Astronomy Briefly

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Click and Ye Shall Identify (Martian Craters)

Explore Mars by clicking on Martian craters at NASA's web site for Clickworkers and make circularities on rims of craters. You have an interactive training session that lets you know how well you are doing. Then you can graduate to the real thing. You will be presented with images from the Viking Orbiter. The site keeps track of how many craters you have done. If you are more venturesome, you can go for the new images of Mars from the mission, Mars Global Surveyor. Further along is the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

The NASA clickworkers site is an experiment in public involvement for doing routine scientific work that require months of a scientist's time. So far, since November 17, 2000, clickworkers have done 679,824 crater markings and 138,263 crater classifications.

I have done some clicking. I find that for the smaller craters approaching the size limit they show on the screen, a magnification aid is helpful. The Opera 5.0 browser has magnification of the browser screen by means of a drop-down box selection in the upper right.

I have made use of screen magnifiers from where can be found freeware and shareware for perusal. Magnification, in some cases can go to 32X. I find that 2 to 3X is plenty. Some magnify wherever the mouse goes. Some also impose a grid on your view.

You can click away for a few minutes or longer. Their server is sometimes slow. Give it a go.











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