The advanced method could streamline the formerly manual technique. A new artificial intelligence algorithm is designed to locate craters on the Moon with more speed and precision than previous methods.

The image shows Daedalus, a crater on the far side of the Moon, sitting in heavily cratered terrain. Despite vast developments in technology over the last few decades, our method for counting craters on the Moon hasn’t advanced much, with the human eye still being heavily relied on for identification.

In an effort to eliminate the monotony of tracking lunar cavities and basins manually, a group of researchers at the University of Toronto Scarborough came up with an innovative technique that resulted in the discovery of 6,000 new craters. “Basically, we need to manually look at an image, locate and count the craters, and then calculate how large they are based off the size of the image.

Here we’ve developed a technique from artificial intelligence that can automate this entire process that saves significant time and effort,” said Mohamad Ali-Dib, a postdoctoral fellow at University of Toronto’s Centre for Planetary Sciences and co-developer of the technology, in a news release. The method utilizes a convolutional neural network, the same machine learning algorithm used for computer vision and self-driving cars.

The research team used data from elevation maps, collected by orbiting satellites, to train the algorithm on an area that covers two-thirds of the Moon’s surface. They then tested the technology on the remaining third, an area it hadn’t yet seen. Read more from astronomy.com…

thumbnail courtesy of astronomy.com