One Year on the Moon

This week, Moon Zoo celebrates its first year since launch back in May 2010. Initially designed as a way to count and measure craters, the simple ‘point and click’ interface was an inspired idea allowing users to mark out craters seen in high resolution images of the lunar surface.  The addition of a tool to ‘flag’ interesting features, objects and locations has provided some great discussion and superb image posts to our forum.
We’ve hunted down and rediscovered the ‘Apollo’ and ‘Lunar’ landing sites in unprecedented detail, searched for lost spacecraft debris and followed miles of boulder tracks. Our hunt for the ‘weird and wonderful’ has revealed stunning volcanic vistas, beautifully defined features and intricate crater chains.  Recent work on the forum, using new tools and techniques, has allowed us to study the lunar surface at oblique angles revealing yet more lunar mysteries and, equally, more questions.

For this special ‘Image of the Week’/Blog I have decided to take a retrospective look at the last year, recounting some of the amazing features and locations posted on the forum. I would like to post every image from our weekly slot but I’ll choose one of my personal favourites from each month.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

From our first Image of the Week in May 2010 The volcanic caldera ‘Ina’.

Ina (named after a lunar goddess in Polynesian mythology) is an odd looking “D shaped” lunar geological feature about 2 kilometres wide which was first spotted by the Apollo Astronauts. (Jules)

LPOD image

Moon Zoo image

June 2010 Caro’s Tadpole.

Posted by Caro as something odd and maybe a possible crater chain, it is rich in detail and looks a little like a tadpole complete with a tail. (Thomas)

July 2010 Great Fresh Whites.

Fresh white impact craters are the most recent impacts on the Moon. Anything less than a billion years old (which means it is from the current Copernican era), is considered young in lunar terms. (Jules)

August 2010 Deep Seated Fractures.

Could they help us in the hunt for Transient Lunar Phenomena (TLP)?

September 2010 Moon Bridges

This is the King Crater Bridge from LROC image number M113168034R (Jules)

October 2010 The Aristarcus Region.

Aristarchus crater was named after the Greek astronomer Aristarchus of Samos by an Italian mapmaker called Giovanni Riccioli. The crater is relatively young, being formed approximately 450 million years ago and is one of the brightest craters on the nearside with an albedo almost double that of other similar features. (Geoff)

November 2010 Awesome Crater.

This crater was found by user mercutin and posted in the Crater Questions thread on 4th November 2010. I downloaded the LRO strip containing the crater and extracted the following image. (Geoff)

December 2010 Dark ejecta from Daguerre Crater.

A stunning picture of the dark material spreading out in a ray pattern and also cascading over the crater wall towards the crater floor. (Tom128)

January 2011 South Ray Crater

South Ray crater is about 2 million years old and the Apollo 16 astronauts returned samples from this area for analysis back on Earth. (Geoff)

An image stitched together by Moon Zoo forum member Bunny Burton Bradford

February 2011 Stratified Ejecta Blocks.

Another hunt….and this time it’s stripy! (jules)

Katie Joy from the Moon Zoo team says: We would like you to take a closer look at large boulders in Moon Zoo images. We want people to spot boulders that have layers cutting across the rock.

LROC image

Forum members Half65 and Tom128 found these examples of stratified bouders in Aristarchus.

An example posted by Geoff

March 2011 Tycho.

Appropriately named after one of the most colourful characters in astronomy, Tycho Brahe, Tycho is one of the most prominent craters on the Moon with its large, bright ray system dominating the southern hemisphere. (Jules)


credit NASA

And here’s a close up of the rugged crater floor. (Jules)

April 2011 Potential Caves and Sink Holes in Copernicus Crater.

I came across one good candidate on the floor of Copernicus Crater (JFincannon)

Moon Zoo users have now classified 2,087,029; an area of 48,348 square miles or 206.6 Chigacos within the first year. With more images to come and fresh locations to search, I look forward to another successful year of discovery and learning as we reveal more of our closest neighbour.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOON ZOO!

Have fun and happy hunting.

Moon Zoo Forum

Additional  news links:

Moon Zoo featured on BBC (at18:20 min)
From NASA
From NASA JPL, Moon Zoo Telecon
From Scientific American
From news.cnet.com


Thomas J is a volunteer moderator for the Moon Zoo forum.

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About The Zooniverse

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