What is the atmosphere?

Looking to the stars

The atmosphere has been a curiosity since the beginning of time.  Looking at the clouds and seeing them form to all sorts of shapes and sizes, is a relaxing pass time.  As children and at times as adults, looking at the different shapes as they lay on the grass.  Looking beyond the clouds and wondering, what is beyond the clouds is a constant curiosity.

What is the atmosphere?  It is a layer of gases surrounding a planet or other type of body, that is held in place by the gravity of that body. Moons also may have an atmosphere, but not all of them.  Our moon has an atmosphere according to recent studies.

The type of gases that are in the Earth’s atmosphere is 80% Nitrogen and 20% Oxygen.  On Uranus, the atmosphere is made up of 83% Hydrogen, 15% Helium, 2% Methane and some Acetylene.  So, not every planet will have the same gases in the atmosphere.

Layers in the Atmosphere

There are different parts of the atmosphere.  They are the Troposphere, Stratosphere, Mesosphere, Thermosphere, and Exosphere.  In the Troposphere weather occurs. In this layer, the wind occurs. The Stratosphere jet aircraft fly because the air is more stable and the ozone helps keep out harmful rays.  Meteors or rock fragments burn up in the Mesosphere.  The space shuttle orbits and the layer are with auroras in the Thermosphere.  In the Exosphere, it is the thinnest air.  This layer merges with outer space.

Changes we make

A forest in a mist

Source: Jay Mantri via Unsplash

So, what can we do to keep our atmosphere healthy?  First, trees and plants help keep the air healthy.  The more we cut down forests and not replant, the more it hurts our atmosphere.  Second, cutting down on harmful stuff we put in the air.  Whether it is cutting down on exhaust fumes or chemicals in the air.  Third, recycling and reusing.  Our Earth is a living thing.  Let’s help it be healthy.

Resource: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LADEE/news/lunar-atmosphere.html

Image Resource: Featured Image Source https://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/k-12/airplane/atmosphere.htmlhttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Layers_of_the_atmosphere.PNGhttps://unsplash.com/photos/TFyi0QOx08c

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