atmosphere definition – Atmosphere Synonyms, Atmosphere Antonyms

This demarcation between aeronautics and astronautics is known as the Karman Line Above about 100 miles (160 km) altitude the major atmospheric component becomes atomic oxygen. The clouds are also so thick that the surface is invisible in visible light.

atmosphere academy – Composition, Climate & Weather

ATMOSPHEREThe atmosphere is a cloud of gas and suspended solids extending from the Earth’s surface out many thousands of miles, becoming increasingly thinner with distance but always held by the Earth’s gravitational pull. Wind erosion is a significant factor in shaping the terrain of rocky planets with atmospheres, and over time can erase the effects of both craters and volcanoes In addition, since liquid s can not exist without pressure, an atmosphere allows liquid to be present at the surface, resulting in lakes , rivers and oceans Earth and Titan are known to have liquids at their surface and terrain on the planet suggests that Mars had liquid on its surface in the past.

Troposphere – The troposphere is the layer next to the ground or surface of the Earth. It covers around 30,000-50,000 feet high. This is where we live and even where planes fly. Around 80% of the mass of the atmosphere is in the troposphere. The troposphere is heated by the surface of the Earth.


The ozone layer is contained within the stratosphere. In this layer ozone concentrations are about 2 to 8 parts per million, which is much higher than in the lower atmosphere but still very small compared to the main components of the atmosphere. It is mainly located in the lower portion of the stratosphere from about 15-35 km (9.3-21.7 mi; 49,000-115,000 ft), though the thickness varies seasonally and geographically. About 90% of the ozone in Earth’s atmosphere is contained in the stratosphere.

Shooting stars—the fiery burnout of meteors, dust, and rocks from outer space—are visible in the mesosphere. Most shooting stars are the size of a grain of sand and burn up before entering the stratosphere or troposphere. However, some meteors are the size of pebbles or even boulders. Their outer layers burn as they race through the mesosphere, but they are massive enough to fall through the lower atmosphere and crash to Earth as meteorites.

one of the four enormous outermost planets in the solar system (Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus), composed mostly of gases instead of rock. Also called a Jovian planet. Earth’s atmosphere contains the air we breathe, the weather we experience and is our natural shield against the harsh conditions of space.

A great example is seen in the way tropical cyclones (hurricanes) form over the Atlantic Ocean. Because of global atmospheric circulation, systems start over the Sahara Desert in Africa, move across the west coast of northern Africa, pick up large amounts of water as they pass over the warm Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, and finally dump all of the rain on the Caribbean or south eastern coast of the United States. In addition to the stormy weather, the atmosphere can also carry dust and particles from the Sahara to North America.

The lowest part of the troposphere is called the boundary layer. This is where the air motion is determined by the properties of the Earth’s surface. Turbulence is generated as the wind blows over the Earth’s surface, and by thermals rising from the land as it is heated by the sun. This turbulence redistributes heat and moisture within the boundary layer, as well as pollutants and other constituents of the atmosphere.

After around 3 billion years, the photosynthetic system evolved, meaning that single-celled organisms used the sun’s energy to turn molecules of carbon dioxide and water into sugar and oxygen gas. This dramatically increased oxygen levels , Frey told Live Science. “And that is the biggest pollution event, you might say, that life has ever done to anything, because it slowly transformed the planet,” he said.

From the perspective of a planetary geologist , the atmosphere acts to shape a planetary surface. Wind picks up dust and other particles which, when they collide with the terrain, erode the relief and leave deposits ( eolian processes). Frost and precipitations , which depend on the atmospheric composition, also influence the relief. Climate changes can influence a planet’s geological history. Conversely, studying the surface of the Earth leads to an understanding of the atmosphere and climate of other planets.

The low temperatures and higher gravity of the Solar System’s giant planets — Jupiter , Saturn , Uranus and Neptune —allow them more readily to retain gases with low molecular masses These planets have hydrogen-helium atmospheres, with trace amounts of more complex compounds.

This big blanket also helps to form our weather patterns and climate. The weather keeps too much hot air from forming in one place and causes storms and rainfall. All of these things are important to life and the Earth’s ecology.

The troposphere is the layer closest to Earth’s surface. It is 4 to 12 miles (7 to 20 km) thick and contains half of Earth’s atmosphere. Air is warmer near the ground and gets colder higher up. Nearly all of the water vapor and dust in the atmosphere are in this layer and that is why clouds are found here.

The troposphere is the lowest atmospheric layer. On average, the troposphere extends from the ground to about 10 kilometers (6 miles) high, ranging from about 6 kilometers (4 miles) at the poles to more than 16 kilometers (10 miles) at the Equator The top of the troposphere is higher in summer than in winter.

When compared to the diameter of the Earth, the atmosphere is very thin. The thickness of the atmosphere is a balance between the gravity of the Earth and energetic molecules that want to rise and move towards space. The molecules in the upper layers of the atmosphere become excited as energy from the Sun hits the Earth. The molecules in the lower layers are cooler and under greater pressure.

