For Citizen Scientists
Citizen Scientists have helped to answer serious scientific questions, provide vital data to the astronomical community, and have discovered thousands of objects including nebulas, supernovas, and gamma ray bursts. NASA supports several resources which may be of interest to amateur and professional scientists alike.
S'COOL Roving Observers
As a roaming S’COOL Cloud Observer, a Rover, you will collect data on cloud type, height, cover and related conditions. Your observations help us to validate satellite data and give us a more complete picture of clouds in the atmosphere and their interactions with other parts of the integrated global Earth system. Observations are sent to NASA for comparison to similar information obtained from satellites. Reports from a wide range of locations are helpful to assess the satellite data under different conditions.
This site provides all the information that you need to make and report a cloud observation. We welcome participation from any interested observers, especially from places where official weather observations are few and far between.
More stars. Less light. Participate in GLOBE at Night!
Calling all Earthlings! Take a few minutes to get involved in the GLOBE at Night campaign to preserve dark skies! GLOBE at Night is a citizen-science campaign open to people all over the world to raise awareness of the impact of light pollution by inviting citizen-scientists to measure their night sky brightness and report their observations to a website from a computer or smart phone. Light pollution threatens not only our “right to starlight”, but can affect energy consumption, wildlife and health. Through 2011, people in 115 countries contributed 66,000 measurements, making GLOBE at Night one of the most successful light pollution awareness campaigns to date. Please join us to participate in the 2012 campaign an hour after sunset til about 10pm January 14 through 23, February 12 through 21, March 13 through 22, and April 11 through 20. For information and resources, visit us at www.globeatnight.org.
Be a Martian
Participate as a citizen scientist to improve Martian maps, take part in research tasks, and assist Mars science teams studying data about the Red Planet.
Become a Martian Citizen
You can help decide where the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will point its camera, HiRISE, next! Suggest a new target or browse the targets already in our database, including those for past HiRISE images.
Where should HiRISE take a picture?
NASA needs your help to monitor the rates and sizes of large meteoroids striking the moon's dark side. This data will help engineers design lunar spacecraft, habitats, vehicles and extra-vehicular activity (EVA) suits to protect human explorers from the stresses of the lunar environment.
Report your observations and help NASA
Planetary protection is the term given to the practice of protecting solar system bodies (i.e., planets, moons, comets, and asteroids) from contamination by Earth life, and protecting Earth from possible life forms that may be returned from other solar system bodies.
More about Planetary Protection
MY NASA DATA
Mentoring and inquirY using NASAData for Atmospheric and earth science for Teachers and Amateurs (MY NASA DATA) is a project to enable K-12 teachers and students, as well as citizen scientists, to explore the large volumes of data that NASA collects about the Earth from space. Students use scientific inquiry and math skills as they access and display microsets of the Earth System.
Discover MY NASA DATA features for Citizen Scientists
Night Sky Network
Whether you're just getting started or observe the skies at every opportunity, you'll find helpful this list of links from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Includes resources for amateurs, students and educators.
Visit the Night Sky Network
This list, maintained by the Minor Planet Center (MPC), includes observable comets, comet ephemerides, orbit data and observation dates. (The MPC is based at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and operates with support from the International Astronomical Union.)
Rock Around the World
The Grey Cubicle You Want to Work In
'Some of the employees of NASA's Science Mission Directorate may work in grey cubicles, but their jobs are anything but dull. They get to study Earth, the Sun, the Solar System, and the Universe!' - Dr. Tony Phillips
You can read the complete article "The Grey Cubicle You Want to Work In" by Dr. Tony Phillips here.
JPL's Solar System Dynamics Group provides the following software tools for the sky observer:
- Ephemeris Generator for all bodies in the solar system including comets and asteroids.
- Small Body Orbital Elements provides the orbital elements for numbered asteroids, unnumbered asteroids and comets.
- Object Identification - Given a date, location and region of sky, find all comets and asteroids matching the constraints within the region.
- What's Observable Tonight? - Given an observation date, location and other constraints, find all asteroids and comets that are observable on that night.
- Finding Pre-discovery Observations With SkyMorph
Solar System Simulator
NASA imagery and computer modeling combine to produce simulated pictures of solar system objects from any other object and from any time you choose.
Use the Solar System Simulator
The Space Calendar covers space-related activities and anniversaries for the coming year. Included are over 1,300 links to related home pages.
Keep tabs on the Space Calendar
Spacecraft Sighting Opportunities
Find out when satellites, a space shuttle or the International Space Station are appearing overhead. You can search by city—or use Skywatch 2.0 (a Java Applet) to enter your exact location and see the path each spacecraft will take across the sky. Tips for viewing spacecraft are included under "Sighting Help."
Get viewing information for the next flyover
J-Track 3D Satellite Tracking - What you will see is a plot in 3-dimensions showing the position of hundreds of satellites.
Watching for Leonids
Leonid meteors appear to emanate from, or point back to, the constellation Leo, it is known as the annual Leonid Meteor Shower. To read more about Leonids and how to find them in the night sky visit the Near-Live Leonid Watching System.