NASA wants citizen scientists to take pictures of clouds; here’s why

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Why NASA is asking citizen scientists to take pictures of clouds

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A call to action for citizen scientists. NASA and the GLOBE Program are asking people to participate in the Fall Cloud Challenge.

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The space agency said in a press release it's as easy as pointing a cellphone at the sky and taking pictures of clouds.

“What excites researchers about GLOBE observations is the ability to see what’s up in the sky from volunteers’ perspectives all over the world,” Marilé Colón Robles, with the GLOBE Clouds Team at NASA’s Langley Research Center, said.

"What our eyes can see is difficult to fully duplicate with instruments. Merging these views is what makes a complete and impactful story," Robles said.

GLOBE is an international science and education program that provides students and the public with the opportunity to participate in data collection and the scientific process, which NASA sponsors, the agency said.

Robles said the fall program, which runs Oct. 15 - Nov. 15, is similar to a program GLOBE sponsored in the spring. She said that researchers want to see if there are any differences in the data.

"From thin, high clouds that are hard for satellites to detect to dust storms that impact our daily lives, these observations play an important role in better understanding our atmosphere," she said.

More than 56,000 citizen scientists from 99 countries participated in the 2018 data challenge.

Find out more about how to participate here.

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