Each cloud observation submitted using the GLOBE Observer app or through The GLOBE Program is compared to data from multiple satellites. A satellite match is when satellite data is identified that corresponds to a cloud observation. For orbiting satellites the observation must be within 15 minutes before or after a satellite’s overpass. Geostationary satellites, like the GOES satellites, are always observing the same location. If you are in the United States, you are likely  to get a satellite match to a GOES satellite. These satellites are sending data every 15 minutes. As long as the data are good, you will get a match! Geostationary satellites observing other regions of the world send data at about every 30 minutes. 



We are asking observers to take cloud observations during dusk and dawn to contribute data to the Terminator Problem! Add the comment “terminator” to one of your photographs. You will be contributing data that a NASA intern will use during their summer 2021 experience! 

The NASA GLOBE Clouds team at NASA Langley Research Center wants to make sure that your observations are matched correctly to satellite data. The team has used the help of interns to verify and test the computer programs that make the matches. 

Kevin Ivey: From NASA Intern to Employee

Mr. Kevin Ivey joined the NASA GLOBE Clouds team in summer of 2018 when Kevin was about to start his senior year in high school. Kevin’s computer programming abilities helped the team analyze the quality of the data. Even though Kevin only spent four weeks with the team, his work impacted the GLOBE community and was presented at the 2018 Fall American Geophysical Union Meeting in Washington, DC (link to Kevin's abstract).  

In 2019 the team wanted to update the computer code that does all the satellite matches, and we were able to work with Kevin once again. This time Kevin rewrote the satellite match computer program in Python and tested each portion of the code. You can read Kevin’s blog and learn more about his work testing and analyzing satellite matches. Once again, Mr. Ivey got the opportunity to present his research at the 2019 Fall American Geophysical Union Meeting in San Francisco, CA (link to Kevin’s abstract). 

Now in 2021 Mr. Ivey is a casual employee with the NASA GLOBE Clouds team as the team starts to move his python code into production while he finishes his sophomore year of college. 

Once live, Kevin’s code will improve the existing satellite match code and will match your observations to all possible satellite data with Terra and Aqua. As always a satellite match table will be sent in a NASA personalized email. 

Do you want to learn more about satellite matches compared to your observations? The NASA GLOBE Clouds team created this video walking you through the satellite match table and how to read it. Also, remember to take observations during dusk or dawn and add the comment “terminator” to at least one of the photographs.


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