Layers of the atmosphere!!!

Learning about our atmosphere

Our five layers

The atmosphere is divided into five layers. It is thickest near the surface and thins out with height until it eventually merges with space.

1) The troposphere is the first layer above the surface and contains half of the Earth's atmosphere. Weather occurs in this layer.
2) Many jet aircrafts fly in the stratosphere because it is very stable. Also, the ozone layer absorbs harmful rays from the Sun.
3) Meteors or rock fragments burn up in the mesosphere.
4) The thermosphere is a layer with auroras. It is also where the space shuttle orbits.
5) The atmosphere merges into space in the extremely thin exosphere. This is the upper limit of our atmosphere.

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Layers own definition

  • Troposphere
    Living at the surface of the Earth, we are usually only aware of the events happening in the lowest layer, the troposphere, where all weather occurs. The base of this layer is warmer than its top because the air is heated by the surface of the Earth, which absorbs the Sun’s energy.
  • Stratosphere
    Above the troposphere lies the stratosphere where jet airplanes fly. Temperatures increase with altitude because of increasing amounts of ozone. The ozone layer within the stratosphere absorbs harmful ultraviolet rays of sunlight.
  • Mesosphere
    As the mesosphere extends upward above the stratosphere, temperatures decrease. The coldest parts of our atmosphere are located in this layer and can reach –90°C.
  • Thermosphere
    In the forth layer from Earth’s surface, the thermosphere, the air is thin, meaning that there are far fewer air molecules. The thermosphere is very sensitive to solar activity and can heat up to 1,500°C or higher when the Sun is active making an aurora that lights up the night sky. Astronauts orbiting Earth in the space station or space shuttle spend their time in this layer.
  • Exosphere
    The upper layer of our atmosphere, where atoms and molecules escape into space, is called the exosphere.

Our atmosphere

Facts about our atmosphere layers

  1. The Troposphere:
  • We live in the Troposphere
  • It contains more than 75% of the atmosphere

2. The Stratosphere:

  • Most of the clouds and rain are in this layer
  • It extends up to 48km above the earth!
  • The ozone layer is between the Stratosphere and Mesosphere
3.The Mesosphere:
  • This layer extends to 80km above the Earth!

4.The Thermosphere

  • Here the air is very thin
  • Over 99.99% of the atmosphere lies below this layer
  • It is comprised of:

5.The Ionosphere:

  • Reflects radio waves back to Earth so signals can be sent around the world
  • The Exosphere:
  • This layer begins at ~480km above the Earth and fades away into space.

Questions to think about and try to answer.........

Q: Why is the troposphere wider at the equator than at the poles?

Q: Why is the amount of carbon dioxide in the troposphere increasing?

Q: What is the relationship between atmospheric pressure and boiling point of a liquid?

Q: Why are there "ozone holes" in the stratosphere?

Q: Why are the gases in the thermosphere stratified?