Categories: Citizen ScienceMoon

Moon Mappers! Contribute to Lunar Science

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.

Nancy Atkinson

Nancy has been with Universe Today since 2004, and has published over 6,000 articles on space exploration, astronomy, science and technology. She is the author of two books: "Eight Years to the Moon: the History of the Apollo Missions," (2019) which shares the stories of 60 engineers and scientists who worked behind the scenes to make landing on the Moon possible; and "Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos" (2016) tells the stories of those who work on NASA's robotic missions to explore the Solar System and beyond. Follow Nancy on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Nancy_A and and Instagram at and https://www.instagram.com/nancyatkinson_ut/

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