ADVERTISEMENT

Earth’s atmosphere

Earth’s atmosphere
Highlights

A joint study by the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) of the US, which had commenced...

A joint study by the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) of the US, which had commenced after satellite images showed the presence of an aerosol layer over the Asia region, has confirmed the same and has also found the presence of nitrate, which is a new finding.

Aerosol, the sub-micron size particles suspended in air are produced from a variety of man-made and natural processes such as vehicle exhaust, waste-burning, wind blown dust, volcanic eruptions et al, are mostly restricted to the first few kilometers from the surface of Earth's atmosphere—Upper Troposphere and Lower Stratosphere (UTLS).

The Earth's atmosphere is a thin layer of gases that surrounds the Earth. It composed of 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 0.9% argon, 0.03% carbon dioxide, and trace amounts of other gases. This thin gaseous layer insulates the Earth from extreme temperatures; it keeps heat inside the atmosphere and it also blocks the Earth from much of the Sun's incoming ultraviolet radiation.

The Earth's atmosphere is about 300 miles (480 km) thick, but most of the atmosphere (about 80%) is within 10 miles (16 km) of the surface of the Earth. There is no exact place where the atmosphere ends; it just gets thinner and thinner, until it merges with outer space. At sea level, the air pressure is about 14.7 pounds per square inch. As your altitude increases (for example, if you climb a mountain), the air pressure decreases.

At an altitude of 10,000 feet, the air pressure is 10 pound per square inch (and there is less oxygen to breathe), explains enchantedlearning.com. The atmosphere is divided into five layers. It is thickest near the surface and thins out with height until it eventually merges with space. From highest to lowest, the five main layers are: Exosphere (700-10,000 km); Thermosphere (80-700 km); Mesosphere (50-80 km); Stratosphere (12-50 km); and Troposphere (0-12 km).

The troposphere contains half of the Earth's atmosphere. Weather occurs in this layer. Many jet aircrafts fly in the stratosphere because it is very stable. Also, the ozone layer absorbs harmful rays from the Sun. Meteors or rock fragments burn up in the mesosphere; Thermosphere is a layer with auroras. It is also where the space shuttle orbits. The atmosphere merges into space in the extremely thin exosphere. This is the upper limit of our atmosphere, according to www.windows2universe.org.

Show Full Article
Download The Hans India Android App or iOS App for the Latest update on your phone.
Subscribed Failed...
Subscribed Successfully...
More Stories


Top