Mars, being another planet and all, has quite a few land forms that are foreign to our Earthling eyes. That’s particularly true of the area around the Martian south pole.
In this area, scientists have found a number of funky forms they have dubbed things like “spiders,” “baby spiders,” “channel networks,” and “swiss cheese.” In the latest citizen science project from Zooniverse, researchers want you to look at images of these kinds of landscapes and you will help them locate craters.
The images are from the Context Camera currently orbiting Mars. Images classified by participants will help scientists determine the targets for higher resolution observations by the HiRISE camera.
“Scientists have noticed that spiders and channel networks are not uniformly distributed over the polar areas,” said project leader Meg Schwab. “Some locations seem fully covered with channels and others do not have them at all. The science team would like to know their distribution and try to figure out if it is correlated with properties of the soils or weather patterns.”
To participate, head over to the site and either register, or use your existing Zooniverse login. You can then take the tutorial (with help from the guide), and begin classifying images once you have the material mastered. As usual, there is also a blog, a FAQ, and a community discussion area to look at.
There are currently 39 projects available to work on at Zooniverse.