Scientists say many of the gases in our atmosphere were ejected into the air by early volcanoes. At that time, there would have been little or no free oxygen surrounding the Earth. Free oxygen consists of oxygen molecules not attached to another element , like carbon (to form carbon dioxide) or hydrogen (to form water).


The water cycle is all about storing water and moving water on, in, and above the Earth. Although the atmosphere may not be a great storehouse of water, it is the superhighway used to move water around the globe. Evaporation and transpiration change liquid water into vapor, which ascends into the atmosphere due to rising air currents. Cooler temperatures aloft allow the vapor to condense into clouds and strong winds move the clouds around the world until the water falls as precipitation to replenish the earthbound parts of the water cycle. About 90 percent of water in the atmosphere is produced by evaporation from water bodies, while the other 10 percent comes from transpiration from plants.

The thermosphere is the thickest layer in the atmosphere. Only the lightest gases—mostly oxygen, helium, and hydrogen—are found here. There is no clear definition between the Earth’s atmosphere and outer space. There are a few official guidelines, most are between 50 and 80 miles from the surface of the Earth.

A planet’s initial atmospheric composition is related to the chemistry and temperature of the local solar nebula during planetary formation and the subsequent escape of interior gases. The original atmospheres started with a rotating disc of gases that collapsed to form a series of spaced rings that condensed to form the planets. The planet’s atmospheres were then modified over time by various complex factors, resulting in quite different outcomes.

The temperature of the thermosphere gradually increases with height. Unlike the stratosphere beneath it, wherein a temperature inversion is due to the absorption of radiation by ozone, the inversion in the thermosphere occurs due to the extremely low density of its molecules. The temperature of this layer can rise as high as 1500 °C (2700 °F), though the gas molecules are so far apart that its temperature in the usual sense is not very meaningful. The air is so rarefied that an individual molecule (of oxygen , for example) travels an average of 1 kilometre (0.62 mi; 3300 ft) between collisions with other molecules. 17 Although the thermosphere has a high proportion of molecules with high energy, it would not feel hot to a human in direct contact, because its density is too low to conduct a significant amount of energy to or from the skin.

an opening in the Earth’s crust, through which lava, ash, and gases erupt, and also the cone built by eruptions. The volume fraction of the main constituents of the Earth’s atmosphere as a function of height according to the MSIS-E-90 atmospheric model.

The homosphere and heterosphere are defined by whether the atmospheric gases are well mixed. The surface-based homosphere includes the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, and the lowest part of the thermosphere, where the chemical composition of the atmosphere does not depend on molecular weight because the gases are mixed by turbulence. 25 This relatively homogeneous layer ends at the turbopause found at about 100 km (62 mi; 330,000 ft), the very edge of space itself as accepted by the FAI , which places it about 20 km (12 mi; 66,000 ft) above the mesopause.

Earth’s atmosphere has a series of layers, each with its own specific traits. Moving upward from ground level, these layers are named the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere and exosphere. The exosphere gradually fades away into the realm of interplanetary space.

The planetary boundary layer is the part of the troposphere that is closest to Earth’s surface and is directly affected by it, mainly through turbulent diffusion During the day the planetary boundary layer usually is well-mixed, whereas at night it becomes stably stratified with weak or intermittent mixing. The depth of the planetary boundary layer ranges from as little as about 100 metres (330 ft) on clear, calm nights to 3,000 m (9,800 ft) or more during the afternoon in dry regions.


An interactive simulation for the atmosphere model is available at this web site. With the simulation, you can change altitude and see the effects on pressure and temperature. The same atmosphere model is also used in the FoilSim and EngineSim computer simulators.

sudden change in the Earth’s magnetosphere, caused by the solar wind interacting with the Earth’s magnetic field. Also called a geomagnetic storm. layer of the Earth’s atmosphere located between 80 kilometers (50 miles) and 550 kilometers (341 miles) above the Earth’s surface.

Wind erosion is a significant factor in shaping the terrain of rocky planets with atmospheres, and over time can erase the effects of both craters and volcanoes In addition, since liquid s can not exist without pressure, an atmosphere allows liquid to be present at the surface, resulting in lakes , rivers and oceans Earth and Titan are known to have liquids at their surface and terrain on the planet suggests that Mars had liquid on its surface in the past.

The mixture of gases surrounding the Earth or other celestial body, held in place by gravity. It forms distinct layers at different heights. The Earth’s atmosphere consists, in ascending order, of the troposphere (containing 90% of the atmosphere’s mass), the stratosphere, the mesosphere, the thermosphere, and the exosphere. The atmosphere is composed primarily of nitrogen (78%) and oxygen (21%) and plays a major role in the water cycle, the nitrogen cycle, and the carbon cycle. See more at exosphere mesosphere stratosphere thermosphere troposphere.

Although the International Space Station orbits in the thermosphere, most satellites orbit the Earth outside its atmosphere. GPS satellites, for instance, are in orbit more than 20,000 kilometers (12,400 miles) above the Earth.

Earth’s atmosphere has six different layers. They go from the ground all the way to outer space. To learn more about each layer of the atmosphere, click the images below. between 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles) and 36,000 kilometers (22,370 miles) above the Earths surface.

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