Privacy Information:

Questions are submitted to the Ask-An-Astronomer (AAA) team via email. Any personal information in the correspondence, such as email addresses and identifying information, is used only for correspondence and is not compiled for any other purpose. Any personal or identifying information may be released to governmental or law-enforcement agencies should a request for such information be received. In this case, users will be notified when information is released. Otherwise, though, personal information will never be released to any third party.

AAA-team responses are archived on our website and viewable openly on the Internet. Full names and email addresses are removed from any archived responses. Prior to September 2001, archiving was accomplished via a partially-automated program, and full names and email addresses were sometimes posted accidentally in the answer archives. We have attempted to locate any such lapses, and we will immediately remove any remaining personal information as soon as we are aware of such a mistake.

In addition, we request that students of age 18 or younger give us their age so that we are sure to respond to the question (not all questions from the general public are answered), and so that we may tailor our responses to the appropriate level. Age information will not be used for any other purpose. We do not retain or compile age (or any other) information. Age information is not required for submission of a question.

Our web server automatically compiles the name of the domain and host from which each visitor accessed the Internet (for example, or, the Internet protocol (IP) address of the computer used, the browser software used, the operating system (such as Windows 98) used, the date and time our site was accessed, and the Internet address of the website from which each visitor arrives. This information may be used locally to determine website usage, means of improving our web service, and other computer system administration. This information is not shared with third parties. The "Ask an Astronomer" website does not place cookies.

While parental consent is not required for one-time requests for information, we do request that children under age 13 obtain parental permission to submit questions. We do not verify that parental consent has been obtained. We delete emails once responses have been delivered.

If you desire to know what information was obtained about your child, please contact us. We can forward you a copy of the email we received (provided it has not been deleted) and the response we provided.

Please let us know if there is any way we can be more helpful and/or more successful in our venture. Thanks for your interest!

We encourage you to learn more about protecting children and their privacy on the internet. Sources for such information include the Center for Deomcracy and Technology and the Federal Trade Comission.


The Ask-An-Astronomer team
Head: Kurtis Williams
Office Phone: (831)459-2774
Team members: Greg Novak, Marla Geha, Michael Kuhlen