NASA organized a project
called Cloudspotting on Mars that invites the public to identify Martian clouds using the platform Zooniverse.
The information may
help researchers figure out why the planet’s atmosphere is just 1% as dense as Earth’s
The air pressure is
so low that liquid water simply vaporizes from the planet’s surface into the atmosphere.
But billions years ago,
lakes and rivers covered Mars, suggesting the atmosphere must have been thicker then.
One theory suggests different
mechanisms could be lofting water high into the atmosphere, where solar radiation breaks those water molecules down into hydrogen and oxygen
Cloudspotting on Mars
is the first planetary science project to be funded by NASA’s Citizen Science Seed Funding program.