The Mesosphere

The mesosphere is the third layer in the atmosphere. The temperature drops when you go higher, like it does in the troposphere. It can get down to -90°C in the mesosphere. That's the coldest part of the atmosphere!

The mesosphere starts is on top of the stratosphere. Sometimes you can see the mesosphere by looking at the edge of a planet (like the picture to the left).
This is an image which shows the Earth and its atmosphere. The mesosphere would be the dark blue edge on the far right hand side of the image.
Click on image for full size (55K JPEG)
Image courtesy of NASA

The Mesosphere

In the Earth's mesosphere, the air is relatively mixed together and the temperature decreases with altitude. The atmosphere reaches its coldest temperature of around -90°C in the mesosphere. This is also the layer in which a lot of meteors burn up while entering the Earth's atmosphere.

The mesosphere is on top of the stratosphere

The upper parts of the atmosphere, such as the mesosphere, can sometimes be seen by looking at the very edge of a planet (see picture to the left).


This is an image which shows the Earth and its atmosphere. The mesosphere would be the dark blue edge on the far right hand side of the image.
Click on image for full size (55K JPEG)
Image courtesy of NASA

The Mesosphere

In the Earth's mesosphere, the air masses are relatively mixed together and the temperature decreases with altitude. Atmospheric temperatures reach the lowest average value of around -90°C in the mesosphere. This is also the layer in which a lot of meteors burn up while entering the Earth's atmosphere.

The mesosphere extends from the top of the stratosphere (the stratopause, located at about 50 kilometers) to an altitude of about 90 kilometers.

Upper reaches of the atmosphere, such as the mesosphere, can sometimes be detected by looking at the limb of a planet as shown in this image.


This is an image which shows the Earth and its atmosphere. The mesosphere is the dark blue edge towards the right side of the image.
Click on image for full size (55K JPEG)
Image courtesy of NASA


Last modified March 27, 1999 by the Windows Team

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