Observer Events

Man observing clouds with phone

Cloud Challenge

Date: 08/31/2016 - 09/14/2016
Location: Worldwide

NASA invites you to participate in gathering observations of clouds as part of a two-week campaign to help all of us better understand our changing home planet. From August 31 to September 14, you can meet this challenge by downloading and using the GLOBE Observer app to observe clouds wherever you are.

The GLOBE Observer Cloud app has all the information you will need to make your observations. The app automatically records latitude and longitude, date and time. It will help you estimate the percent of cloud cover and cloud type. Finally, it will guide you through taking photographs in all four cardinal directions, straight up and straight down.

While you can take observations any time, the most valuable observations happen when a NASA satellite is overhead. To find out when a satellite is over you, click "check satellite flyovers" in the app. Current NASA satellites that observe clouds include Aqua, CALIPSO, CloudSat, NPP, and Terra. Learn more about these satellites.

The GLOBE Observer app is available in iOS and Android formats.

Download the app for IOS via the App Store: 

Download the app for Android via Google Play:

Your observations will help us all to understand how clouds may be changing as climate changes, particularly as they allow us to see small features that are not visible from satellites and to identify cloud types that automated satellite sensors cannot. GLOBE is now the major source of human observations of clouds, which provide more information than automated systems. 

Science is a collaborative endeavor, and community is an important aspect of this challenge experience. People engaged in GLOBE Observer become part of the national and international GLOBE community of learners and scientists across more than 110 countries around the world.