Citizen scientists to analyze the surface of Mars

Planet Four is a citizen science project from Zooniverse, which is accumulating a plethoria of projects for public participation:  Scientists need you to analyze unseen images of Mars – Gizmag (via Behind The Black).

Planet Four invites you

to help planetary scientists identify and measure features on the surface of Mars . . . the likes of which don’t exist on Earth. All of the images on this site depict the southern polar region, an area of Mars that we know little about, and the majority of which have never been seen by human eyes before!

The goal is

to find and mark ‘fans’ and ‘blotches’ on the Martian surface. Scientists believe that these features indicate wind direction and speed. By tracking ‘fans’ and ‘blotches’ over the course of several Martian years to see how they form, evolve, disappear and reform, we can help planetary scientists better understand Mars’ climate. We also hope to find out if these features form in the same spot each year and also learn how they change.

The images come from the NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft, which has been circling the Red Planet since 2006 and sending back a continuous stream of images of the surface with its high resolution camera.

time-lapse[1]These timelapse images show a sequence of views of a spider terrain feature that’s
initially covered with about a meter ice (upper left) until it is ice-free (lower right).


Space policy in US and Russia

A couple of space policy items from Jeff Foust:

And some Russian space policy items:


Andrew Chaikin on The Space Show + Space law roundup

Andrew Chaikin talked about “Neil Armstrong & his One small step for man lunar comment, space policy, space media, and more” on The Space Show yesterday: Andrew Chaikin, Sunday, 1-13-13 – Thespaceshow’s Blog


Res Communis post the latest collection of space and aviation law, regulation and policy links:Library: A Round-up of Reading.

Everyone can participate in space