CosmoQuest Press Room

New press releases will be added here on the day of their release.

  • CosmoQuest releases Mappers 2.0 with a new look, new data, and new science February 27, 2018 The CosmoQuest Citizen Science facility released a major update to its Mappers software. This software previously demonstrated that everyday people can map craters as effectively as a group of professionals. With version 2.0, CosmoQuest invites the public to use their skills to answer new science questions related to Mars and Mercury. The public can use their eyes, minds, and time to help determine the ages of valley systems on Mars and determine Mercury’s geologic past. These efforts are supported by NASA under cooperative agreement award numberNNX17AD20A. Mars Mappers and Mercury Mappers were produced through a collaboration of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, the Planetary Science Institute, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and Southwest Research Institute. Images used are publicly available from the NASA MESSENGER and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter missions.
  • Public Invited to Test New Tool to Study Earth using Photos Taken by International Space Station Astronauts September 28, 2017:  CosmoQuest’s Image Detective, a NASA-funded citizen science project, invites the public to identify Earth features in photographs taken by astronauts from the International Space Station (ISS). Citizen scientists are asked to help identify geographic features (natural or human-made) in astronaut photographs and then determine the location on Earth where the photo is centered. CosmoQuest is led by principal investigator Dr. Pamela L. Gay from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP). These efforts are supported by NASA under cooperative agreement award number NNX17AD20A.  Image Detective was produced through a collaboration of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Division at the NASA Johnson Space Center, the Planetary Science Institute, Youngstown State University, and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
  • CosmoQuest receives $11.5 million to expand programs (summary release) March 9, 2016:  NASA has awarded Southern Illinois University Edwardsville $11.5 million to expand its citizen science and educational activities through CosmoQuest, a second-generation citizen science facility. CosmoQuest Project Director Dr. Pamela Gay, assistant research professor in the SIUE STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) Center, will lead the initiative as principal investigator. NASA’s cooperative agreement funds CosmoQuest team members at the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, InsightSTEM, Interface Guru, Lawrence Hall of Science, Johnson Space Center, McREL International, the Planetary Science Institute, McDonald Observatory and Youngstown State University.
  • The 2016 Leap Year in Podcasts (Astrosphere) January 5, 2015: As we prepare for 2016 and our eighth year of production, we seek to add more voices and more content to our community. We are open to audio submissions that address the science, science fiction and cultural stories of astronomy. We’re currently looking for content that is anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour in length! We’re looking for individuals, organizations, schools, companies, and clubs to sign-up for their audio spot on our calendar. Your voice can be heard alongside our regular series, including among others: Astronomy Cast, Cheap Astronomy, Awesome Astronomy, Alice’s AstroInfo, Ask A Spaceman, Globe at Night, Observing with Webb, Realspace, The Google Lunar XPrize Team Hangouts, Cultural Astronomy, Cosmic Perspective, Shaila’s Spacecast and The Weekly Space Hangout.
  • The 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast Celebrates the International Year of Light 2015! (NUCLIO) December 2, 2014: 2015 is an important year: UNESCO* has declared it the International Year of Light, and the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast will record its seventh year of daily content – content that focuses on light! This podcast is produced as part of the CosmoQuest virtual research facility through a collaboration with NUCLIO.
  • Reliability of MoonMappers Confirmed
    • CosmoQuest’s MoonMappers shows everyday people can Map the Moon (SIUE) March 13, 2014: A team of scientists working with the CosmoQuest virtual research facility ( has demonstrated that it is possible for everyday people to map the Moon with the same quality as a group of experienced professionals. These crowd-sourced results are being published in the journal Icarus and highlight the ability of citizen scientists to advance planetary research. (More)
    • CU-Bolder-led study on lunar crater counting shows crowdsourcing effective, accurate tool (CU-Boulder) March 13, 2014: If Galileo was still alive and kicking, he might want to take a selfie with some of the thousands of citizen scientists all around the world for their surprisingly accurate work of counting craters on the pock-marked moon. A new study led by the University of Colorado Boulder showed that as a group, volunteer counters who examined a particular patch of lunar real estate using NASA images did just as well in identifying individual craters as professional crater counters with five to 50 years of experience. And Galileo, who was observing the craters some 400 years ago with a rudimentary telescope, likely would be in awe. (More)
  • helps CosmoQuest fill educational funding gaps left by federal cuts (Astrosphere and XE) December 18, 2013: The CosmoQuest virtual research facility received an early New Year’s gift this year:, makers of the world’s favorite foreign exchange app and website, has sponsored the 2014 production of their online astronomy and science education videos. These videos provide public access to astronomy seminars, discussions, conferences, and even virtual star parties. This vast array of programming is collected together through the 365 Days of Astronomy Project. (More)
  • MoonMappers offers the public a chance to be part of NASA Lunar Science March 19, 2012: The MoonMappers citizen science project at invites the public to become part of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter’s science team. Through this project, the public is invited to explore high-resolution Lunar images and map out scientifically interesting features. (More)

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