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 We are using LROC images that have been archived through the Planetary Data System.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.


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About The Zooniverse

Online citizen science projects. The Zooniverse is doing real science online,.

17 responses to “Welcome to Moon Zoo”

  1. Jules says :

    Good luck team! Here we go…
    If anyone reading this is wondering what it’s all about – come and have a look then talk about it on the forum. The images are stunning.

  2. Thornius says :

    Hey, could we have a place on each image to leave a comment about a feature or features of interest? I have seen some fascinating things that remind me of Earthly geology and was surprised to see them on the moon.


  3. shoosf says :

    Hello,thank you for this article.
    sorry, I do not speak much English

  4. john says :

    Why do we need an account to take part in all your projects??
    Why is necesary to be registered?? Always the same….

    • Steven says :


      There are a many good reasons we require participants to be logged in to their accounts. Here are just two:

      1) It gives us the ability to identify which participant provided which pieces of data. We then (in a statistical way) can identify participants who are just clicking randomly (very few), those that find the most craters and fewest craters, those that tend to draw craters smaller than others, etc. That knowledge allows us to apply statistical corrections when we combine everyone’s clicks, in order to produce the most scientifically accurate catalogue we can.

      2) Having accounts means we can provide a much more interesting experience, by enabling participants to view their recent activity, favourite images, access their stats, etc.

      Without accounts the Zooniverse would be a lot less scientifically useful and a lot less engaging. We realise logging-in to every website you visit can be a chore. That’s why we use a system where you only need to log-in once and you’re logged-in the whole collection of Zooniverse sites, all the projects and forums. We only require the minimum information to create an account, and have tried to make it a fast, easy process.

  5. Half65 says :

    I love the Moon craters.
    A really great opportunity.

  6. [taylorh]:) says :

    This place is pre’cool. Got some neat pictures and intresting know-abouts. 🙂

  7. Corporal Willy says :

    Just got here but I know only a little about the moon and how important it is that we go back there and build a moon base then on to Mars. My mother helped to build the LEM that landed there. I’m very proud of what she has done. I know I couldn’t have done what she did with 200 other ladies. Anyway, I hope to learn a lot more about this subject. Bye.

  8. Harmer Paterson says :

    I am strictly an amateur and only possess 10×50 binocular.Have been interested in astronomy in a non active way for many years.Take “Sky at Night” every month

  9. Harmer Paterson says :

    Not being well up in computers I do,nt know what to put for “Website”

  10. AppuVenkat says :

    You are research of photos provided are awesome and informational. From so many years i have a doubt can anyone clarify this. From which place on Earth we have a big and close view of moon????


  11. Roy says :

    This is great – I’m suggesting that my children’s elementary teachers can use this as a way to excite the kids about astronomy with real tasks that help scientists.

    Is there a way to have ‘points’ awarded to logins so the kids can have a measure of their contributions value?

  12. Karl says :

    It would be nice if classified data and images were available to the public, since its the public doing the classification.

  13. dchammond says :

    Great site. A couple of suggestion to improve ooutcomes:
    1) in the “Identifying Weird Stuff” section it would be helpful to have descriptions that exactly match the drop down menue options. For example, the detailed descriptions show “Grabens” and “Straight Rilles” yet these are not options on the drop down menu when trying to classify anomallies.
    2) the picture that purportedly shows “crater chains” is not clear. Can you show what part of that picture is really the crater chain so as to differentiate it from the regular craters?

  14. Go2Education says :

    well, Thanks for posting! I really enjoyed the report. I’ve already bookmark this article.

  15. victoralan says :

    this is a wonderful site! so much excellent information. analyzing moon photos is every bit as much fun as playing computer games for an hour every night. and my 4 year old grandson is a first rate assistant.

  16. Cheryll Obeng says :

    hey,this is Cheryll Obeng,just discovered your Post on google and i must say this blog is great.may I quote some of the article found in the post to my local friends?i am not sure and what you think?anyway,Thanks!

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