Saturday, September 18, 2010

Prime time for moongazers

Alan Boyle writes:The moon is getting its figurative "day in the sun" this weekend during a global celebration of lunar looks, and the great thing is that you don't need to be a hotshot astronomer to join in.

More than 275 events in 40 countries are planned on Saturday during International Observe the Moon Night, with most of those events aimed at casual observers who usually wouldn't give the moon a second look.

Moon Night has also served as an opportunity to boost a citizen-science project called Moon Zoo. The moon-cataloging project's organizers asked participants to classify geological features on 20,000 images by Sunday — adding an area twice the size of Chicago to the Moon Zoo database. It turned out that the target was reached a couple of days early. At last check, more than 32,000 images had been classified since Wednesday.

"When we launched this challenge we had no idea how overwhelming and enthusiastic the response would be," the organizers reported on their Moonometer page. Which goes to show that the moon may not be ho-hum after all.

More about the moon:

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