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250,000 clouds through ‘CloudSpotter’

‘littlepond’s spotting of a fallstreak hole over the Pacific Ocean marks 250,000 images submitted through our CloudSpotter iPhone app.

250,000 clouds through ‘CloudSpotter’

The users of our CloudSpotter app for iPhone have now submitted no less than 250,000 images of the sky. Each and every one has been looked at and verified by one of small team of cloud experts. This photograph of a fallstreak hole over the Pacific Ocean, spotted from Los Angeles, California, US, by ‘littlepond’ was the 250,000th submission. In addition to the fallstreak hole formation, it shows as optical effect known as a sun dog, caused by the sunlight shining through the ice crystals of the fallstreak.

The thousands of CloudSpotter images provide a global, crowd-sourced perspective on the sky. They also help our scientific understanding of cloud formations. Spottings of the asperitas cloud, a new cloud classification identified by the Cloud Appreciation Society, are contributing to a scientific paper on its formation being published later this year.

When users submit an image through CloudSpotter, they soon hear back whether they’ve correctly identified the cloud or optical effect. Reference images and a step-by-step cloud identifier help them do this. Our moderators then judge whether they identified it right, and award stars and achievement badges. The rarer the formation, the more stars it is worth. Congratulations to the thousands of CloudSpotters across the world for submitting such amazing images. And thank you to our amazing team of moderators for sharing their knowledge of cloud identification around the world.

CloudSpotter app for iPhone

(We are currently working on a redesign of the app. Hopefully, in the not too distant future, we will also be able to launch CloudSpotter for other mobile devices.)

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