Archive | September 2020

An Update on Planet Four: Ridges

It’s been a busy summer for the Planet Four: Ridges science team. The project’s first research paper was submitted to the journal Icarus. A big thank you to all the volunteers and our active volunteers on Talk who have contributed lots of great polygonal ridge locations that went into the paper’s analysis. Below you’ll find a map showing the CTX images that were searched by Planet Four: Ridges volunteers using the main classification interface as part of the study.

Map of the locations of the CTX images searched on the Planet Four: Ridges website that was used in the analysis of the project’s first paper.

The first step in this process is getting the referee reports back. The referees are researchers studying Mars who give independent feedback on the paper. Normally the identities of the referees are anonymous, and the author does not know who they are. The referees read the paper and give the editor their opinion on whether the paper is of sufficient quality to be published in the journal and give feedback on how the manuscript/work could be improved. The job of the referee is to point out areas that should be clarified in the paper and where more analysis needs to be done if needed before the paper can be accepted for publication in the journal.

We’ve recently received the feedback from the two anonymous referees. The referees see that there is merit in the Planet Four: Ridges catalog. Thye also gave a lot of great feedback on where we can improve the analysis and manuscript. We’re working on addressing the referee’s comments and taking on board their feedback. We’ll keep you posted as we move through the paper revision process. We’ll do some further analysis, reworking of the paper draft, and add some additional text. Once we’ve done that, we’ll write a response to the referee’s report outlining what was changed/added to the paper to address the points raised by the referees. Then we’ll resubmit the paper and send the response to the referees to the journal. The referees will read everything and send back further questions, concerns, and points that need clarification. We will post more details about the key results of the paper once the paper is accepted and published by the journal.

A Peek at the Planet Four Catalog

The Planet Four science team is collaborating with machine learning researchers in Australia. We’re working on a joint paper that looks at using the current Planet Four seasonal fan and blotch catalog that was generated from the HiRISE season 2 and season 3 images from the original Planet Four website. Michael Aye made some great images for the paper showing examples of what gets generated from your classifications. I thought I would share some of the figures.

In the figures below you’ll see the Planet Four subject image or tile on the left that we have asked volunteers to classify and the right the image is overlaid with the resulting fans (shown in green) and blotches (show in magenta) identified. Each Planet Four subject image has about 30 people review it and map fans and blotches they see in image. We then take all the individual marks and combine them together to identify which sources are fans or blotches. This blog post gives some more information on how we developed the clustering code that combines your classifications together.

With Planet Four 2.0, the current version of the project, we’ll be using the same method and software to combine the markings you are making now to identify the fan and blotches in the subject images. So think of the images below as a sneak peek of what your clicks will be turned into.