Love to gaze at the clouds and admire nature’s creativity? NASA invites you to take part in a citizen science cloud observation challenge.As a part of its GLOBE Programme—an international science and education programme beginning March 15 through April 15 — citizen scientists of all ages can make up to 10 cloud observations per day using the GLOBE Observer app or one of the other data entry options (for trained GLOBE members).
“The GLOBE Programme is offering this challenge to show people how important it is to NASA to have citizen scientist observations, observations from the ground up,” Marile Colon Robles, from NASA’s Langley Research Centre in Virginia, US, said in a statement.
“We’re going from winter to spring, so the types of storms will change, which will also change the types of cloud,” Robles said.
The challenge participants with the most observations will be congratulated by a NASA scientist in a video posted on the GLOBE Programme’s website and on social media.
Cloud data collected by citizen scientists are highly valued and used by researchers because it helps to validate data from Earth-observing instruments.
“Looking at what an observer recorded as clouds and looking at their surface observations really helps us better understand the images that were matched from the satellite,” Robles said.
One does not need to be a cloud-gazing pro to participate. For those who want to be part of the challenge but don’t have a lot of experience identifying clouds, Robles offers the following advice: “Just go outside”.
The more clouds you observe, she said, the more comfortable you’ll be collecting data.
Picture source: Alamy Image