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Shoot Pictures Of Clouds To Help NASA Verify Its Satellite Data

If you are the kind of person that likes to look at clouds and shoot photos of it, then NASA has a great opportunity for you. NASA needs your help to check the data coming from six satellites which form the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) project. These satellites helps scientists at Langley study climate change. Since it’s the time of changing seasons NASA needs to make sure that the data from its satellites is accurate. Normally the CERES instruments work fine but they have difficulty in differentiating thin, wispy cirrus clouds from snow on the ground. NASA’s solution here is to have citizen scientists on the ground to take photos which will help them corroborate satellite information.


While NASA says you need not be an expert in cloud gazing to take part in what it calls “The Citizen Science Cloud Observation Challenge” you need follow its instructions to upload pictures. The photos need to be uploaded using the GLOBE Observer app. You need to check the app first to make sure that the satellites are over the area of the sky you are planning to take a photo of. You need to enter information in the app about sky colour, visibility, and the type of cloud you are seeing. If you have trouble identifying the cloud you are looking at these tips will help you out. You also need to wait for 10 to 15 minutes before taking another photo. You can post up to 10 photos per day until April 15th.

So what happens after you have submitted the photos? The person with the most valuable observations will be given a shout out by a NASA scientist in a video. Everyone else who has who has participated successfully in the program will get an email from NASA which will show your image (the one you shot from the ground) and the one that was captured by the satellite from above. NASA needs your help in order to verify data from the CERES FM6 satellite that was launched in November and which started functioning in January. For more information about this program check out the source links below.

Source: NASA (1), GLOBE, NASA (2) via Engadget

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