Want to contribute to lunar science? The MoonMappers citizen science project is now live at CosmoQuest.org, and you can become part of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter’s science team by exploring high-resolution Lunar images and mapping out scientifically interesting features. MoonMappers has been in a testing phase since January, and during the beta period, early participants marked over 150,000 craters and more than 4,000 other interesting features. With your help, scientists will be able to better determine ages of different regions, find historic spikes in the impact rate, determine lunar regolith depth and what may lie under the crust, and make conclusions about the physics of giant explosions on the Moon’s surface.
“Craters can reveal all sorts of different properties about the Moon and planetary surfaces in general,” said project co-science lead Stuart Robbins, from the Southwest Research Institute.
The focus of MoonMappers is two-fold: to determine the most effective way to map craters on the Moon, and to use those maps to define areas for follow-up study.
MoonMappers is the first citizen science project launched by the CosmoQuest online astronomy community, the same place you can watch the Weekly Space Hangouts and Universe Today’s live interviews. CosmoQuest’s goal is to bring together the public, scientists, programmers, and educators who together will explore our Universe and contribute to science.
“Our goal is to create a community of people bent on together advancing our understanding of the universe; a community of people who are learning and doing science together,” said CosmoQuest project director Pamela L. Gay, from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. “We’re just getting started.”
And MoonMappers is just the first in citizen science projects to be offered by CosmoQuest. Other Solar System science projects will soon be added to allow even more planetary surfaces to be explored. According to lead programmer, Cory Lehan, “We’ve developed flexible software that allows community members to go from discovering asteroids to exploring the Moon with ease. I can’t wait to share what we have in the pipeline for the coming months.”
Click here to check out MoonMappers and join in contributing to lunar science.