Layers of the Atmosphere

This next topic may seem fundamental to high school science, however, reeducation of these things seem appropriate from time to time.

Earth’s atmosphere is divided into five main layers: the exosphere, the thermosphere, the mesosphere, the stratosphere and the troposphere. The atmosphere thins out in each higher layer until the gases dissipate in space. There is no distinct boundary between the atmosphere and space, but an imaginary line about 62 miles (100 kilometers) from the surface, called the Karman line, is usually where scientists say atmosphere meets outer space.

Further division of the atmosphere includes the boundary layers between the five main layers shown below.

Our atmosphere is held in place by gravity…

The troposphere is the layer closest to Earth’s surface. It is 4 to 12 miles (7 to 20 km) thick and contains half of Earth’s atmosphere. Air is warmer near the ground and gets colder higher up. Nearly all of the water vapor and dust in the atmosphere are in this layer and that is why clouds are found here.

The stratosphere is the second layer. It starts above the troposphere and ends about 31 miles (50 km) above ground. Ozone is abundant here and it heats the atmosphere while also absorbing harmful radiation from the sun. The air here is very dry, and it is about a thousand times thinner here than it is at sea level. Because of that, this is where jet aircraft and weather balloons fly.

The mesosphere starts at 31 miles (50 km) and extends to 53 miles (85 km) high. The top of the mesosphere, called the mesopause, is the coldest part of Earth’s atmosphere, with temperatures averaging about minus 130 degrees F (minus 90 C). This layer is hard to study. Jets and balloons don’t go high enough, and satellites and space shuttles orbit too high. Scientists do know that meteors burn up in this layer.

The thermosphere extends from about 56 miles (90 km) to between 310 and 620 miles (500 and 1,000 km). Temperatures can get up to 2,700 degrees F (1,500 C) at this altitude. The thermosphere is considered part of Earth’s atmosphere, but air density is so low that most of this layer is what is normally thought of as outer space. In fact, this is where the space shuttles flew and where the International Space Station orbits Earth. This is also the layer where the auroras occur. Charged particles from space collide with atoms and molecules in the thermosphere, exciting them into higher states of energy. The atoms shed this excess energy by emitting photons of light, which we see as the colorful Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis.

The exosphere, the highest layer, is extremely thin and is where the atmosphere merges into outer space. It is composed of very widely dispersed particles of hydrogen and helium.


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Mookie
Mookie

GR is up to 69 degrees!

Mookie
Mookie

Bingo! Another 70 degree day

Mr. Negative
Mr. Negative

April is a “winter” month, regardless of our sad need to call it “spring”. Maybe as our 2019 ends up a cold, well below average year, we will slowly embrace our true condition.

INDY
INDY

Mid 60’s today and 3-5 inches of snow Saturday Winter weather advisory not out of the question I wanted to be done blogging about snow like Matt Kirkwood wood tv 8 says hard to forcast snow this time of year but not on common as cool as this spring has been doesn’t surprise INDY!! Have a good Thursday . .INDY!

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

Here is the latest and it is absolutely incredible!!!

http://wxcaster.com/gis-snow-overlays.php?STATIONID=GRR

Mark (East Lansing)
Mark (East Lansing)

6-8″? No way.

Slim

I came upon this by Steve Dimartino who is a met for the east coast area APRIL 25, 2019 BY STEVEN DIMARTINO Entire Stratosphere Warming To Above Normal Levels Typically, this time of year we see the stratosphere minor out to slightly below normal anomalies around 0°C to -4°C with a strong Polar Vortex locking in for the troposphere and the Polar Vortex in the stratosphere going on vacation until late July. This year is not a normal year though. The stratosphere now has warmed between 0°C to +6°C in terms of anomalies from the top to the bottom of… Read more »

Slim

With just 6 days to go it is time to look and see how April 2019 is playing out so far. At Grand Rapids the mean is now at 47.8° that is +1.0° above average. The warmest/coldest is at 77/19 and so far there has been 4.9” of snow fall. At Muskegon the mean is 47.5 the H/L is 80/26 and there has been 7.8” of snow fall. Elsewhere around Michigan Lansing the mean is at 47.2° that is a departure of +0.9 the warmest is at 76 and the coldest is at 20 and their snow fall is at… Read more »

Slim

Yesterday was a great spring day. And today looks to be a repeat with slightly warmer temperatures. Here in my neck of the woods the grass is green, dandelions are showing their yellow flowers LOL spring flowers are in bloom, and the trees are starting to leaf out.
Slim

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

How great is this? Accumulating snow is in the forecast for late April! Absolutely incredible!

Mookie
Mookie

Might hit 70 degrees again today! I love it!

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

Yes golf today and accumulating snow on Saturday night!

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

Check out the latest NAM! I say bring it!!

http://wxcaster.com/gis-snow-overlays2.php?STATIONID=GRR

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

Golf today and snowshoeing by Sunday morning! How great is that? Incredible!

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

Breaking news>>>>>>>accumulating snow and freezing temps coming this Saturday night! Get prepared now! Snowshoeing here I come! What a winter!!!