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The overall goal of the Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) experiment is to resolve why Polar Mesospheric Clouds (PMCs) form and why they vary. By measuring PMCs and the thermal, chemical and dynamical environment in which they form, we will quantify the connection between these clouds and the meteorology of the polar mesosphere. In the end, this will provide the basis for study of longterm variability in the mesospheric climate and its relationship to global change.

The results of AIM will be a rigorous validation of predictive models that can reliably use past PMC changes and present trends as indicators of global change. This goal will be achieved by measuring PMC abundances, spatial distribution, particle size distributions, gravity wave activity, cosmic dust influx to the atmosphere and precise, vertical profile measurements of temperature, H2O, OH, CH4, O3, CO2, NO, and aerosols. These data can be obtained only by a complement of instruments on an orbiting spacecraft because of the need for global coverage and because extinction and foreground emissions compromise optical sensing from the ground.

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AIM Mission
2011 Highlights on Goals and Objectives

Education & Public Outreach
Mission Summary

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NASA Facts:
AIM Fact Sheet

NASA Facts:
The AIM satellite is 55 inches tall, 43 inches wide and weighs 430 pounds.

Strange Clouds
Astronauts onboard the International Space Station have been observing electric blue "noctilucent" clouds from Earth-orbit.

A view of noctilucent clouds from the International Space Station.

Above: Electric blue clouds viewed from the ISS. Photo credit: Don Pettit and NASA TV.

They Hover on the Edge of Space
An article on NLCs from SpaceDaily by Dr. Tony Phillips, 21 February 2003

NASA's Sun-Earth Education Forum Logo

The AIM mission is a part of
NASA's Sun-Earth Connection Education Forum.

Responsible Official: James M. Russell III

Web Curator: Emily M. W. Hill
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