Tag Archives: Mars

P-Project Updates and New Translations

The Zooniverse has passed a few notable milestones recently. Planet Four passed 4 million classifications, Planet Hunters passed 20 million, and Plankton Portal passed 250,000. All represent a lot of work done by all of you and we thank you for the effort you put in to these and all our projects. Should we be worried that they all begin with ‘P’?
Polish Plankton
To help more people access our projects we’ve been stepping up our efforts to translate the websites. You can now participate in Plankton Portal in both French and Polish (as well as English), and there are more languages on the way for this and other projects. We’re excited about this chance to spread word of the Zooniverse around the world.
Finally, don’t forget that you can follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Google+. (or all three!) to keep up with news and updates from the Zooniverse.
Happy November!

Planet Four and Stargazing Live

Tonight is the start of the 2013 round of the wonderful BBC Stargazing Live in the UK. Three nights of primetime astronomy programmes, hosted live from the iconic Jodrell Bank. Last year the Zooniverse asked the Stargazing Live viewers to find an exoplanet via Planet Hunters (and they did!). This year we want everyone to scour the surface of Mars on our brand new site: Planet Four.

Every Spring on Mars geysers of melting dry ice erupt through the planet’s ice cap and create ‘fans’ on the surface of the Red Planet. These fans can tell us a great deal about the climate and surface of Mars. Using amazing high-resolution imagery from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) researchers have spent months manually marking and measuring the fans to try and create a wind map of the Martian surface, amongst other things. They’ve now teamed up with us to launch Planet Four, where everyone can help measure the fans and explore the surface of Mars.

Planet Four

The task on Planet Four is to find and mark ‘fans’, which usually spear as dark smudges on the Martian surface. These are temporary features and they tell you about the wind speed and direction on Mars as they were formed. They are created by CO2 geysers erupting through the surface as the temperature increases during Martian Spring. These geysers of rapidly sublimating material sweep along dust as they go, leaving behind a trail.

Classifying fans on Planet Four

The fans are just one feature that you’ll see. The image above shows some great ‘spiders’, with frost around their edges. There’s lots to see, and hopefully the audience of Stargazing Live will help us blast through the data really quickly.

Stargazing Live begins at 8pm on BBC2. If you can’t watch it live then why not hop onto Twitter and follow the #bbcstargazing hashtag? You’ll also find Planet Four and the Zooniverse on Twitter as well.