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Chris Rink
(757) 864-6786

RELEASE NO. 00-028

For Release: June 8, 2000

Students around the world are studying clouds for NASA

     If the forecast is cloudy, there will be a chance of learning at Ramstein American Middle School.

     The school, at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, is the 500th site to register as part of a global cloud-measuring project. It teams up students with NASA scientists so they can figure out how clouds affect the Earth's energy balance.

     The Students' Cloud Observations On-Line (S'COOL) activity is part of a satellite experiment in conjunction with NASA Langley Research Center's Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) instruments. NASA Langley researchers are training students worldwide to observe clouds. There are currently 378 U.S. schools involved in the project. S'COOL schools take field notes in all 50 states (90 in Virginia) including Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, in 37 other countries and on all continents except Antarctica.

     The Ramstein students will learn how to observe clouds and send their data to a NASA computer. The students' observations then will be compared to those from orbiting CERES instruments. CERES uses its vantage point from space to provide global data on the Earth's energy balance and how clouds change it. CERES instruments are currently aboard the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) and Terra satellites.

     For more information on-line about S'COOL, CERES, TRMM or Terra visit the following web sites:,,, and

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