In the opinion of the Administration Team of Cloudynights, the EAA forum which was designed from the outset to be primarily an observational forum, has morphed to include a heavy bias towards images while actual observations documented in more than just an image became the minority.
A change in the rules which included two key elements, the restriction of images captured to have up to 5 minutes total integration time and the requirement to include some kind of observation report with any image was made in an attempt to steer the forum back to its original intent and purpose.
Change always brings reaction. Negative negative reactions to these changes were small in terms of numbers and not sufficient to give us pause and consider lifting these restrictions. In fact, they did the opposite as to us it indicated that EAA has shifted a lot of gravity to the image capturing Vs observing, thus reinforcing our perception that this observing forum is more about imaging than observing.
The two threads that were allowed to discuss these changes and subsequently locked, provided a lot of information to digest. Please note that we were under no obligation to discuss our decisions with anybody. Changes in rules fall under the moderation of Cloudy Nights which is not a matter up for public debate. Furthermore, when you all joined Cloudy Nights you accepted a set of rules on signing up.
I let these debates run on purpose and chose to engage you in conversation on behalf of the entire Admin Team. Feedback is always a good thing and we chose to see past the choice of hard words and keep the essence of these words. And the longer the Admin Team read these comments and posts, the further we realized that EAA is no longer a pure observing forum. A way forward has been decided. This is not up to debate and I ask you all to respect the Terms of Service and if you have any queries, send them to me via PM.
The EAA forum will be relocated to the Speciality Forums Category
The rationale is that EAA encompasses a wide variety of practices and equipment, from all types of imaging cameras, mounts, filters and you name it, to observing all classes of celestial objects, solar and extrasolar alike, outreach and broadcasting, light pollution issues e.t.c.
A Speciality forum is not by necessity a specialized forum. It means it has some special attributes which do not permit the easy classification in a set category.
Impact on rules from move to the Speciality Forums Category
Lifting of all restrictions on image integration time being posted as an image instead of a hyperlink to a gallery, internal or external and the requirement to include an observational element in your posts.
What remains though is the requirement to report integration time and the rule on no post-processing. I believe we are all in agreement that tampering with the data after it has been captures constitutes post-processing and for that, we have the imaging forums.
However, of course you can link to any gallery. In fact, this is strongly encouraged as your direct posted image will show what was on the screen, provide integration time, optionally provide equipment and other related information and a link to a gallery with the processed image will show what the raw data behind the EAA session contains.
Actions taken / to be taken
The Astro Video Image Gallery has beeen pinned back. Since the observational element is now part of the practice and not THE practice, it has been restored back to its pinned status.
A new set of rules will be shortly posted. Your cooperation would be much appreciated, especially with the mod team which is tasked with ensuring compliance with the rules and managing the day to day affairs of the forum.
The forum will be relocated to the Speciality Category.
The forum will be relocated to the Speciality Category where it is our sincere wish to see EAA flourish and develop in its own unique way. New equipment, software and techniques constantly being developed / released / refined make EAA a fast paced environment when it comes to change.
The Admin team strongly wishes to provide an environment which provides EAA with a lot of breathing room, room to grow. It is up to you now, the members, to enrich this forum with data - observational and imaging, equipment discussions and recommendations and pour your hearts and minds to the furthering of Astronomy in every way possible.
We wish you all luck and success in elevating the Forum to even higher levels!