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Winners of the Exploration Zone Competition

October 9, 2016

Mars Exploration Zone Map Design Competition –  Winners

In Young Professional category:
1st place: Eian Ray (USA – Eastern Valles Marineris)
2nd place: Jonathan Ocon (USA – Acheron Fossae)
3rd place: JJ Moran (USA – Huygens Crater)
Honorable Mention: Matthew Leach (UK)

In University Student category:
1st place: Mateusz Pitura (Poland – Hebrus Valles)
2nd place: Brandon Zegiel, Gary Brown, David Brown, and Larry Lang (USA – Viking)
3rd place: Amy Wootton (South Africa – Noachis Terra)

In Middle and High School Student category:
Winner: Sujit Lakshmikanth (USA – Mawrth Vallis)

In Citizen Scientist and Professional category:
Winner: Camillo Battistioli (Italy – Acheron Fossae)

Congratulations to all the Mars mappers from three continents!

Call for papers / ICC2017, Washington, D.C.

September 26, 2016
The deadline for submission at the ICC2017 (July 2-7) conference is approaching.
We encourage you to submit an abstract or paper or both.
ICC2017 will be held in Washington, D.C., so we expect more planetary scientists than ever before). Participants will have the opportunity to visit the world famous Smithsonian Museum(s) just a few corners away from the Capitolium and the White House, the African American History Museum that opened today, and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, including the Udvar-Hazy Center which has a copy of the solar system-famous Voyager golden record.and the Pioneer plaque. 
We will have three events related to planetary cartography:
—->  A workshop on before the conference (details later) <—–
—->  A business meeting of our commission <—–
—->  Regular Conference talks and posters <—–
Our theme is: T39  Planetary, extrasolar, and celestial cartography.
Please note that themes now include extrasolar and celestial cartography as we expand our theme to other celestial realms.
These are the important dates:

October 26, 2016  – Submission of Abstract and Papers
January 10, 2017 – Notification of acceptance
January 31, 2017 – Submission of Final Manuscripts

We are also happy to receive suggestions on what you would like to learn in our workshop, or if you would volunteer to give a talk at the workshop.
Here is the web address of the conference

The Sonic Map of Mars

August 14, 2016

Planetary Mappers Meeting 2016: Program

June 2, 2016

The program of this year’s planetary mappers meeting is now available online.

The talks will include the presentation of the first field geologic maps on another planetgeomorphic maps of Titan and a geologic map of Charon. Posters include a superdetailed study of dunes in Ius Chasma and an exciting study of the Undifferentiated Plains of Titan.

The meeting will take place in Flagstaff, AZ, on June 13-15.

MExLab Summer School “Planetary Cartography and Image Processing”

June 2, 2016

The Moscow State University of Geodesy and Cartography (MIIGAIK) Extraterrestrial Laboratory (MExLab) invites You to attend its

Third MExLab Summer School


June, 28-30, 2016, MExLab, auditorium № 155


(Note that all lectures will be in Russian)

Read more…

The 2nd Shingareva Workshop at MIIGAiK

May 23, 2016

On May 23, 2016, in the Moscow State University of Geodesy and Cartography (MIIGAiK) at MIIGAiK Extraterrestrial Laboratory (MExLab) the Second Scientific meeting in memory of Kira Borisovna Shingareva took place. At the meeting a new Phobos Atlas was presented. The Phobos Atlas was created by Laboratory’s team and dedicated to the memory of K.B. Shingareva and L.M. Bugaevskiy, who made significant contributions to planetary mapping.


K.B. Shingareva and L.M. Bugaevskiy – Russian cartographers, whose participation helped to develop the first Russian maps and globe of Phobos

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Counting the craters of the Moon

May 15, 2016
Stuart Robbins of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder does that others don’t even dare to start: he counts the craters of the Moon.


How many craters are there on the moon?

“It’s a question that cannot be answered.  You have to define a diameter first.  And once you do, any number quoted must be taken with the caveat that every individual will vary in what they consider to be an impact crater (e.g., Robbins et al., 2014).  Based on how I identify craters (which appears to be similar to many others in the field), I can say there are about 9300 craters larger than 15 km on the moon — I’ve mapped all of these, globally. My projection for craters ≥1 km on the moon is approximately 1.1 million.  There are several ways to estimate this based on the areas I’ve completed so far (35% of the moon — see this poster), but in the end, a simple linear extrapolation at this point is about as good as a more detailed one based on fraction of maria versus highlands.  I should know the answer in a few months.”
Is there any crowd-sourcing involved or you are counting one by one? 
“I am involved with a crowd-sourcing crater effort (CosmoQuest), but this global moon database is only me, it does not involve any crowd-sourcing.”


For morphological attributes, if there will be funding, are you going to inspect all craters individually or is there an automation for that?
“Individually.  I am aware of one or two automated methods, but they are even worse than automated crater detection and it would be more work to correct them than to just do it all manually.”
What was the fun in this work, if any?
“To be blunt, the only fun is when it’s done and you can look back and see the fruits of your labor.  Tracing circles is incredibly tedious and boring.”
Did you have to redo some parts?
“I have re-done a few very large impacts that I originally did several years ago (in support of some CosmoQuest work).  I have also re-done parts of the south pole within a few degrees of the pole with LOLA GDR that were originally done with LROC WAC mosaics because the GDR is significantly better quality there.  I learned from that for the north pole and started with LOLA GDR rather than LROC WAC within 5° of the lunar north pole.”
Major discoveries so far or predicted using this dataset?
“I have had little time to do a look-back and actually analyze the data beyond producing basic density maps which are, at the moment, only for about 1/3 of the lunar surface.  The only thing I think I’ve found that I have not seen reported elsewhere is that the moon’s north pole is saturated with kilometer-scale secondary craters.”

Read more…