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Graphs and the Composition of Earth's Thermosphere

Summary:
Students will be able to interpret and analyze various graphs concerning the composition of the Earth's thermosphere. Materials:

Students will need:

Worksheets:

Source:
Developed by Gayl Bintner with support from NCAR's High Altitude Observatory and the staff of UCAR's Education & Outreach Program.
Grade level:
7-12
Time:
90 minutes
Student Learning Outcomes:
  • Students will be able to interpret various individual graphs concerning the composition of the Earth's thermosphere.
  • Students will be able to analyze how atmospheric composition changes with altitude.
  • Students will be able to compare and contrast the various components of the Earth's thermosphere.
  • Students will be able to compare and contrast the components of the Earth's thermosphere to the Earth's ionosphere.
Lesson format:
Graph Interpretation, Reading and Writing

National Standards Addressed:

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Directions for hard copy and internet use.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

There are two different sets of background information. The first set is from Windows to the Universe website at www.windows2universe.org. This background is more general and deals with all layers of the atmosphere. A hard copy of this general background without visuals can be printed and used with students.

A more detailed set of background information concerning the upper atmosphere is available from the COMET/HAO/UCAR website at meted.comet.ucar.edu/hao/aurora. The background information provided at this site is at a post high school reading level and assumes that students have a working knowledge of meteorology.

A version that has been adapted to a high school reading level can be printed and used with students. This site has many interactive graphs that should be visited by students when using the adapted background information. Web addresses are supplied within the background information.

RELATED SECTIONS OF THE WINDOWS TO THE UNIVERSE WEBSITE:

Other activities related to graphing and Earth's atmosphere:

Last modified May 27, 2005 by Randy Russell.

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