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Moon Mappers citizen science project now public, and statistics show it works!

Emily Lakdawalla • March 29, 2012

Last week, Pamela Gay of CosmoQuest announced that their Moon Mappers citizen science project is out of its beta phase and ready for prime time. Moon Mappers enlists the help of the public to perform the gargantuan task of mapping the sizes and positions of craters photographed on the Moon by Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Crater counting is the most powerful tool geologists have for figuring out how old planetary surfaces are. But when you have Terabytes of data, it's simply impossible for one scientist to count all the craters

Adventures in urban astrophotography

Jason Davis • February 20, 2012

Just because you live in an urban area with skyglow doesn't mean you can't have fun with astrophotography. How to capture the planets, constellations and the ISS.

What do we know about planetary rings? Quite a lot, actually!

Emily Lakdawalla • December 15, 2011

A summary of a new article by Matt Tiscareno about planetary ring systems that reviews the known ring systems of the four giant planets and the prospects for ring systems yet to be discovered.

The most exciting citizen science project ever (to me, anyway)

Emily Lakdawalla • June 21, 2011

A guest blogger here recently rounded up the large number of participatory research projects that are collectively known as citizen science. I think these are all very cool and I encourage you to check them out but none of them has yet inspired me to spend my precious time as grunt labor on a gigantic collective project. Until now.

SETI@home Following Up on Kepler Discoveries

Charlene Anderson • May 13, 2011

Remember SETI@home? The ground-breaking computing project is now taking a look at candidate Earth-like planets that have been detected by NASA's Kepler space telescope.

Citizen Science projects for Planetary Science: Get Involved! Do Science!

Mike Malaska • May 12, 2011

Citizen Science projects let volunteers easily contribute to active science programs. They're useful when there is so much data it overwhelms computing algorithms (if they exist) or the scientific research team attempting to process it.

Lovely crater turns up in MoonZoo; 2 million images classified, lots more Moon left

Emily Lakdawalla • April 18, 2011

Here's a very pretty picture to start off the week: a really gorgeous fresh crater on the lunar farside. There's nothing particularly unusual about this crater; it's just recent and fresh so there's a mesmerizing amount of detail in the feathery patterns of the ejecta that fans outward from it.

Map the world's light pollution by participating in GLOBE at Night

Emily Lakdawalla • March 01, 2011

Now in its sixth year, GLOBE at Night is a citizen science program that marshals the eyes of thousands of people around the world once a year to assess the degree to which light pollution diminishes our views of starry skies.

Help to hunt for planets!

Emily Lakdawalla • December 16, 2010

The Planet Hunters website, like Zooniverse's other projects, is very, very easy to get up and running.

Bringing MOLA altimetry tracks into Google Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • August 27, 2010

I've had a fun morning of noodling around learning how to write KML files, and have produced one for Google Mars that shows you all of the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter tracks that cross the area Opportunity has driven through already, as well as the area of Endeavour crater.

New Pulsar Discovery Shows Power of Citizen Scientists and Planetary Society Members

Charlene Anderson • August 12, 2010

Planetary Society members have reason to celebrate today, with the on-line publication in Science of the discovery of a new pulsar by three citizen-scientists working with Einstein@home, a descendant of the SETI@home project.

A spectacular new global map of Mars, which YOU can make even better

Emily Lakdawalla • July 23, 2010

I am such a nerd. This new map of Mars just brought tears to my eyes. Honestly.

Is this SMART-1's impact site?

Emily Lakdawalla • June 15, 2010

Speaking of spacecraft crashing...

Apply for a Shoemaker NEO Grant! Deadline extended to June 24

Emily Lakdawalla • June 08, 2010

Amateur astronomers, get your proposals in for this year's round of Shoemaker NEO Grants!

The June 3 Jupiter Impact: 22 hours later

Emily Lakdawalla • June 04, 2010

Time to take stock of what happened a day ago. The worldwide, round-the-clock nature of planetary science is both exhilarating and challenging!

Confirmation of the Jupiter impact from Christopher Go

Emily Lakdawalla • June 03, 2010

The impact flash on Jupiter observed earlier today by Anthony Wesley has been confirmed by Philippines-based amateur astronomer Christopher Go.

A NEW! Impact on Jupiter

Emily Lakdawalla • June 03, 2010

On the same day as a team of astronomers released new Hubble Space Telescope images of last year's Jupiter impact, the original discoverer of the 2009 impact scar, Anthony Wesley, reported on an amateur astronomy forum that he had observed a new impact on Jupiter.

Moon Zoo is ready for you

Emily Lakdawalla • May 12, 2010

I'm delighted to point you to a citizen science project for wannabe space geologists like me: Moon Zoo.

Your chance to shoot your own high-resolution pictures of Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • January 20, 2010

The HiRISE public suggestion tool, called HiWish, is a Web site that allows you to log in and select a spot on Mars as a suggestion for where the HiRISE instrument should take an image.

What about the non-imaging data from spacecraft?

Emily Lakdawalla • January 18, 2010

Data from all science instruments on all of NASA's and ESA's space missions, not just cameras, is archived in the Planetary Data System and Planetary Science Archive, and almost all of that data is available online.

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