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I propose that the idea behind this particular close vote is absurd and the timing is damaging to the site.

The upcoming uncontrolled Long March 5B booster reentry is imminent (days) and is widely reported in the popular press because of it's particularly large size and mass compared to other recent uncontrolled reentries.

This is just the thing that induces folks to visit our site Space Exploration SE to see what's up.

The question Is it possible to know where the Long March 5B will be landed approximately? asks the perfectly reasonable question within its two sentence long body:

Is it possible theoretically to know where and when the Long March 5B will be landed approximately?

Perhaps the trigger-happy initial close voter saw the title and decided to skip reading the two short sentences that comprise the entirety of the body of the question.

I’m voting to close this question because it was asked prematurely. The correct answer for now is we don't know. The current answer is essentially we don't know. That answer will no longer be correct a day or two or three from now because there will be a predicted reentry point that will be fairly accurate by then.

  • Closing because "asked prematurely" is absurd. There's nothing in Stack Exchange that supports this unorthodox answer-blocking close reason. "I wouldn't have asked this yet" is a reasonable sentiment for someone to have and express in a comment.
  • Three additional knock-on (1, 2) close votes means we have 4 close votes. This could render the question unanswerable by blocking answers just as a fairly good prediction is possible.

Saying "We can't predict it exactly yet" is a comment, not a reason to initiate answer prevention just at the time that good answers can be posted.

If a fifth close vote happens and answering becomes blocked I think in this particular case the moderators should consider quickly reversing the close. Answer blockage at this time damages the site, makes participation more difficult and can turn away new users seeing that

Is it possible theoretically to know where and when the Long March 5B will be landed approximately?

can be rendered unanswerable by a few folks unwilling to read two whole short sentences past a title.

I feel this makes us look just plain silly!

Now that's what I think, now I'd like to solicit further views on this.

Question: Is this particular close vote's reason absurd, and the timing damaging to the site? Does this in fact make us look silly?


This event is so popular that N2YO is unable to keep up with traffic! I can't get a complete update of the website, been trying for hours.

N2YO can't keep up with the world's interest in this event, please let's not shoot ourselves in the foot and close a question of such potential interest to folks stopping by Space SE to see what we have to offer and how welcoming we are!

N2YO can't keep up with the world's interest!

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    $\begingroup$ I agree. Timing should never be reason to censor a question. If the body of the question is poor, then fine, vote to close. But a good question doesn't become bad just because it was asked early. I mean, the whole of science is practically an exercise in asking premature questions---and that hasn't stopped us before. $\endgroup$ – user39728 May 8 at 3:36
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    $\begingroup$ Personally, it infuriates me that 5 people can overrule 200 and more others. And voting to close without reading past the title is why I don't go to physics.SE anymore. $\endgroup$ – SF. May 11 at 8:58
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    $\begingroup$ @SF: It takes the same amount of votes to reopen a question as it does to close it. The only way the question can be closed in your hypothetical scenario is if at least 196 of those 200 agree with the 5 close voters, which comes out to a 96% majority. I wouldn't necessarily call that "overruling". $\endgroup$ – Jörg W Mittag May 16 at 12:48
  • $\begingroup$ @JörgWMittag Then how do you explain this? Seems like some people were feeling this is an attack on their favorite compiler which excels in other domains than the ones in the question. I even removed one of the two metrics, to make the question very focused and unambiguous but somehow it's hanging on 4 delete votes despite 264 upvotes. $\endgroup$ – SF. May 16 at 14:36
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    $\begingroup$ Also the top answer was receiving regular updates as new versions were being released until the closure. $\endgroup$ – SF. May 16 at 14:42
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Stack Exchange websites are plagued with ill-informed close-votes. I believe the solution to this problem is having a “Vote not to close” option to counter the “Vote to close” before the question is closed, so that question viewers can counteract the deleterious ignorance/ineptitude of close-voters in such situations.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your answer! I think "ignorance/ineptitude" is a little strong; sometimes people are simply overzealous or careless or otherwise go along with the crowd. $\endgroup$ – uhoh May 22 at 22:47

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