How is this question of mine "too broad? Is the importance of planetary science for Earth science so enormous that it can't even be explained? Then please just answer so, don't shut it down. How am I supposed to rephrase the question?


2 Answers 2


Part of the issue is you are asking many questions. From your post I see:


Has planetary science contributed in any substantial way to Earth science?


Is it expected to do so as planetary exploration develops in the next few decades?


Do climate scientists know about the atmospheres of Mars and Venus and Titan and the gas giants?


Are they interested in following such discoveries?


Do seismologist use data from the seismic experiments on the Moon during the Apollo program?


Do they look forward to the NASA Insight lander on Mars next year, or is it considered irrelevant?


Does an orbiting and landing mission to a comet teach us anything about Earth science?


What kind of interplanetary mission would be the favourite for Earth scientists?

Some of these questions are related, but together they are very diverse. In particular, questions (1) and (8) are broad, some can be argued to be opinion based and some are fine questions on their own.

The Q&A model SE is based upon uses posts asking a single, focused question that has an answer. Asking multiple questions that aren't narrowly related makes the question too broad. Asking open ended questions that you could write wikipedia articles about are too broad.

You have a wide variety of questions. My advice is to break down your post into multiple focused questions. Take out the ones that solicit opinion or are too broad on their own and ask the rest each in their own questions.


It is too broad because it would take an entire book to answer the question, because the importance of planetary science for Earth Science can be addressed from many different perspectives. There could be easily over 100 different answers to that question. On Stack Exchange, we want questions that can be answered in a considerable shorter space.

You can phrase the question differently to be much more specific. For example, you could ask specific questions on climate models for Mars. Or specific questions on how spectroscopic measurements of the atmosphere of Titan affect spectroscopic measurements on Earth. Or maybe on how observational techniques developed for astronomy and space science are used in Earth observation (sub-millimetre comes to mind). But in each case, please be specific.

  • $\begingroup$ If that is the case, then I think that "Earth science" should be divided in many diverse sub-topics. Don't you think so too, or what conclusion do you draw from the fact that planetary science aren't allowed here? $\endgroup$
    – LocalFluff
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 15:00
  • $\begingroup$ Can't you please just refer to that "book" that you claim has been written on this subject. I honestly just want to learn about it. I'd love such a book, if there is one. Shouldn't SE answers have references to their claims? $\endgroup$
    – LocalFluff
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 15:02
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Planetary science is allowed. I don't know if there is a book, but there could be, because the question is so broad. Another way to put it is that there are many different answers possible: meteorology, climatology, spectroscopy, geology, glaciology, atmospheric science, perhaps even oceanography, they can all benefit from different sections of planetary sciences and the associated engineering. One could envision an entire matrix and address this question for many subfields of planetary science mapped to many subfields of Earth Science. $\endgroup$
    – gerrit Mod
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 15:16
  • $\begingroup$ Okay, gerrit. I respect you being a big contributor to this subject, which I know little about. So you suggest that I split my question up into little pieces about how planetary science has influenced this and that? But then why is there an "Earth science" subject here to begin With? Was it a mistake? I can easily post 5 or so questions on this topic, but why do you want me to do that? $\endgroup$
    – LocalFluff
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 15:20
  • $\begingroup$ Earth Science is a suitably broad topic for an entire Stack Exchange site, but may be too broad for a single question because it includes quite different sub-fields. You could post 5 questions on this topic, if they are distinct, well-phrased, well-researched, answerable, etc. It helps if you are genuinely interested in the answer. You don't have to ask; it's your choice. $\endgroup$
    – gerrit Mod
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 15:29
  • $\begingroup$ Why is "Earth science" too broad to answer a question about how it relates to planetary science? I sense a failure here which I hope is an untrue sense, but we'll see about that... You and I might have lengthy discussions about this, if you beg for it. $\endgroup$
    – LocalFluff
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 15:31
  • $\begingroup$ What is the failure? $\endgroup$
    – gerrit Mod
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 15:33
  • $\begingroup$ The failure to answer this simple and obvious question. You failed. $\endgroup$
    – LocalFluff
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 15:34
  • $\begingroup$ Most people see planetary science as a subfield of earth science, but planetary science has the same subfields as earth science and then some. You can have planetary geomorphology, planetary geochemistry, planetary geophysics ect... so when gerrit talks about a "matrix" he is indeed correct, there are so many contributions going back and forth between earth science and planetary science that one would probably have to write a book. Earth Science stack exchange is designed to ask small questions about the broad topic of earth science $\endgroup$
    – Neo
    Commented Aug 3, 2015 at 5:09
  • $\begingroup$ @LocalFluff I don't understand your problem with gerrit. The simple thing is that SE is about short and focused questions. This has nothing to do with what is the definition of earth or planetary science. Your question is "broad" because it has lots of questions in one post. That's it. $\endgroup$
    – Gimelist
    Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 7:58

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