NASA Wants You to Become a Citizen Scientist During This Month’s Solar Eclipse

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By: Haylee Fisher (@haylee_fisher)

When a solar eclipse befalls North America later this month, NASA wants viewers to take part in a nationwide science experiment by gathering cloud and air temperature data and reporting the results through their phones.

It’s part of the NASA-backed Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program, a research and education project that encourages students and citizen scientists to collect and analyze environmental observations. To aid in this research, the GLOBE Observer app has been designed, which will guide spectators through their data collection.

“No matter where you are in North America, whether it’s cloudy, clear or rainy, NASA wants as many people as possible to help with this citizen science project,” Kristen Weaver, deputy coordinator for the project, said in a press release. “We want to inspire a million eclipse viewers to become eclipse scientists.”

Through the app, contributors will report variables like cloud changes and temperature, which NASA will then aggregate and compare to satellite observations. Not only will collecting this information be fun, it will also help NASA in the organization’s future studies of the Earth and its environment.

In order to help out with this experiment, participants must first download the free GLOBE Observer app and register to become a citizen scientist, then obtain a thermometer to measure air temperature during the eclipse.

Additionally, NASA has released a video with more information about how data will be compiled and used after the eclipse.



To get involved, download the app here, plus follow the project on Facebook and Twitter. To learn more about how NASA researchers will be studying the Earth during the eclipse, visit their website here and here.

Let us know if you’ll be taking part in this unique opportunity by lending NASA a hand and becoming a scientist for a day!


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