Sky photographs are one of the most requested portions of a GLOBE Clouds observation. This is because there is so much you can do with them. Photographs give scientists the opportunity to be right there with you. Details within a photograph can be used to compare with satellite data, confirm dust or haze observations, and give insight to unique cloud types like lenticular and noctilucent clouds over the polar regions.
This is how the idea for NASA GLOBE CLOUD GAZE came to be. The project allows you to look at cloud photographs. These photographs were submitted by GLOBE participants through the program’s GLOBE Observer app. It then asks you to identify elements such as the presence or absence of clouds, dust storms, smoke plumes and haze layers.
Want to get started? Great! Go to our NASA GLOBE CLOUD GAZE page on the Zooniverse online citizen science platform. You can learn more about the project and choose between the two interactives: Cloud Cover and What Do You See. In each, you will go through a quick tutorial and answer a simple question for each photograph that pops up. The Cloud Cover interactive asks to identify what is the total cloud cover observed in the photograph. The What Do You See interactive asks to identify the type of clouds you observe. For both, choose the best selection and submit. It is that easy!
Why two different interactives? The NASA GLOBE CLOUD GAZE team made the interactives and selections as simple as possible. We realize that the Cloud Cover interactive is simpler to do. We ask that you try both. The results from both interactives will be used to create data quality flags. As always, send in your best selection. Do not feel like you need to be perfect.
How will this information be used? The information gathered from CLOUD GAZE will be merged with GLOBE cloud observations and matched to the satellite data. It will be used to create data quality flags. Data quality flags will make the cloud data more usable for research by atmospheric scientists at NASA.
Want to see your photographs on NASA GLOBE CLOUD GAZE? Simple, send in your cloud observations using the GLOBE Program’s GLOBE Observer app. If possible, do it up to 15 minutes before or after a satellite flyover time. This last step will increase your chances of getting a satellite match.
Want to chat? NASA GLOBE CLOUD GAZE has a “talk” option. It allows you to chat with the NASA GLOBE CLOUD GAZE team and other citizen scientists in the project.
Are you an educator? We have developed a one-week pacing guide focused on cloud types. The pacing guide features NASA GLOBE CLOUD GAZE with additional resources you can use in your classroom or in an out-of-school setting.
About the author
Marilé Colón Robles is the Project Scientist for NASA GLOBE Clouds at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA. Marilé works to enhance GLOBE Clouds and became the Principal Investigator for NASA GLOBE CLOUD GAZE. Marilé is originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, is an avid volleyball player and has two beautiful daughters.