Washington: US space agency NASA, in collaboration with GLOBE Programme, is inviting all the cloud gazers across the world to take part in the citizen science cloud observation challenge.
GLOBE Programme is an international science and education programme beginning from March 15 through April 15.
During the challenge, 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).
Marile Colon Robles, from NASA's Langley Research Centre in Virginia, US, said in a statement, "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."
Robles said, "We're going from winter to spring, so the types of storms will change, which will also change the types of cloud."
The 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.
Researchers used the cloud data collected by citizen scientists because it is highly valued and helps to validate data from Earth-observing instruments.
Robles said,"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,"
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.
(With IANS inputs)