The Atmosphere

Learn everything about the atmosphere

Atmosphere gases

The Earth's atmosphere is made up of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, water vapor, and other gases. It is also made up of particles of liquids and solids.
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Nitrogen is the most abuntant gas in the atmosphere, and make up about three-fourths of our atmosphere.


Oxygen isthe second most abuntant gas in the atmosphere and makes up about one-fourth of the atmosphere. Oxygen can be used up very fast, like when plants use it for energy or when something is burning. It can also be used up slowly like when steel from a car starts to rust.

Carbon dioxide

Carbon dioxide is essential to life. It is made up of one carbon atom and two oxygen atom. Plants need carbon dioxide to produce food. When the cells of plants and animals break down food they release carbon dioxide. When fuels like coal burn they release more carbon dioxide into the air.

Atmospheric layers

The atmosphere is made up of four main layers; the troposphere, stratosphere, mesophere, and thermosphere.
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The troposphere is the first layer of the atmosphere. The troposphere is the layer of the atmosphere where weather occurs. Above the equator, the troposhere extends 16 kilometers up. Above the North and South Poles it extends less than 9 kilometers. The higher the altitude get the more the temperature decreases.


The stratosphere is the second layer in the atmosphere. It extends 50 kilometers from the Earth's surface. The higher in the stratosphere you go the warmer it gets. Inside a portion of the stratosphere, their is more ozone. Ozone is an three atom form of oxygen. Ozone absorbs the energy from the sun and it gets converted into heat. The ozone layer is important because it protects the Earth from UV rays.


The mesosphere is the third layer of the atmosphere. It extends 80 kilometers from the Earth's surface. The mesosphere protects the Earth from most meteoroids. the streak of light the a meteor leaves behind is hot gases the meteor leaves in the mesosphere.


the thermosphere is the last layer in the atmosphere. it extends 80 kilometers from the Earth's surface. The thermosphere is very hot because the suns rays hit it first. If you bring a thermometer it will show below 0 degrees Celsius because the particles are too spread apart.

Air Pressure, Density, and Altitude

Air pressure is the result of the weight of a colume of air pushing down on an area. Density is the amount of mass in a given volume of air. Altitude is the height you are at in the atmosphere. The lower you go in altitude the bigger the pressure is on you.