Most of the weather and clouds are found in the first layer. tiny, dry particles of material solid enough for wind to carry. The stratosphere extends to about 51 km. Use these resources to examine the properties and uses of elements and compounds. The atmosphere—air—is much thinner at high altitudes. layer in the atmosphere containing the gas ozone, which absorbs most of the sun's ultraviolet radiation. Life is not possible without a stable atmosphere containing the right chemical ingredients for living organisms: hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon. GPS satellites, for instance, are in orbit more than 20,000 kilometers (12,400 miles) above the Earth. We live at the bottom of an invisible ocean called the atmosphere, a layer of gases surrounding our planet. At the upper boundary of the exosphere, the ionosphere merges with interplanetary space, or the space between planets. natural object in space, such as a planet or star. radiation in the electromagnetic spectrum with a very short wavelength and very high energy. low-level cloud that produces rain, thunder, and lightning. type of rock that has crashed into Earth from outside the atmosphere. state of matter with no fixed shape that will fill any container uniformly. Sounding rockets have provided meteorologists and astronomers their only significant data on this important part of the atmosphere. one of the four planets closest to the sun: Mercury, Venus, Earth, or Mars. The solar system has two major types of planets: terrestrial planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars) and gas giants (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune). Oxygen showed major ups and downs until reaching a steady state of more than 15%. irregularly shaped planetary body, ranging from 6 meters (20 feet) to 933 kilometers (580 miles) in diameter, orbiting the sun between Mars and Jupiter. The atmosphere of Earth protects life on Earth by creating pressure allowing for liquid water to exist on the Earth's surface, absorbing ultraviolet solar radiation, warming the surface through heat retention (greenhouse effect), and reducing temperature extremes between day and night (the diurnal temperature variation). While the atmosphere becomes thinner the higher you go, there is no clear line demarcating the atmosphere from space; however, the Karman line , at 100 km, is often regarded as the boundary between atmosphere and outer space. An element is a substance that cannot be broken down into a simpler format. We depend on plants for oxygen production and food. The region within the stratosphere where this thin shell of ozone is found is called the ozone layer. Encyclopedic entry. Text on this page is printable and can be used according to our Terms of Service. Most meteors burn up in this zone of the atmosphere. As you know, the sky isn't always blue. The effects of reentry can be felt at 120 km. *Seasonal winds which blow alternately from the Asian mainland and from the Pacific Ocean, are accompanied by fierce storms. With no wind or water to erode them, many craters on the Moon have been there for hundreds and even thousands of years.The way a celestial body’s atmosphere is structured and what it’s made of allow astrobiologists to speculate what kind of life the planet or moon may be able to support. chemical that cannot be separated into simpler substances. Atmosphere, the gas and aerosol envelope that extends from the ocean, land, and ice-covered surface of a planet outward into space. A body is more likely to retain an atmosphere over time if gravity is high and the temperature of the atmosphere is low. organism that produces its own food through photosynthesis and whose cells have walls. Code of Ethics. At night it looks black. (1874-1937) Italian electrical engineer and inventor. chemical element with the symbol C, which forms the basis of all known life. our planet, the third from the Sun. We live at the bottom of an invisible ocean called the atmosphere, a layer of gases surrounding our planet. narrow strip of land that lies along a body of water. The presence oxygen began to appear apparently from being released by photosynthesizing algae. Life also depends on the presence of water.Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune all have atmospheres made mostly of hydrogen and helium. The best videos and questions to learn about The Atmosphere. Another layer, called the ionosphere, extends from the mesosphere to the exosphere. 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