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At first, the temperature gets warmer very quickly as you go upward in the thermosphere. After that, the temperature doesn't change much as you go higher. However, the hottest temperature changes between day and night. It also depends on whether the Sun is active (solar max) or not (solar min).
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Images courtesy of The COMET Program and HAO at NCAR (modified by Windows to the Universe staff).

Temperature in the Thermosphere

At first, the temperature gets warmer very quickly as you go upward in the thermosphere. After that, the temperature doesn't change much as you go higher. However, the hottest temperature changes between day and night. It also depends on how active the Sun is during its 11-year sunspot cycle. The thermosphere is hottest when the Sun is very active during "solar max". It isn't quite so hot when the Sun is less active during "solar min".

Last modified April 2, 2009 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