Frequently Asked Questions

Have eclipse-specific questions? Try here.

GLOBE Observer App - General:

How do I change my password?

Go to and click on the "Forgot Password" link at the bottom. Enter your email address in the box and click the "Send New Password" button. You will receive an email with a link to reset your password. Passwords must be at least eight characters long and include at least one upper case letter and one number.


My latitude and longitude aren't showing up correctly to make observations.  What should I do?

Make sure you have activated location services on your phone. On iOS, this is under Settings > Privacy. For Android, this is under Settings > Location. You may also try closing the app and reopening it.


I don’t see any Satellite Flyover times, what does that mean?

The overpass calculator is based on your location. Without knowing your location, we cannot provide you with overpass times.  Make sure you have activated location services on your phone. On iOS, this is under Settings > Privacy. For Android, this is under Settings > Location. You may also try closing the app and reopening it. Do remember that you can make observations without matching a satellite overpass - many observations will match with data from geostationary satellites, which do not show up in the Satellite Flyover list.


How do I know my observations sent successfully?

Any observations that have not been sent to GLOBE will be stored on the phone under Review/Send My Cloud Observations. Click Review/Send My Cloud Observations to see a list of observations collected. Select an individual observation or Select All and click the Send Cloud Observation to GLOBE button that has now turned green.  Observations containing pictures may take additional time to send.  A pop-up message reading “Success- Your Observation has been successfully sent to GLOBE” will appear once the observation has been sent to GLOBE.


I don't see my country in the drop-down list when I try to create/register a new account. Why not?

Internationally, GLOBE is implemented through bilateral agreements between the U.S. government and governments of partner nations. (See a list of GLOBE countries.) In the United States, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the lead agency and signs the GLOBE agreements. In GLOBE countries, typically, the Ministry of Education, Environment or Science are the implementing entities and the signatories of GLOBE agreements. Schools, organizations and individuals in non-GLOBE countries are encouraged to contact someone from the appropriate Ministry in their countries regarding their interest in participating in the GLOBE Program.


Cloud Observations:

I am making a cloud observation. What does obscured mean?

"Obscured" means that you don't have a clear view of clouds in the sky because of rain, snow, dust, fog, smoke, haze, volcanic ash, ocean spray, or blowing sand. 


Should there be people in my pictures?

Generally, no.  Any pictures where faces are visible or identifiable (especially students or other minors) will not be approved for posting.


Should I include buildings or trees in my pictures of the sky?

The goal is to capture pictures of the clouds, but we understand that observers may be in less open areas (courtyards, city streets, etc.) where the cardinal direction (North, South, East, and West) photos may show tall buildings or trees. When taking these photos, please aim your camera at 14 degrees above the horizon, or about the angle of your hand raised up to eye level with your arm stretched away from you. This helps capture more of the sky in your photo.


Mosquito Habitat Mapper Observations:

Is making mosquito observations dangerous, since they can carry diseases?

We focus GLOBE Observers on larvae, an immature developmental stage of the mosquito, that does not transmit disease to humans. While you are out making observations, use appropriate protection such as long-sleeved shirts and long pants to prevent mosquito bites. Apply approved insect repellents to skin and clothing as directed on the product label. DEET-containing products are one example. Minimize exposure time by collecting samples and returning indoors to analyze the samples. For more information, here is mosquito bite prevention information in the U.S. and for travelers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as tips for mosquito control around the home from the Army Public Health Center, Entomological Sciences Program.

What equipment do I need to make Mosquito Habitat Mapper observations?

To identify and report potential breeding sites (and eliminate them if you are able), no equipment beyond your smartphone is needed. If you wish to sample and count the larvae, you will need a cup, bulb syringe or other container to obtain a sample. To actually identify the genus of a collected larva, you will need a white surface such as a plastic or paper plate to place the larva on (suspended in a drop of water), as well as magnification to see the required features as you work through the identification key. We recommend using a camera macro lens attachment with a minimum of 35x magnification. A number of relatively inexpensive models can be found online.

My mosquito larvae photos are blurry. What should I do?

Many magnifying lenses for mobile devices work best when they are attached as close as possible to the camera lens. Try temporarily removing your device case to get a closer attachment.


Land Cover Observations:

Can my percentages of land cover types for a particular photo add up to more than 100%?

Yes, in some circumstances. For example, in a forested area, you might mark tree cover at 100%, but also have shrubs or grasses as some part of the understory, meaning your total percentage cover will be over 100% for that photo.


The percentage slider stops at 10%. What should I do if in one of my pictures, the percentage should be 0%?

If that is the case, simply remove that land cover type from the list for that photo.


Seeing my Data:

Where can I see my observations once I submit them? 

You can see your observations by clicking on the See My Data button in the menu for each protocol. All observations are displayed under Data > Our Observations


Why don't I see my photographs on the map of today's GLOBE Observer data points?

First, make sure you submitted the data to GLOBE (see above). Even if your observations have been submitted, all photos are reviewed before being made available in the database. Check back after the next business day and your photos should be on the map.


How do I use the GLOBE Visualization System to explore my data and data collected by other citizen scientists? 

The GLOBE Visualization System is a powerful tool for exploring data. Clicking the question mark icon in the upper right hand corner can access an informational tutorial. A full tutorial is available via PowerPoint or PDF


Don't see your question here? Please contact us. We will respond within 1-2 business days.

Did you Know?

Cirrus at Sunset

This is a great shot of feathery cirrus turned pink by the setting sun, and with some very distinct persistent contrails running through the sky.

Photo by Ed Donovan, South Carolina.