What are the layers of the atmosphere?

Expert Answers
dano7744 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The layers of the atmosphere are: troposphere,stratosphere, mesosphere, and thermosphere.

The troposphere is the bottom layer closest to the earths surface and extends up about 10 km. The stratosphere extends from about 10-48 km., the mesosphere is next and runs from about 48-81 km., lastly the thermosphere starts at about 81 km. and has no well defined limit.

A point of reference is Mt. Everest which is about 8 km. in height. 1 mile equals 1.609 km. The higher you go in the atmosphere, the lower the temperature becomes. Also, increased heights have decreased levels of oxygen.

dastice eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The atmospheric layer closest to the earth's surface (extending out about 12 km) is the troposphere.  It is in this layer that life exists and weather appears.  From about 12-50 km is the stratosphere, where the ozone layer can be found.  The troposphere and stratosphere make up about 99% of the atmosphere.  Above the stratosphere is the mesosphere (50-85 km), where shooting stars burn.  Next comes the thermosphere (85-600 km), and finally the exosphere (600 km and beyond).

giorgiana1976 | Student

The atmosphere is composed of five layers of air:

1) troposphere (sphere of change) - lies, on average, up to 12 km altitude (above the poles it has 8 km thick and 18 km above the equator). It is the most important atmospheric layer. It is a part of geographical cover. Here is concentrated around 90% of the amount of air (due to Earth gravitation), there are formed clouds, precipitations, winds and it is carried out the human life and activities.

2) stratosphere - is containing the ozone blanket, which absorbs most UV radiation. If the radiations fully penetrate the earth's surface, they would destroy life on the planet.

3) mesosphere

4) ionosphere - reflects radio waves, making communications possible.

5) exosphere -contains only extremely rare hydrogen particles.

The atmosphere is colorless. However, the troposphere appears blue, and when it is loaded with various particles of dust or water vapors becomes red-violet or gray-white.In the high layers of atmosphere, everything is dark, black.

In the troposphere there are produced electrical and optical phenomena, such as lightning, thunder and rainbows. In the ionosphere of the polar regions, polar auroras occur. Also in the ionosphere, occurs ignition of the meteorites and meteors.