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This is a picture which shows the Earth, its atmosphere (the clouds are likely in the troposphere and stratosphere), the limb of the Earth (the dark blue curve/edge which is the mesosphere and thermosphere), and the dark blue to black region of space (where our exosphere extends out to...).
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Image courtesy of NASA

The Exosphere

The last layer of the Earth's atmosphere is the exosphere. This is the area where atoms escape into space.

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Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

Temperature in the Exosphere

The exosphere is almost a vacuum. The "air" is very, very thin there. When air is thin, it doesn't transfer much heat to objects in the air, even if the air is very, very hot. One definition...more

The Atmosphere of Triton

Triton is the largest moon of Neptune. It isn't quite as big as Earth's Moon. The surface of Triton is very, very cold. It is colder than the surface of any other planet or moon in our Solar System. It...more

Charged Particle Motion in Earth's Magnetosphere

Motions within Earth's metallic core generate the planet's global magnetic field. This magnetic field extends beyond Earth's surface and atmosphere into the space surrounding our home planet. The interaction...more

Rainbows

Rainbows appear in the sky when there is bright sunlight and rain. Sunlight is known as visible or white light and is actually a mixture of colors. The sun's rays pass through millions of raindrops. A...more

The Four Seasons

It takes the Earth one year to travel around the sun one time. During this year, there are four seasons: summer, autumn, winter, and spring. Each season depends on the amount of sunlight reaching the...more

Research Aircraft

Scientists sometimes travel in airplanes that carry weather instruments in order to gather data about the atmosphere. These research aircraft bring air from the outside into the plane so scientists can...more

Anemometer

An anemometer is a weather instrument used to measure the wind (it can also be called a wind gauge). These instruments can be used in a backyard weather station or on a well-equipped scientific research...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF