Help NASA find life on Mars with MAPPER

October 4, 2011

Microbialite formations can be seen at 40-50 feet beneath Pavilion Lake in British Columbia. Photos of the lake bottom are recorded by DeepWorker sub pilots. This data must be analyzed to determine what types of features can be found in different parts of the lake. And that's where anybody can play along at home, identifying features and tagging photos. (Credit: Pavilion Lake Research Project)

NASA is asking people to help them discover how they could find life on Mars through a new citizen-science website called MAPPER.

MAPPER lets you work side-by-side with NASA scientists to explore the bottom of the lakes from the perspective of a DeepWorker submarine pilot.

NASA is collaborating with the Pavilion Lake Research Project, which has been using DeepWorker submersible vehicles to explore and document microbialites. These are freshwater carbonate formations that thrive in Pavilion and Kelly Lake in British Columbia.

Many scientists believe a better understanding of how and where these rare formations develop will lead to deeper insights into where signs of life may be found on Mars and beyond.


A diver explores the bottom of Pavilion Lake in British Columbia (credit: Pavilion Lake Research Project)