CosmoQuest MoonMappers Lets Citizen Scientists Do Real Science

Moon MappersHave you ever wanted the opportunity to do some real science to advance our understanding of the universe around us? CosmoQuest has a game/activity/timesuck available called Moon Mappers to do just that, right in our own backyard.

Moon Mappers is a surprisingly addictive experience where you’re shown various photographs of the lunar surface, and you’re given a few simple marking tools. Any craters you see on the surface that are larger than 17 pixels can be marked with the tools; you drag out a circle from the center to the crater’s rim, and line it up properly if you’re off. This helps scientists accurately identify and measure lunar craters.

There’s also a marker tool to call out other points of interest, like bullseye craters, boulder fields, and more. All of this identification data is used to train computerized feature identification algorithms; for the moment at least, we humans are still better at that than they are. The data also goes toward helping decide what areas of the lunar surface are interesting enough to warrant additional study, so you could have a hand in deciding where future moon missions are focused.

If you’re concerned about your lack of knowledge about how to recognize features on the moon’s surface, CosmoQuest has a handy Moon Mappers Feature Guide to get you up to speed.

Have you played with this? Planning on giving it a shot? Let us know in the comments!



  1. Bruce R. (BPR639geek) says

    VERY cool. Ya know Gord, some people say I’m from Mars, so this would be no small task for me. Good find love it!!! I’ll take part if I can… “B”