Earth’s setting is for this reason much an ext than the air we breathe. A expedition from the surface of earth to outer space would an outcome in passing with five various layers, every with really different characteristics.

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Moon earth Troposhere

Silver-blue noctilucent clouds are displayed extending far above the orange-colored troposphere, the lowest and densest part of Earth\"s atmosphere.

Photograph through NASA taken by the expedition 28 crew board the International space Station


Look up. Way up. The clouds you check out in the sky, the wind the is relocating the tree or the flag in your college yard, even the sunshine you feeling on your face—these are all a result of Earth’s atmosphere.

Earth’s environment stretches native the surface of the earth up to as much as 10,000 kilometers (6,214 miles) above. ~ that, the setting blends into space. No all scientists agree wherein the actual upper boundary that the setting is, however they have the right to agree that the bulk of the atmosphere is situated close come Earth’s surface—up to a distance of roughly eight come 15 kilometers (five to nine miles).

While oxygen is vital for many life ~ above Earth, the majority of Earth’s atmosphere is not oxygen. Earth’s atmosphere is created of around 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen, 0.9 percent argon, and 0.1 percent other gases. Trace quantities of carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor, and also neon are some of the other gases that consist of the continuing to be 0.1 percent.

The setting is separated into five different layers, based upon temperature. The class closest come Earth’s surface ar is the troposphere, getting to from around seven and also 15 kilometers (five come 10 miles) native the surface. The troposphere is thickest at the equator, and also much thinner at the North and also South Poles. The bulk of the massive of the whole atmosphere is consisted of in the troposphere—between approximately 75 and also 80 percent. Many of the water vapor in the atmosphere, along with dust and ash particles, are discovered in the troposphere—explaining why many of Earth’s clouds are situated in this layer. Temperatures in the troposphere decrease through altitude.

The stratosphere is the following layer increase from Earth’s surface. It reaches from the optimal of the troposphere, which is called the tropopause, come an altitude of roughly 50 kilometers (30 miles). Temperature in the stratosphere boost with altitude. A high concentration that ozone, a molecule composed of three atoms that oxygen, renders up the ozone great of the stratosphere. This ozone absorbs few of the just arrived solar radiation, shielding life on planet from perhaps harmful ultraviolet (UV) light, and also is responsible because that the temperature increase in altitude.

The height of the stratosphere is called the stratopause. Over that is the mesosphere, i beg your pardon reaches as much as about 85 kilometers (53 miles) over Earth’s surface. Temperatures decrease in the mesosphere with altitude. In fact, the coldest temperature in the environment are near the height of the mesosphere—about -90°C (-130°F). The environment is slim here, yet still thick enough so the meteors will burn up as they pass with the mesosphere—creating what we see as “shooting stars.” The upper boundary of the mesosphere is called the mesopause.

The thermosphere is located over the mesopause and reaches the end to about 600 kilometers (372 miles). Not much is known around the thermosphere other than that temperatures boost with altitude. Solar radiation renders the upper regions of the thermosphere very hot, getting to temperatures together high as 2,000°C (3,600°F).

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The uppermost layer, that blends through what is taken into consideration to be external space, is the exosphere. The pull of Earth’s gravity is so little here the molecules that gas escape into outer space.