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The primary goal of the AIM mission is to explain why PMCs form in the first place and what is causing the mysterious changes in their behavior.
NASA Facts
Download the AIM Fact Sheet (PDF)
The satellite 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.
Noctilucent 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 recent years.
AIM orbits 600 km
(373 miles)
above Earth.
    The 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).
While one and the same phenomenon, they are called Noctilucent Clouds (NLCs) 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.

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

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