Science with Stevie: Layers of the Atmosphere

Science With Stevie

(WIVB)–In this week’s episode of Science with Stevie, we are going to talk about the five different layers of the atmosphere.

The Earth’s atmosphere has layers of gasses, known as air, that surrounds the planet due to gravity. It contains the air we breathe, protects life from the Sun’s harmful radiation, and plays a major element in the water cycle. The atmosphere consists of 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen, .9% Argon, along with Carbon Dioxide and other elements that make up the remaining 1%. 

The atmospheric gases become thinner the higher up you go, and will become less dense until it eventually “blends” into outer space. So let’s break down the 5 layers. First, you have the Troposphere. It is the lowest layer of the atmosphere, and closest to Earth’s surface. It extends up to 5-9 miles and this is the layer where most of our weather occurs.

 Next, is the Stratosphere which is located about 9-31 miles above Earth’s surface. The temperatures are slightly warmer in this layer and this contains a layer of Ozone, which protects life on Earth from the Sun’s ultraviolet rays. The Mesosphere is located about 31-53 miles above Earth’s surface. The air is very thin and temperatures are cold. Fun fact, this is the layer where meteorites burn up.

The Thermosphere is about 53-372 miles high. Space stations and satellites orbit in this layer and temperatures will actually increase. Finally, the Exosphere goes up to 6,200 miles above the Earth and is the outer most edge of our atmosphere. Auroras form in this layer and once you get out of the Exosphere, you’ve reached space. 

Have a weather question? Email them here, tweet at @StevieDanielsWX or follow on Facebook to ask.

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