This image shows the average temperature profile through the Earth's
Click on image for full size
Layers of the Earth's Atmosphere
The atmosphere is divided into five layers. It is thickest near the surface and thins out with height until it eventually merges with space.
1) The troposphere is the first layer above the surface and contains half of the Earth's atmosphere. Weather occurs in this layer.
2) Many jet aircrafts fly in the stratosphere because it is very stable. And the ozone layer absorbs harmful rays from the Sun here.
3) Meteors burn up in the mesosphere .
4) The thermosphere is a layer with auroras. It is also where the space shuttle orbits.
5) The atmosphere merges into space in the extremely thin exosphere. This is the upper limit of our atmosphere.
Related items in our online store:
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
The Fall 2009 issue of The Earth Scientist
, which includes articles on student research into building design for earthquakes and a classroom lab on the composition of the Earth’s ancient atmosphere, is available in our online store
You might also be interested in:
The thermosphere is a layer of Earth's atmosphere. The thermosphere is directly above the mesosphere and below the exosphere. It extends from about 90 km (56 miles) to between 500 and 1,000 km (311 to...more
At very high altitudes, the atmosphere becomes very thin. The region where atoms and molecules escape into space is referred to as the exosphere. This is the true upper limit of the Earth's atmosphere....more
The exosphere is very nearly a vacuum. The technical definition of the temperature of a gas (even a very thin one) is related to the average speed of particles (atoms and molecules). Since most of the...more
Cirrus (weather symbol - Ci) clouds are the most common of the High Cloud (5000-13000m) group. They are composed entirely of ice and consist of long, thin, wispy streamers. They are commonly known as...more
Cumulonimbus (weather symbol - Cb) clouds belong to the Clouds with Vertical Growth group. They are generally known as thunderstorm clouds. A cumulonimbus cloud can grow to such heights that it actually...more
The high cloud group consists of Cirrus, Cirrostratus, and Cirrocumulus clouds. The prefix cirro- means 'high.' High clouds consist of primarily ice crystals due to the cold air in the upper troposphere....more
The belts of trapped radiation above the Earth's atmosphere, but within the magnetosphere, were first detected by James Van Allen in 1958. Therefore these belts are also known as Van Allen Belts. When...more