Clickworkers logo Mars Clickworkers Comb the planet for honeycomb

In analyzing images of the area all around Hellas Basin, NASA geologist Jeff Moore noticed one particularly distinctive type of terrain with a honeycomb-like texture he had never before seen.

His hypothesis is that the terrain was formed by ice blocks from glaciers. Like all scientific hypotheses, it can be supported or contradicted by new data. Dr. Moore knows of no other areas on Mars that have this kind of honeycomb texture -- but then again, he has not had time to examine all 25,000 of the huge high-resolution images. That’s where you come in.

Provided that your computer can handle displaying these large images, you can take part in a planetwide search for more honeycomb terrain. Just look through a few images to see if any part of the image resembles this one. It’s very unlikely that you’ll find one, even if you look at a hundred images. However, with thousands of clickworkers looking, someone is bound to find one. There’s at least one more image of this same area (northwest of Hellas) in the database, so even if this is the only region on the whole planet that looks like this, someone should at least find another spot in the same region.

Look for a network of large cells, with raised, lip-like wall crests, and alternating light-and-dark toned bands on the cell floors. The walls between cells may have a leaf-like pattern, and the light-and-dark bands may look like they’ve deformed.

If you see an image that you’re pretty sure has honeycomb terrain, don’t worry about guessing wrong. Dr. Moore would be happy to look at 50 people’s guesses if one of them is right. It’s a lot better than 25,000 images!

Click here to start combing for honeycomb!


NASAAmes Research Center

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