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AIM Satellite Mission Patch

FEATURED DATA

CIPS First Clouds of NH2014 Season
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05.24.2014
First Noctilucent Clouds of the Northern Hemisphere 2014 Season

The CIPS preliminary daisy of 24 May shows our first clouds of the season. This is a fairly normal start; previous seasons have had CIPS start dates from 15-27 May, with four other seasons (not including 2007) having CIPS start dates from 24-27 May (SOFIE start dates are earlier).

2013 SENIOR REVIEW PROPOSAL

AIM 2013 Extended Mission Proposal

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LAUNCH DETAILS


days

since AIM launched.

Launch Date: 25 April 2007
Location: Vandenberg AFB, California, USA
Launch Vehicle: Pegasus
Orbit: Sun-synchronus
Inclination: 97.8 degrees
Period: 96 min, 32 sec

After initial spacecraft stabilization, the spacecraft and instruments underwent extensive commissioning activities to ensure proper operation.

AIM DATA SETS

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INSTRUMENTS

CDE
CDE Instrument

Final Mass, Power, & Data Rates for SOFIE, CIPS, CDE, BUS, and their totals.

SPACEWEATHER

Spaceweather Photo Gallery

spaceweather

Observing tips: Look west 30 to 60 minutes after sunset when the Sun has dipped 6o to 16o below the horizon. If you see luminous blue-white tendrils spreading across the sky, you've probably spotted a noctilucent cloud. Although noctilucent clouds appear most often at arctic latitudes, they have been sighted in recent years as far south as Colorado, Utah and Virginia. NLCs are seasonal, appearing most often in late spring and summer. In the northern hemisphere, the best time to look would be between mid-May and the end of August.


THE MISSION

The Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) satellite mission is exploring Polar Mesospheric Clouds (PMCs), also called noctilucent clouds, to find out why they form and why they are changing.

The AIM mission has been extended by NASA through the end of FY12. During this time the instruments will monitor noctilucent clouds to better understand their variability and possible connection to climate change. Individual instrument data collection status, as well as spacecraft and instrument health, will be monitored throughout the life of the mission and reported periodically on this website.

The primary goal of the AIM mission is to help scientists understand whether the clouds' ephemeral nature, and their variation over time, is related to Earth's changing climate - and to investigate why they form in the first place. By measuring the thermal, chemical and other properties of the environment in which the mysterious clouds form, the AIM mission will provide researchers with a foundation for the study of long-term variations in the mesosphere and its relationship to global climate change. In addition to measuring environmental conditions, the AIM mission will collect data on cloud abundance, how the clouds are distributed, and the size of particles within them.

PRESS & RELATED NEWS

04.16.2014
A Bullseye in the Sky Over Texas
This is a thin glowing layer of Earth's atmosphere rippling in the wake of a huge thunderstorm.

When we see patterns in the atmosphere from space, they tend to be in the clouds of powerful storms. These all have roughly the same form: they look like a spiral galaxy with arms spinning out from the core.

But meteorologists have detected other organizational principles at work. Like, take the fascinating image above. It shows .... well, I wasn't sure exactly what it showed. A meteorologist's blog post described them as "convectively-generated mesospheric airglow waves," but that did not quite explain how they worked or what they were.

So I got in touch with Steven Miller, senior research scientist and deputy director of the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) at Colorado State University. Miller and his colleagues discovered these concentric rings while working with the newish satellite Suomi satellite's next-generation low-light sensor. (They published a paper on the discovery in PNAS.)

Miller told me I was looking at glowing ripples in the atmosphere itself!

FULL ARTICLE:
http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/
2014/04/a-bullseye-in-the-sky-over-texas/360705/


04.10.2014
Appearance of Night-Shining Clouds has Increased
Science Codex

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First spotted in 1885, silvery blue clouds sometimes hover in the night sky near the poles, appearing to give off their own glowing light. Known as noctilucent clouds, this phenomenon began to be sighted at lower and lower latitudes -- between the 40th and 50th parallel -- during the 20th century, causing scientists to wonder if the region these clouds inhabit had indeed changed -- information that would tie in with understanding the weather and climate of all Earth.

FULL STORY: http://www.sciencecodex.com/appearance_of_nightshining
_clouds_has_increased-131596

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Last Modified: July 1, 2014

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