Teachers alert: An interesting science project – A virtual moonwalk

This NASA news release might make an interesting individual or class science project.

Sent: Tue, May 11, 2010 3:08:35 PM
Subject: ARC: NASA Invites Public to Take Virtual Walk on the Moon

May 11, 2010

Cathy Weselby
Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
+1 650-604-2791
[email protected]

Nancy Neal Jones
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
+1 301-286-0039
[email protected]

Chris Lintott
Citizen Science Alliance/Oxford University
+44 7808-167-288
[email protected]


More than 37 years after humans last walked on the Moon, planetary
scientists are inviting members of the public to return to the lunar
surface as “virtual astronauts” to help answer important scientific
questions. No spacesuit or rocket ship is required — all visitors
need to do is go to www.moonzoo.org and be among the first to see the
lunar surface in unprecedented detail. New high-resolution images,
taken by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC), offer
exciting clues to unveil or reveal the history of the Moon and our
solar system.

The Moon Zoo Web site is a citizen science project developed by the
Citizen Science Alliance, a group of research organizations and
museums, and builds on the team’s success with Galaxy Zoo, which has
involved more than 250,000 people in astronomical research.

“We need Web users around the world to help us interpret these
stunning new images of the lunar surface,” said Chris Lintott of
Oxford University and chair of the Citizen Science Alliance. “If you
only spend five minutes on the site counting craters you’ll be making
a valuable contribution to science and, who knows, you might run
across a Russian spacecraft.”

Scientists are particularly interested in knowing how many craters
appear in a particular region of the Moon in order to determine the
age and depth of the lunar surface (regolith). Fresh craters left by
recent impacts provide clues about the potential risks from meteor
strikes on the Moon and on Earth.

“We hope to address key questions about the impact bombardment history
of the Moon and discover sites of geological interest that have never
been seen before,” said Katherine Joy of the Lunar and Planetary
Institute and a Moon Zoo science team member.

NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI) scientists are contributing to the
Moon Zoo efforts by providing science expertise. NLSI is also
providing educational content and supporting outreach goals of the

“The NASA Lunar Science Institute is very excited to be involved with
Moon Zoo and support lunar citizen science,” said David Morrison, NLSI
director. “Science and public outreach are cornerstones of our
Institute; Moon Zoo will contribute to the accomplishment of important
science, while being a major step forward in participatory

“The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Project Science Office is excited to
see LRO data being used for citizen science projects,” said Rich
Vondrak, LRO project scientist from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight
Center, Greenbelt, Md. “ The Moon Zoo project provides an opportunity
for everyone to participate in analysis of images from the LRO Camera
and to make a significant contribution to scientific knowledge about
the Moon.”

# # #

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission is managed by Goddard Space
Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. and the LROC instruments are based out
of Arizona State University in Tempe, Az. The NASA Lunar Science
Institute is based out of NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field,

For more information about Moon Zoo, visit:

For more information about the Citizen Science Alliance, visit:

For more information about the NASA Lunar Science Institute, visit:

For more information about LRO and LROC, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/lro and http://www.lroc.sese.asu.edu/

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