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Dig into Montana Before History: 11K Years of Hunter-Gatherers in the Rockies and Plains by D. H. MacDonald, Ph.D. See our online store book collection.

Layers of the Earth's Atmosphere

There are five layers in the atmosphere. The atmosphere thins out until it reaches space.

1) The troposphere is where weather occurs. You breathe the air in the troposphere.
2) Many airplanes fly in the stratosphere because it is very stable. Also, the ozone layer is there.
3) Many rock fragments from space burn up in the mesosphere.
4) The thermosphere is very thin. It's where the space shuttle orbits.
5) The upper limit of our atmosphere is the exosphere.

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Last modified November 7, 2010 by Roberta Johnson.

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The Fall 2009 issue of The Earth Scientist, which includes articles on student research into building design for earthquakes and a classroom lab on the composition of the Earth’s ancient atmosphere, is available in our online store.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA