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The Winter 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist includes a variety of educational resources, ranging from astronomy to glaciers. Check out the other publications and classroom materials in our online store.
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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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