Guidelines for Forum Use

When creating a new topic:

1) Please make sure you are in the correct forum.

This makes it much more likely that the right people will see your question or comment, so you will get a faster and better answer!  Readers will also be able to find old topics more easily.

2) Please look to see if the topic already exists before creating a new one.

This cuts down on repetitive topics, and makes it easier for readers to find the information they are looking for compiled in a single thread.

3) Please use descriptive titles.

This allows people visiting to see which threads have already been created. Seeing a thread titled "What are variable stars?" is much more helpful, and gives people a better idea of whether they should click on it, than a thread titled "Question?" that could be about anything!

4) Please allow sufficient time for responses.

Our staff  is small and works during normal business hours (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm EST).  There are also volunteers acting as moderators, who may be active at other times.  If you have a question, comment, or problem, please email us at and we will respond as soon as possible, and definitely within two to three business days.

When responding to a topic:

5) Please stay on topic.

Topics are divided up by thread in order to keep conversations specific to the question or comment in the original post.  We understand that conversations tend to flow in different ways, but please do your best to adhere to the topic or spirit of the original post.

6) Please read all posts in a thread before responding.

This will help ensure that threads stay on topic, questions that have already been answered are not repeated, and everybody's contributions are read.

7) Please post in a style that is consistent with respectful and "normal" writing.

Please do not curse or use other terms that may be offensive to a general audience.  Also, please do not post in ALL CAPS or overuse formatting such as bold/italic, colors, or large/small size, because this may make it difficult for readers on different screen types to read your posts.

General common-sense rules:

8) Any post that is illegal in the USA will be removed.

This site is hosted in the USA, which means we must follow USA laws.  If you are unsure whether something you would like to post is legal, please email

9) No commercial posts unless prior approval is given.

Any spam or other commercial post will be deleted if it is not pre-approved by emailing

10) Do not post anything private about yourself or others!

Any post made to public forums on this site (this excludes CHOICE, the members only section, and any other private forums) can be found in a Google search.  Do not post anything about yourself or others that you would not want to be searchable on Google!

11) Please be respectful!

These forums are here to give people a place to voice any questions or comments they have, and we mean to create an environment where everybody feels comfortable posting without worrying about personal attacks or insults.  We hope that the forums will support a stronger sense of community among our members and observers, and a community built on mutual respect will easily last another hundred years and more.  Please also keep in mind that this is an international organization, and people may speak in ways that you are not used to.  The best way to post is to assume that everybody is speaking with the best of intentions, and to ask for clarification whenever necessary.

If you feel that another person is responding to you in a disrespectful way, please send a message to or use this online form.  Your concern will be directed to a moderator for review.  Please know that moderators may decide that the post is acceptable, as this type of decision can be highly subjective.  We ask that you respect the final decision of the moderator.