Archive | May 2010

Examine the Moon

We’ve added a couple of new features to Moon Zoo this week – which should help you learn more about the project and about the Moon itself. As well as testing the capabilities of the Zooniverse HQ coffee machine we have been trying to create new, useful tools that allow everyone to really explore the Moon.

Moon Zoo Live, and the new Examine tool, allow everyone to begin to understand what the LRO images show, and where they are on the Moon’s surface.¬†On the Moon Zoo forum, users have been asking to know a bit more about the parts of the Moon they have classified and explored. We’re hoping that these new additions will help.


Every LRO image in our database now has its own ‘examine’ page that shows you more information about it. At present, you can access these from either the ‘My Moon Zoo‘ page or from the ‘More Information’ links on Moon Zoo live. There are some nice examples, here, here and here.

This powerful new tool lets you see each tile from our LRO dataset in context. You can zoom in and out, explore the surrounding area and see the entire LRO strip from which the tile originated. You can also see the same region of the Moon in other online Moon tools.


Moon Zoo Live shows a near real-time stream of Moon Zoo classifications on a pair of ever-updating maps. You can see not only where on the Moon everyone is busy clicking, but also where on the Earth they are clicking from! Moon Zoo Live connects these two worlds through the magic of the Zooniverse!

We hope you enjoy these new additions to Moon Zoo.


Welcome to Moon Zoo

Moon Zoo launch has arrived! After over a year of planning, discussing and debating, Moon Zoo is finally being launched today. It is an exciting time for all the people who have been working hard on the project: from the geologists and planetary scientists who helped to conceive the scientific rationale behind the tasks, to the computer whizzes and Galaxy Zoo gurus who have made the whole thing possible.

We would especially like to thank all those at NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center and Arizona State University who planned, designed, built, calibrated and operated the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) and LRO mission. We are using LROC images that have been archived through the Planetary Data System. We are incredibly grateful that NASA and the LROC team is willing to share these images with the rest of the world so that we can all enjoy looking at the surface of our nearest neighbour. If you would like to know more about the LROC camera I suggest taking at look at their great website and more information about the LRO mission itself can be seen at here.

So, down to it. Why should you spend your time working hard on Moon Zoo tasks? Well there are several pages on this site that will help to explain the science behind Moon Zoo in more detail, but in short we hope that Moon Zoo data will provide new insights into the geological history of the Moon from volcanic eruptions to asteroid impact events. Studying LROC images of the lunar surface provides a close up view that has never been seen before and we want to use this powerful new dataset to investigate the nature of the lunar surface. We hope to collect a database of the size and dimensions of small (less than 2 km) lunar craters that will be helpful not only to understanding impact cratering processes on the Moon, but also that can help studying the history of impact bombardment throughout the inner Solar System from Mars, to Mercury and even here on Earth.

We want you to spot lunar geological features that we think are really interesting – from billion-year-old volcanic vent sites to curving lava channels, to brand new impact craters that might have formed in the last forty years. You can see examples of these types of things on the Moon Zoo tutorial page. We also want you to help find out which parts of the Moon are covered with boulders so that we can develop hazard maps that could be used by future spacecraft and human exploration missions to plan the best and worst sites to land on the lunar surface! There are a lot of things to do in Moon Zoo and we have more planned for the future. Most of all – just have fun looking at the amazing diversity of the lunar surface – I certainly have not got bored of looking through these images and hope that you are as equally excited to explore our Moon.

Hope that you enjoy helping out with the investigation and please do leave comments here on the blog, and on the Moon Zoo Forum if you have any feedback, suggestions or questions.

Moon Zoo is Live

Apollo 14 Impact Site from LRO

Moon Zoo is live and the blog will begin updating in the next few hours and days. Meanwhile, go and take a look at some craters…

[Image: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University]