goal of the AIM
mission is to explain why PMCs form in the ﬁrst
place and what is causing the mysterious changes in their
Download the AIM Fact Sheet (PDF
launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, USA
on a Pegasus-XL launch vehicle to its orbit 600 km (373
miles) above Earth. Launch date
was April 25, 2007.
Clouds were ﬁrst observed in 1885 by an
amateur astronomer and have been becoming brighter, more
frequent and appear to be moving to lower latitudes in
AIM orbits 600 km
AIM satellite carries three state-of-the-art instruments:
Cloud Imaging and Particle Size (CIPS),
Solar Occultation For Ice Experiment (SOFIE)
and the Cosmic Dust Experiment (CDE).
and the same phenomenon, they are called Noctilucent
when observed from
the ground at twilight and PMCs
when viewed from space platforms with instruments that
can sense their presence at any time of the night or day.