NASA needs your cloud photos

Published April 10, 2018, 12:05 AM


By Raffy Paredes

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From now through April 15, NASA is enlisting citizen scientists and amateur cloud gazers around the world to help validate satellite data on cloud formations. Anyone who wants to participate can simply point their phone at the sky and snap a photo. The initiative is part of the GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) program, an international education effort to encourage students and anyone interested in science to participate in data collection. Marilé Colón Robles from the Langley Research Center explained that the data helps scientists classify cloud formations in satellite images. If you’d like to be a part of it, you can download the GLOBE Observer app from its website. Participants can submit up to 10 cloud photos per day, and those with the most observations will be recognized in a NASA video. NASA is asking for on-the-ground observations now because data is coming in from a new CERES (Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System) instrument. CERES, which launched into orbit in November, uses a variety of sensors to monitor the Earth below.

NASA recommends that you wait 10-15 minutes between observations for atmospheric changes. You can use the app to see when satellites are overhead and when your photos might be most useful. The website also has some tips for photographers, as well as some basic information on the different cloud types. Colón Robles noted that you don’t need to be an atmospheric scientist or avid photographer to participate, NASA is interested in all the data they can collect. “Just go outside,” she said (

Why do selfies make your nose look 30 percent bigger? The reason is perspective distortion—a new study has found that a selfie shot at a distance of one foot away from your face will show your nose 30 percent wider at the base and seven percent larger in the tip than in a portrait shot at five feet (PetaPixel).

If you often find yourself taking photos of PowerPoint slides in school or at the office, a good app for recording such images is CamScanner—Phone PDF Creator (Beta) on Google Play. It has smart cropping and auto enhancing to make the texts and graphics look clear and sharp, images can be saved as JPEG or PDF files, and a lot more.

And now to our featured readers.

Edith Valdez, librarian at the Br. Fidelis Leddy Learning Resource Center (LRC) De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde shares an untitled photo of a rural scene taken in Albay. “I like taking photos of anything that strikes me,” she writes. “I seldom go home to my hometown and this sight reminds me of my childhood days. Some may find living in the province boring and dull but for me, life in the province is so relaxing and peaceful.”

From Monica Gallardo, a fresh graduate of AB Communication Arts at the De La Salle University- Manila is an untitled photo of an ice cream vendor. “I found out my interest in photography during our FOTOCOM class with Sir Rem Zamora,” she shares.

Ryan Malabonga, currently employed in an accounting firm in Laguna sent in an untitled photo that was published in the National Geographic Your Shot Photo of the Day on August 27, 2017. His photo description reads: In celebration of the coffee festival in Amadeo, Cavite. They give thanks to the creator for the bountiful harvest of aromatic and delicious coffee in the south. The coffee industry produces jobs and opportunities to help families of the locals. The outfits of the street dancers are made of coffee bean bags and salakot for the headdress.

The photo titled “Full Moon Over Downtown Los Angeles” comes from Zel Ralutin of Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Four readers share photos from the recent commemoration of Holy Week. Mary Joy Ganitano submitted the reflection photo, “Self-Flagellation.” She took the photo in Ligtong, Rosario, Cavite with her smartphone.

Photographer, event organizer, and bank employee Florence Valenciano contributed “Daang Krus Sa Kalye.” Her photo description reads: Daang Krus Sa Kalye, a yearly tradition of the Catholic church to commemorate the passion and death of Jesus Christ. This was recently organized by the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Cubao, Q.C.”

Volt Encarnado took his photo titled “Gewang Gewang” during the Good Friday procession in Binangonan, Rizal. His photo caption states: “This is Binangonan, Rizal’s unique way of commemorating the death of Jesus Christ every Good Friday procession. The Santo Entierro, more popularly known in Binangonan as ‘Gewang Gewang’ is being carried by devotees, the same way as the Traslacion of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo. Every devotee believes that by doing the sacrifice, he will be blessed more, all his sins will be forgiven, and his prayers will be answered.”

Dennis Cleto’s Holy Week photo is “Devout Father & Daughter” taken in San Fernando de Dilao Parish Church, Paco, Manila.

Gerry Cabangunay shares his photo of Mt. Mayon. He writes: “This photo of the majestic Mayon Volcano viewed from the Shrine of Our Lady of Salvation  in Joroan, Tiwi, Albay was taken last March 17, 2018 for our 12th Benildean Family Pilgrimage. It was a very fine, quiet, and lovely day to see the volcano. It was indeed a very fulfilling pilgrimage because of the beauty of Mt. Mayon. Upon my reflection, Mayon represents our body which is calm and quiet at times and yet sometimes aggressive and bad tempered. The bird symbolizes peace and freedom, while the blue sky is the ups and downs that we encounter in our daily life that are our darkest and our brightest moments once in a while.”

And from Von Yape is an untitled photo of a pier with silhouetted people. He shares: “I took this shot on Friday, March 30 around 5-6 p.m. after 14 hours of bike ride from Taytay, Rizal to Bauan, Batangas. For me, worth it talaga ‘tong shot na ‘to. Ang saya talaga kumuha ng mga litrato.”

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