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What are some facts about the exosphere?

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As the highest layer of the atmosphere, the Earth's exosphere contains very thin air and features both lower and upper boundaries. The exosphere's boundaries vary by altitude depending on the level of the sun's activity and solar radiation emissions. There is some debate among scientists as to whether the exosphere should be considered a layer of the atmosphere or a part of space.

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The exosphere is also known for not having many molecular collisions and for having low molecular densities. The Earth's exosphere contains the following gases: carbon dioxide, hydrogen, oxygen and helium. Below the Earth's exosphere is the thermosphere, followed by the mesosphere, stratosphere and troposphere.

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    What is found in the mesosphere?

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    The mesosphere, which is the third innermost layer of the Earth's atmosphere, is comprised largely of nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide. Its chemical composition differs very little from that of the innermost layers of atmosphere, with the approximate composition being 79 percent nitrogen, 20 percent oxygen and 1 percent carbon dioxide and other trace gases. The density of these gases is lower in the mesosphere than in the lower atmosphere.

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  • Q:

    Where in the atmosphere does most weather occur?

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    Almost all weather experienced at the Earth's surface is the result of what is occurring in the troposphere, which is the lowest layer of the atmosphere. Rising to a level between 4 to 12 miles above the Earth's surface, the troposphere contains 75 to 80 percent of the entire mass of the atmosphere. Nearly all of the atmosphere's dust particles and water vapor are within the troposphere, which results in this layer also containing the greatest number of clouds.

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  • Q:

    What are characteristics of the troposphere?

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    The troposphere is the lowest layer of Earth's atmosphere, which contains almost all of the weather, 99 percent of the water vapor and as much as 80 percent of the atmosphere's mass. The troposphere is 12 miles thick at the equator and four miles thick at the poles. The temperature drops from roughly 62 F at the surface to minus 60 F at the upper boundary.

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  • Q:

    Where do the temperature inversions occur in the atmosphere?

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