The edge of space by G7TLu5x


									the edge of space

  An introduction to our active

        Layers of the Atmosphere
•   Troposphere            0 – 18 km     weather
•   Stratosphere           5 – 50 km     ozone layer
•   Mesosphere             50 – 90 km    shooting stars
•   Ionosphere             90 – 600 km   space shuttle, aurora
      (aka thermosphere)
•   Magnetosphere          60,000 km     edge of space
Temperature change
        The density of
        the atmosphere
        decreases with

        varies greatly
        throughout the
        atmosphere –
        defining its
Chemicals in the Atmosphere

             Nitrogen (N2) 78%
             Oxygen (O2) 21%
             Argon (Ar) 1%
             Water Vapor (H2O) 0-7%
             Ozone (O3) 0-0.01%
             Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
       What is the Ionosphere?
• It is a conducting layer in the atmosphere that can reflect
  radio signals (learn more).
• It protects us from dangerous radiation.
• It is the closest natural plasma (0.1% ionized plasma from
  70 – 1500 km)
    Why study the ionosphere?
• To increase the accuracy of the Global Positioning
  System (GPS) learn more
• To increase the reliability of worldwide radio
  communication with High Frequency radio waves. This
  was studied extensively during World War II
• To increase the effectiveness of satellite
• To determine the connection, if any, between the
  ionosphere and our weather.
• To understand better the interaction between the sun
  and the Earth.
                     Solar Storms

From time to time, the sun emits huge amounts of plasma into the solar
system. Although the magnetosphere shields the Earth from most of the
radiation, some penetrates through to the ionosphere. Once there, it can
cause all sorts of trouble. Scientists need good space weather forecasts
to prepare for these disturbances. (learn more)
Anatomy of the ionosphere
          • D layer (50 – 95 km)
            absorbs some radio
          • E layer (90 – 140 km) first
            part discovered
          • F layer (160 – 400 km)
            absorbs most of the
            harmful UV radiation from
            the sun. The ozone layer
            absorbs the rest of it.
          • Radio waves reflect off
            both the E & F layers
                  Day & Night
The ionosphere changes
dramatically every night.
Without the influx of
solar power, the matter
loses some of its
energy. This decreases
the plasma density,
especially at lower
altitudes. AM radio
waves take advantage
of this “higher”
ionosphere and reflect to
farther distances. (learn
              The Magnetosphere
    protects the ionosphere from the solar wind (the
    charged particles emitted by the sun). The sun
    sometimes emits very large amounts of matter all at
    once in a coronal mass ejection (CME). This can lead
    to solar storms which knock out communications
    worldwide. (learn more)

    Really cool movies!!!
•   Our active sun
•   CME
•   Magnetosphere animation
•   magnetosphere data

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