What you can do at CosmoQuest:
We need your help identifying different features on different worlds. From craters to rocks, and from glaciers to volcanoes, you can help us map out the safe place to land a spacecraft and the scientifically interesting places.
Why CosmoQuest needs you:
There just aren’t that many people paid to do science in this world, and we have a lot more data from telescopes and from spacecraft than these professional scientists can fully process on their own. Scientists use computers to automatically do as much as possible, but computers can’t do everything.
Computers still struggle with a lot of different visual tasks. They can’t easily identify basic geological features, and struggle with changes in seasons and shadows, and get confused by things like different colored soils. Humans have natural pattern matching skills, and an everyday person can learn how do easily identify features a computer can’t (yet).
Humans – everyday people of all educational backgrounds – can use their spare time to do tasks computers can’t do, and that scientists just don’t have the capacity to do without help. These volunteers extend the science that can be done.
How CosmoQuest will use your data:
Your data will get used to:
- Try and answer specific questions , like when was the last time there were active volcanoes on Mars.
- Train Machine Learning Algorithms. This will make it possible to completely map worlds like the Moon and Mars, which are too large for even a large number of volunteers to map by hand.
Bottom line, your data will get used to advance science.
Funding that goes to CosmoQuest helps us create and maintain our citizen science software, and maintain our site’s digital infrastructure. As new science questions get raised, we build new tools to answer those questions.