The advantage of using amateur scientists is that there are many more of us.
Forrest finds that student and adult amateur scientists can do very high
quality work. The bottom line is that there is no national or global
haze monitoring network. The field is wide open, and amateurs can make
a valuable contribution. Of course professional scientists can also
Amateur science has a long tradition of excellence, Many famous
discoveries have been made by amateurs. Alexander Graham Bell was a
teacher of the deaf, but he invented the first successful telephone
and photophone. Michael Faraday never attended school, but he
discovered fundamental principles of electricity. Some 40% of comets
are discovered by amateur astronomers.
Sun photometers are ideal for monitoring natural haze and air
pollution by measuring the transmission of sunlight through the
atmosphere. As a result of the haze or pollution, the atmospheric
optical thickness is slightly increased when the sun is scattered by
molecules of air. A sun photometer measures the sunlight in a narrow
spectral band that passes through the Earth's atmosphere.