App designed by Somerset cloud spotter helps calibrate Nasa satellites

Satellite in space The app will be used by Nasa to help calibrate its satellite equipment

A smartphone app developed by a Somerset cloud watching enthusiast is to be used by Nasa to help calibrate satellite equipment.

The iPhone CloudSpotter app was designed by Gavin Pretor-Pinney from Somerton, who also runs the The Cloud Appreciation Society.

App users can take pictures of clouds that are then analysed by experts.

Nasa will use the data gathered to calibrate its Clouds and Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES).

The app allows users to take a picture of the sky and classify the type, or species, of cloud they have seen.

The photographs, with geo-location data attached, are then analysed by a team of expert cloud spotters who verify the judgement.

"We've got a link up with Nasa and they will be able to use the anonymous data that's gathered by this app in order to calibrate their satellite equipment," said Mr Pretor-Pinney.

"They've got these satellite instruments known as CERES which are looking down on the clouds, studying them and trying to help us understand better the role that clouds play in the temperatures down on the ground.

"It will help us better understand what the likely future shape of our changing climate will be."

The Cloud Appreciation Society, which has more than 32,000 members worldwide, is a group that encourages an interest in different species of clouds.

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Somerset

Weather

Taunton

Min. Night 3 °C

Features & Analysis

  • Signposts showing the US and UK flagsAn ocean apart

    How British misunderstanding of the US is growing


  • Before and after shotsPerfect body

    Just how reliable are 'before and after' photos?


  • Hillary Clinton frowns.Something to hide?

    Hillary's private emails threaten her air of inevitability


  • Mukesh SinghNo remorse

    Delhi bus rapist says victim shouldn't have fought back


Elsewhere on the BBC

Programmes

  • Former al-Qaeda double agent Aimen DeanHARDtalk Watch

    Islamic State is about revenge says former al-Qaeda member turned spy Aimen Dean

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.