A couple of days ago, I suggested that the following recent question have the tag added:
Why didn't eclipses cause mass vision damage in historical societies?

But this suggestion was rejected for some reason:

This edit introduces tags that do not help to define the topic of the question. Tags should help to describe what the question is about, not just what it contains.

Can someone explain why this question isn’t about astronomy (the observation and study of celestial bodies)?

The aforementioned question is currently the only post with the tag.

A simple search (is:question "eclipse") returns a dozen or so questions that at least mention the word “eclipse” (most have the tag), and several of which are actually about eclipses. For example:

Should I suggest that these posts have the tag added?

Under what circumstance should the tag be used instead of the tag?

1 Answer 1


Can someone explain why this question isn’t about astronomy (the observation and study of celestial bodies)?

The question's not about astronomy, it's about people getting vision damage by looking at the sun for too long while watching an eclipse. Astronomy is a science. Simply looking at the sun is not astronomy, any more than petting a cat is zoology. People looking at a solar spectacle such as an eclipse or a beautiful sunset are not automatically astronomers.

If a question is about the scientific study of the sun, moon or stars, then it can get an astronomy tag (such as questions about the prediction of a eclipse which would require some scientific understanding of what's happening). However, if the question is about a historic event that just happens to coincide with an eclipse (or full moon or shooting star, etc.), then it's not about astronomy and shouldn't be tagged as such.

  • So, for the four other questions mentioned above, you’d suggest: * the prediction question and the European familiarity question to have both [astronomy] and [eclipse]; * but the pregnancy question the scaring people question have [eclipse] and not [astronomy]; Have I got that right? Commented Apr 22 at 8:11
  • I'd say that the scaring people with an eclipse question can validly have the astronomy tag because it would require the ability to predict an upcoming eclipse. The pregnancy question doesn't involve any astronomy and so wouldn't qualify for the tag. Commented Apr 22 at 8:33
  • @ElementsInSpace I would refer you to When are tag edits acceptable because the question is mis-tagged? concerning When it is ok to retag questions.
    – justCal
    Commented Apr 22 at 11:27
  • @justCal Thanks, that’s a useful reference (but I had already read it before I posted this question). I think I’ve followed all that advice, but it’s quite a long post so if I’ve overlooked something in particular you’ll have to point it out more specifically. For another somewhat related question (or two) see this post on the main meta. Commented Apr 22 at 12:03

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