQ.  Instead send email to the poster with a pointer
 to the relevant FAQ.  If you have a better answer to a FAQ, by all means
 contact the maintainer!

  *  personal messages (e.g.  "Looking for..."), especially if it is because
 you cannot reach your party by e-mail;

  *  test messages (there are dedicated groups for that);

  *  corrections to your own posts (if they are minor and likely to be evident
 to the reader), especially if it is just a missing signature;

  *  "me too" messages: if someone posts a request for something you would
 like to get and asks for a reply by e-mail, do NOT post an article to say
 you want it too (instead send e-mail to the person who posted the request
 and ask to have the information forwarded to you by e-mail).

 Also, please try to follow the following USENET guidelines when posting:

  *  keep your text under 72 columns wide and make sure lines have a newline
 character at the end; do not insert any control character; do not use all
 upper or all lower cases (mix them);

  *  post the same message only ONCE (it may not appear immediately on your
 news server, but that does not mean that the rest of the world has not
 received it yet)---only if your news software tells you it could not post
 the article should you try to post it again (but make sure you cancel
 previous posts);

  *  unless you have something to say that is of interest to all/most readers,
 reply to the poster by e-mail instead of following up on the group (think
 carefully about this);

  *  keep in mind that private e-mail is copyrighted by law, and that you may
 not post it (in whole or in part) without the author's permission;

  *  before following up, check all other articles in the group for potential
 followups that might make what you were going to say useless to say;

  *  when following up, check the headers (especially newsgroups) and edit
 appropriately (especially the subject line if you are changing topics);

  *  do not quote the entire post you are following up (trim to the minimum
 amount of text needed to make your message understood, and eliminate
 signatures and useless headers);

  *  avoid posting the same message to more than one group; crosspost ONLY if
 the subject is CLEARLY of EQUAL interest to several groups (check the FAQs
 and charters for all groups in the hierarchy to decide where to post);

  *  never "spam."

User Contributions:

Report this comment as inappropriate
Jul 20, 2014 @ 5:17 pm
This comment and question relates to the ability to eavesdrop on extraterrestrial radiocommunication. This is very nice explanation, and I really appreciate the math. It's also a bit depressing with regard to the possibility of our "ever" being able to detect intelligent life, particularly if the Fermi paradox is addressable by a very short average lifespan for radio-capable technological civilizations before they annihilate themselves or as recently has been suggested more advanced civilization "go radio-silent" due to new cultural or safety measures. If the later are true, and as Hawking has suggested we are seriously in danger of self-annihilation within a few hundred years, it would what we could do in the eavesdropping department if we put all our resources into that. Would massive radiotelescopes on the far side of the moon for example allow us to complete a eavesdropping survey of our entire galaxy (at FM frequencies). It might seem crazy, but I just wonder what would be be big advantages as well...reasonable statistics on the incidence and length of intelligent civilizations, being able to learn about whole new technologies indirectly, and possibly being able to prevent our own demise by learning others mistakes. Maybe it is worth some serious funding and consideration.

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic:


Top Document: [sci.astro,sci.astro.seti] Resources (Frequently Asked
Previous Document: A.01 What are the sci.astro* newsgroups about?
Next Document: A.03 What are the guidelines for posting on astronomy (sci.astro*) newsgroups?

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM