The following answer currently has five up votes, and was written by a moderator of the site.

I'd like to know if this answer, without any supporting statements at all, qualifies as a good answer here in Space Exploration stackexchange, considering the number of unsupported answers from other low-rep users which we downvote, or which sometimes receive special moderator annotation with warnings about unsupported statement, or are even deleted.

Why is this a good quality stackexchange answer, and an appropriate example for a moderator to demonstrate to new users?

Yes, in fact it can happen. It happens on Earth to some extent. The term is a "Gas Pocket", and is most commonly associated with oil and natural gas deposits. There are other times of gasses that are sometimes stored as well under the Earth.

If there is a connection with the outside world in the form of a small hole, then the likelihood of there still being any gas in it is much lower. The only way this would work is if the gas was very heavy. Again, this happens to some extend on Earth, most notably in Radon being concentrated in some basements.

The only way that it could sustain long term an atmosphere is if it was completely sealed up, or if there was a source generating the atmosphere on a regular basis.

I've left the following comment:

The question states there are small holes, so gas pockets are not an answer. Can you add some science to explain why "heavy" gas makes it work if there are holes? If there were holes, wouldn't you need to propose a source to replenish the gas in order to make your answer more than unsupported speculation? The science is already available at the links I've left under the question. This is a very low quality stackexchange answer, and is indistinguishable from an opinion. It's just a series of unsupported statements, some of which would in fact be difficult to support with science.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I've added the citation needed tag to the answer. We can't control upvotes, but you took the correct course of action by pointing out possible points of weakness and lack of citation, downvoting, and raising the issue to meta. In this case, I think it is safe to ignore the fact that the user is a moderator, because the user in this case is acting as a user, not a moderator. Your assumption that the answer is considered good or acceptable in any official sense is unfounded, given that any user can upvote the answer--and that is the only way you could determine that the answer was presumed good. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage Mod
    Dec 12 '17 at 19:05
  • $\begingroup$ I guess you might presume that the answer is deemed acceptable due to the fact that it hasn't been deleted, but the answer has only been live for four hours and the user that posted it is not unresponsive or abusive. Under these conditions, we often leave up answers to give the users time to respond to feedback. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage Mod
    Dec 12 '17 at 19:09
  • $\begingroup$ Also, flags may at times help accelerate the deletion of an answer, because moderators are human. In this case, there were no flags, so even if the answer were worthy of immediate deletion it may still stand. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage Mod
    Dec 12 '17 at 19:10
  • $\begingroup$ @called2voyage since I felt there has been a pattern, I wanted to explore the subject in a discussion. Will check back tomorrow. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Dec 12 '17 at 20:28
  • $\begingroup$ Do note that not all answers require citations per se, just a sufficient explanation of the most pertinent statements. Of course, that determination ("sufficient" and "pertinent") is subjective and open to discussion. I am curious about what pattern you have seen. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage Mod
    Dec 12 '17 at 21:11

The answer provided didn't require any significant sources. Gas pockets are a proven phenomena, and many people throughout the world use gas pockets to heat their homes. No need to cite a source for that. Nor that Radon tends to linger in people's basements. This is a well known phenomena, and in fact most homes are tested for Radon, at least in the US, before sold, particularly in the basement.

Where I feel your criticism has some validity was the last sentence in my statement. As there are holes, the gas pockets have little validity, unless the holes are very small compared to the size of the pocket. In any case, the gas would have to get there in the first place.

In my opinion, if you feel an answer is lacking something critical to making it a good answer, a better policy is to provide a better answer. If that is in fact done well, then the best information will ultimately come to be.

  • $\begingroup$ IMO, you still haven't addressed this question of uhoh's: Can you add some science to explain why "heavy" gas makes it work if there are holes? You expanded the relevant section to The only way this would work is if the gas was very heavy. Again, this happens to some extend on Earth, most notably in Radon being concentrated in some basements. This likely wouldn't lead to a thick atmosphere by any means, but could produce something. The comparison to Earth on this point seems flawed, since the gas sinking is due to density within an extant atmosphere. This is not intuitively comparable... $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage Mod
    Dec 12 '17 at 19:51
  • $\begingroup$ ...to relative vacuum. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage Mod
    Dec 12 '17 at 19:52
  • $\begingroup$ Fair enough, I'll think on it some more... $\endgroup$
    – PearsonArtPhoto Mod
    Dec 12 '17 at 20:02

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