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Join the Million Crater Challenge

Like a challenge? Right now you can join in a contest to mark a million craters, as part of the Moon Mappers project. “Our challenge to you is to try and observe 1 million craters on the Moon before the full Moon again rises in the evening sky on May 5,” said Dr. Pamela Gay, who leads the Cosmoquest program of citizen science project. “Help us ‘illuminate’ the Moon with new scientific discoveries one crater at a time.”

As an enticement to join in, there are prizes!

There will be prizes for the ten CosmoQuest community members who make the observations closest to each interval of 100,000, and for 10 additional randomly selected community members who participate in this challenge. Prizes include Surly Amy pendants, Astrosphere posters, and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter lithographs.

Are there a million craters on the Moon? Dr. Gay said that with LRO, craters the size on 1 meter can be seen. But for Moon Mappers, participants are asked to identify craters nine meters in diameter. “There are literally millions of craters at that size,” she said.

Moon Mappers is not only fun, but your contributions help build a new scientific understanding of the Moon. The Moon Mappers team has already published their first scientific paper based on the work done by citizen scientists, so help them keep going to discover as much as we can about the Moon.

Check out Moon Mappers!


Nancy Atkinson is currently Universe Today's Contributing Editor. Previously she served as UT's Senior Editor and lead writer, and has worked with Astronomy Cast and 365 Days of Astronomy. Nancy is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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