December 28, 2011
Scientists Asking Volunteers To Help Search For Aliens On Moon
Scientists are suggesting that volunteers may be needed to help scan through images of the moon in an attempt to try and identify signs of aliens.
Paul Davis and Robert Wagner of Arizona State University suggest in a paper that volunteers could sift through the 340,000 images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) to search for signs of extra-terrestrial life.
"Although there is only a tiny probability that alien technology would have left traces on the moon in the form of an artifact or surface modification of lunar features, this location has the virtue of being close, and of preserving traces for an immense duration," the scientists suggested in a paper published recently in the journal Acta Astronautica.
Artifacts left lying about could be preserved for millions of years on the moon, especially if they were in a sheltered spot such as a lava tube.
"The same factors that make lava tubes attractive as a habitat imply that any artifacts left behind would endure almost indefinitely, undamaged and unburied," the scientists added.
It could take hundreds of millions of years for a truck-sized object to be covered with dust on the lunar surface.
NASA's LRO gallery will consist of over a million images once it is finished mapping the entire lunar surface. This will be far too many images for a small team of scientists to sift through.
The scientists suggest that software should be created that help search for unusual features like straight lines on the surface.
They also said it could make a perfect crowd-sourcing project, and would be a great educational project.
LRO has been taking high-resolution images of the moon's surface since mid-2009. Scientists have already spotted the Apollo landing sites and all of the NASA and Soviet unmanned probes.
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