After Hours

Be a NASA Citizen Scientist

Help support scientific research by participating in NASA's Citizen Scientist program. It might be an interesting science project for you, your family, or your students.

Amateur and professional scientists can now study and contribute to various parts of NASA's massive data collection by participating in the Citizen Scientists program. There are various ways anyone can help with this research.

Be A Martian

Citizen scientists can take part in research tasks and assist science teams in their study of Mars. There is a huge amount of map data of Mars that needs to be stitched together, annotated, and improved. Students can even help develop sites and plans for future Martian colonies.


The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is looking for help in deciding where to take its next picture with its HiRISE camera. Citizen scientists can go to the site and vote on their favorite Martian site from a pre-selected list or suggest their own.

Lunar Impacts

Meteoroids are striking the moon's dark side all the time. NASA is unable to monitor all of these meteoroids, and this program is designed to empower citizen scientists to analyze the data and track the rates and sizes of the larger meteoroids. This helps NASA design protective equipment for when humans return to the moon.


This is a program for students, teachers, and other citizen scientists to analyze the data NASA collects about the Earth from space. It is designed to foster growth in the disciplines of scientific inquiry and mathematics.

Night Sky Network

This is a network of astronomy clubs to help teachers, students, and amateur astronomers find each other and work together.

Observable Comets

The Minor Planet Center (MPC), a Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory facility, maintains this list of observable comets for independent study.

Technology tools

NASA makes a number of technology tools available to citizen scientists. The JPL Ephemeris Generator can be used to calculate the orbits of many solar system objects. They also maintain a list of asteroids and comets and their orbital data, as well as a tool that lists the objects (and another for the optically observable ones) in a portion of the sky at a specific time. You can also find new objects in photographic data at the SkyMorph page.

NASA has a Solar System Simulator (which uses computer modeling to stitch images together from the frame of reference of any object at any point in time), a Space Calendar (which covers over 1,300 space-related activities), and Spacecraft Sighting Opportunities (which helps you identify artificial objects in Earth's orbit).

You can also suggest new programs or features for NASA Science's Citizen Scientist program. If you're already participating in this program, let us know what you think of the experience.

Systems Guy
Systems Guy

No way am I doing this for NASA. Jim Lovell made notes during an Apollo flight, supposedly NASA said he could keep them (with supporting documentation), Lovell wanted to sell the notes, suddenly NASA says no, they want them back. Any notes I make, I want to keep.


Is trying to travel to your moon.It's even dangerous for the mass mind.If you try it you'll end up destroying your planet.


Now, where's that "undo" button? Hey, BALTHOR, how long do you estimate the destruction will take?

Michael Jay
Michael Jay

and you drove at 60mph, you would get there in only 166 days or so, if you could ride a beam of light your trip would be shorter, about 1.26 seconds


at 1G :D Don't bother calculating the speed of impact though, that's depressing :p

AV .
AV .

Its close compared to planets. Not unfathomable. That's a great link, BTW. Thanks for that. AV

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