(Note to users
: The following is a description of the interactive feature called Share How You and Your Family Help Our Planet
. This description explains what users see and can do on the feature, and offers an alternative way for users to share their comments. If you need more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
.) Page 1: Share How You and Your Family Help Our Planet/See How NASA Is Studying Earth
Four satellites are positioned around a spinning globe of Earth. Users can see recent comments added by the public about how they help Earth. They can also click on a spinning globe to go to the next page. If they roll over the satellites, each has different information:
Satellite 1: NASA satellites keep a close watch on the land that covers parts of Earth. Satellites can detect many changes taking place on and below the ground. This information allows scientists to monitor things like plants and trees and how humans are using the land. They can also collect data on natural hazards, such as volcanoes and earthquakes.
Satellite 2: NASA instruments show that some of the world's ice is melting. As ice on land melts, it adds water to the ocean. This can cause sea level to rise. By monitoring these events, scientists are better prepared for future changes to Earth's ocean and lands.
Satellite 3: NASA satellites track the particles and gases in Earth's atmosphere that make up the air we breathe. They also provide information used to forecast our weather, including big storms such as hurricanes. With this information, scientists can help people affected by storms. Scientists also monitor important changes in Earth's atmosphere and climate.
Satellite 4: The ocean is our planet's largest feature. It affects weather and climate. The ocean is home to many creatures. Humans look to the ocean for food, recreation, transportation and jobs. NASA satellites keep a watchful eye on this natural resource, which is vital to life on Earth. Page 2: Flat Map of Earth
Users see a map of the world with icons on it. The icons are generated from user comments based geographically on where they help Earth. For instance, a name appears in the state of California. A user can click on the icon to see all approved comments from users in California. Users can also click on a link to see all comments. A link on the page invites users to submit a comment. Page 3: Submit a Comment
Users have several fields to fill out if they want to share how they help Earth. The fields are:
First name or school name (no last names will be posted)
Location: Country. If the user is from the United States, they can also select the state they are from.
Comment: Users have a maximum of 300 characters to write their comment about how they help Earth.
How Does NASA Study Earth? Users can select one of the following eight factoids.
1. The Really Big Picture
NASA satellites circle the globe every day. These satellites help scientists understand how Earth works and how our world is changing. This "big picture" view from space provides information to help protect our home planet.
2. Changing Ice
NASA instruments show that much of the world's ice is melting. This is happening mostly in Antarctica and Greenland. The ice may be melting faster than it has in the past. As ice melts and adds water to the ocean, sea level rises. Knowing more about glaciers and ice sheets helps us prepare for future changes.
3. Water World
The ocean covers more than 70 percent of Earth's surface. It has a powerful influence on weather and climate. The ocean supports a great diversity of life. Humans depend on the ocean for things like food, transportation, jobs and leisure activities. NASA satellites keep a close watch over this crucial resource.
4. Earth Moves
Earthquakes, volcanoes and landslides move and shake Earth. NASA satellites keep track of changes in our planet's surface. This information helps us understand how Earth moves. It also helps people who are affected when these natural events happen.
5. Storm Tracker
From space, NASA satellites observe the clouds and winds that form hurricanes and other storms. The satellites help weather forecasters predict the strength and path of hurricanes. NASA satellites also show where rivers are flooding and where droughts occur.
6. The Air We Breathe
NASA satellites measure the important gases in the air we breathe. These satellites track aerosols, dust, smoke and pollution, which move constantly around the globe. From space, satellites can see changes in Earth's ozone hole. This information keeps us aware of natural and human-induced changes that we need to watch.
7. Cloud Cover
Clouds have an important effect on the climate. They trap heat beneath them and reflect the sun's heat away from the planet. Clouds also carry heat and water around Earth. NASA satellites look through clouds and give us a picture of what is happening inside them.
8. Gravity's Pull
NASA instruments measure this important invisible force. Gravity tells scientists how the land on Earth is changing. It also tells them where water is moving in the ocean, underneath the land and in rivers. Gravity also shows where ice on Earth's surface is melting or getting thicker. Page 3A. How to Submit a Comment
If users do not want to use the flash-based form, they can email email@example.com
and give all the required fields. Page 4. Print Certificate
The certificate says NASA Salutes You for Helping Earth. The certificate contains the factoid selected by the user. Users are then invited to visit the following NASA sites:
NASA/JPL Education Web Site: Games and resources for students and teachers http://education.jpl.nasa.gov
Climate Kids: NASA's Eyes on the Earth http://climate.nasa.gov/kids/
NASA: Missions, education and news www.nasa.gov