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Photo courtesy of Jyrki Manninen

The Ionosphere

The ionosphere is a special part of the atmosphere. It is not a separate layer, but part of the thermosphere.

Different regions of the ionosphere make long distance radio communication possible by reflecting the radio waves back to Earth. It is also home to auroras.

Temperatures in the ionosphere just keep getting hotter as you go up!

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF