A new study finds that volunteers counting craters can help map the moon is just as successful as experts doing the job. Once more, the study also proves that crowd sourcing science is an effective way of efficiently performing scientific research.
Citizen science website CosmoQuest has built a community that utilizes everyday citizens for the benefit of scientific research. CU Boulder Stuart Robbins led a study in crater-counting with fellow CosmoQuesters. He compared the results of those from the crowd sourcing to eight expert counters and found that citizen science can be just as effective as expert scientific research.
Not only did regular citizens accurately map the moon by counting craters, they also were able to do it more efficiently because they have much more participants. Counting craters can help map the moon because the moon has undergone very little geologic changes since its formation.
CosmoQuest participants and expert scientists have been using the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to map the moon. There are currently over 500 million craters on the moon. The LRO images are the most detailed images of the moon to date and is able to show craters that are 35 feet in diameter and over.
The conclusion of the study shows that a scientific degree is not necessarily essential when performing scientific studies. All it takes is analytical and scientific thinking and processes.
How You Counting Craters Can Help Map the Moon.