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This is an image of the space shuttle as it is orbiting around the Earth. The space shuttle orbits in the thermosphere of the Earth.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of NASA

The Thermosphere

The thermosphere is the fourth layer of the Earth's atmosphere. It is found above the mesosphere. The air is really thin that high up. The temperature changes with the solar activity. If the sun is active, temperatures in the thermosphere can get up to 1,500°C or higher!

The Earth's thermosphere also includes the region called the ionosphere.
Last modified July 28, 2008 by Randy Russell.

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