Some astronomers are seeking to mobilize an army of volunteers to scan online photos of the lunar surface to search for any evidence of ancient alien civilizations. Online cosmic sleuths could scour hundreds of thousands of photos of the moon for any evidence of alien technology, mining and rubbish heaps, according to the proposal by professors at Arizona State University outlined in an article in Acta Astronautica.
They acknowledge there's only a "tiny probability" that alien technology left any trace, but add that the moon "has the virtue of being close, and of preserving traces for an immense duration." They add: "If it costs little to scan data for signs of intelligent manipulation, little is lost in doing so, even though the probability of detecting alien technology at work may be exceedingly low." NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has already mapped a quarter of the moon's surface in high resolution, and made some 340,000 photos available to the public. A million may be available for sleuths soon. (Read more lunar surface stories.)