Secrets of mysterious 'night-shining' clouds unlocked by NASA's AIM satellite and models

Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - 22:21 in Astronomy & Space

NASA's Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere satellite has captured five complete polar seasons of noctilucent or "night-shining" clouds with an unprecedented horizontal resolution of 3 miles by 3 miles. Results show that the cloud season turns on and off like a "geophysical light bulb" and they reveal evidence that high altitude mesospheric "weather" may follow similar patterns as our ever-changing weather near the Earth's surface.

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