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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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How to Become a Crater Rater
25 January 2001 7:00 pm
Here's a way to mark the year 2001--and take part in your own space odyssey--without leaving your desk. At a new Web site, you can become a "clickworker" who helps planetary scientists at NASA's Ames Research Center in California. After completing the site's short tutorial, you're ready to scrutinize decades-old photos snapped by the Viking orbiters and classify martian craters as fresh, degraded, or "ghost."
Crater data could help answer questions such as how fast the surface of Mars ages and what causes it to change. But scientists and grad students now spend many tedious months classifying the splotches. The Clickworkers pilot project should show the level of interest in this kind of work and whether people with minimal training can perform it accurately, says NASA knowledge engineer Bob Kanefsky.
So far, so good: Since its 17 November launch, Mars Clickworkers has chalked up more than 200,000 crater identifications. And collectively, the amateurs seem to be doing almost as well at crater identification as expert planetary geologists, Kanefsky says. If that continues, the project may expand to newer, higher resolution images from the Mars Global Surveyor.