Observer News

NASA GLOBE Observer’s Weekly Roundup: 28 August- 3 September 2016

A global map of the Earth showing cloud coverage.

Don’t you just love having the opportunity to lie down outside on a blanket and view the sky above your head? I cannot think of anything more relaxing.  Are you imagining some clouds right now?  Did you know that not just scientists and spacecraft collect data on clouds?  Learn how you too can take cloud data, how astronauts relax and more in this week’s roundup. 

1. IMAGE OF THE WEEK: Our image of the week (see the above) is “Cloudy Earth” from NASA’s Aqua satellite’s MODIS instrument.  This image shows an average of Earth’s cloud coverage between the years 2002 and 2015. There are three broad bands where cloud coverage is prevalent.  Can you find them? Do you also see where there are areas that do not receive much coverage?  

2. DOWNLOAD: Do you live in areas where there are lots of clouds or few?  Why not share your views by becoming a citizen scientist?  You can take cloud data by using our Clouds app.  (Instructions are within the app.)  Perhaps you will find a few shapes among the swirls and puffs of white.

Download the app for free, here: 

3. INTRODUCTION: Meet Lin Chambers.  Lin is one of the NASA scientists who study clouds from satellite data in order to better understand Earth’s atmosphere and climate.

4. VIDEO: How do clouds stay up in the sky anyway? Learn how with Joe Hanson in PBS’s It’s Okay to be Smart’s short YouTube video.

5. INSPIRATION: The men and woman who fly above our globe on board the International Space Station (ISS) know that a good way to relieve stress is to view home from the cupola window.  Whether you are viewing the sky from above or below, clouds are a cause for wonderment – they inspire us.


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A graphic showing silhouettes of two people taking observations with their phones. They are standing between water with mosquito larvae in it, grass, trees, and clouds, which represent the tools within the GLOBE Observer app.

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