The Atmosphere

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					The Atmosphere
Definition of the Atmosphere
The layer of gases surrounding Earth;
composed mainly of 78% nitrogen and 21%
oxygen, and other gases (water vapor, dust,
pollutants, etc.)




                                     •Brainpop:
                                     •Earth’s
                                     atmosphere
   Layers of the Atmosphere
• There are different layers:
  –   Troposphere
  –   Stratosphere
  –   Mesosphere
  –   Thermosphere
      • Ionosphere
      • Exosphere
• Each layer has a different temperature
  range.
• Different things take place or are found in
  each layer.
Earth
                    Pauses
• Between each layer of the atmosphere is a
  boundary.
• These boundaries are called pauses:
• At these "pauses," maximum change
  between the "spheres" occur.
  –   Above the troposphere is the tropopause;
  –   above the stratosphere is the stratopause;
  –   above the mesosphere is the mesopause; and
  –   above the thermosphere is the thermopause.
             Troposphere
•   The layer of the atmosphere closest to the
    earth is the troposphere.
•   This layer is where weather occurs.
•   It begins at the surface of the earth and
    extends out to about 4-12 miles.
•   Contains 80% of all the mass of the
    atmosphere and almost all the water vapor.
    Temperature decreases as you rise.
•   The temperature of the troposphere
    decreases with height.
•   This layer is known as the lower
    atmosphere.
             Stratosphere
•   Stratosphere- Jet planes often fly in the
    lower levels of this layer because it is
    above the weather.
•   This layer contains most of the ozone
    layer.
•   People can not breathe in this layer.
•   Extends to about 30-35 miles above the
    earth's surface.
•   Temperature rises within the stratosphere
    because of the ozone layer but still
    remains well below freezing.
              Ozone Layer
• Pale, blue gas with a strong odor. O3
• Ozone is extremely important because it is
  the only gas that absorbs ultraviolet (UV)
  radiation from the Sun and protects the
  surface of the Earth and people from the
  damaging effects of UV rays.
• The ozone layer filters out ultra violet light.
  This protects us from severe burning from
  sunlight.
• Temperature increases as you rise.
• 90% of ozone layer in stratosphere; 10% in
  troposphere
             Mesosphere
•   Air is especially thin and molecules
    are great distances apart.
•   This is where we see "falling stars" –
    meteors burning up as they fall to
    Earth
•   Temperature decreases as your rise.
•   About 35 to 50 miles above the
    surface of the Earth
                    Thermosphere
•       Layer of the atmosphere which is first exposed to the Sun's
        radiation and so is first heated by the Sun.
•       Rises several hundred miles above the earth's surface, from
        50 miles up to about 400 miles.
•       Temperature increases with height and can rise to as high as
        3,600°F (2000°C) but the air would feel cold because the
        hot molecules are so far apart.
•       Contains a working station for astronauts. The space shuttle
        orbits in the thermosphere.
•       Made up of Ionosphere & exosphere
          Ionosphere- lower part of thermosphere; contains electrically
           charged particles known as ions & Inner Van Allen radiation
           belt; allows the reflection of radio waves for world wide radio
           communication.
          Exosphere- Highest layer of atmosphere; farthest layer from
           earth; limits of this layer are not exactly known. Atoms and
           molecules escape into space
     Aurora Borealis
a.k.a The Northern Lights
               Northern Lights
              or Aurora Borealis
• The beautiful blaze of the
  Northern Lights, or Aurora
  Borealis, is caused when
  material thrown off the
  surface of the sun collides
  with the atmosphere of the
  Earth
• When the particles collide
  with the gases in the
  ionosphere they start to
  glow, producing an array of
  colors consists of red,
  green, blue and violet.
• Can see them from the polar
  regions
• Observed in the ionosphere.
Click here for animation
• 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. Also, the ozone layer absorbs
  harmful rays from the Sun.
  3) Meteors or rock fragments 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.

				
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posted:9/13/2012
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