Q:

What are the layer of gases that surround the Earth?

A:

Quick Answer

The layers of gas that surround the Earth are collectively referred to as the atmosphere. The atmosphere is subdivided into five layers: the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere and exosphere. The outermost layer is the exosphere, and the innermost layer is the troposphere.

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Full Answer

The atmosphere is composed of approximately 79 percent oxygen and 21 percent oxygen, with small amounts of carbon dioxide and other trace gases present. The innermost layer, known as the troposphere, is where the atmosphere is the densest. This layer extends between four and 12 miles outward from the surface of the Earth, and it is where weather occurs.

Outside the troposphere is the stratosphere, which extends out to about 35 miles above the Earth's surface. The air is much lighter, and the temperature is below freezing. Because there is little turbulence in the stratosphere, planes often fly in this layer.

The mesosphere is less dense, extends 50 miles above the Earth's surface and reaches temperatures as low as -184 degrees Fahrenheit. Meteors often burn up in this layer. In the thermosphere, which extends to 400 miles above the Earth's surface, molecules are spread out and temperatures reach 3,600 degrees Fahrenheit. The outermost layer, the exosphere, extends to 6,200 miles above the Earth's surface. Gas molecules are few and far between there, and they easily escape into space.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the thin layer of gases surrounding the Earth called?

    A:

    The thin layer of gases surrounding the earth is called the atmosphere. Earth's atmosphere is separated into five layers known as the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, ionosphere and exosphere.

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  • Q:

    What gases are in the air we breathe?

    A:

    In dry air that does not contain pollution, the predominant gas is nitrogen, which makes up 78 percent of the atmosphere. The next two most voluminous gases are oxygen (21 percent) and argon (1 percent). Other gases appearing in trace amounts include carbon dioxide.

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  • Q:

    What are the two main gases found in Earth's atmosphere?

    A:

    The two main gases found in Earth's atmosphere are nitrogen and oxygen. Nitrogen makes up 78 percent of the atmosphere, and oxygen makes up 21 percent. The remaining 1 percent consists of other gases, such as argon and water vapor.

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  • Q:

    Why is the ozone layer important?

    A:

    The ozone layer is important because it filters harmful ultraviolet radiation as it travels from the sun to the surface of the Earth. These ultraviolet rays can harm both plant and animal life. After observation of a depletion of the ozone layer from the addition of chlorofluorocarbons and other man-made chemicals, the Montreal Protocol was enacted on Jan. 1, 1989 as an attempt to eradicate these chemicals from the atmosphere.

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