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.
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.Learn More
The ozone layer, which is part of the stratosphere, is comprised of the major atmospheric gases nitrogen, oxygen and argon, but also contains a significantly higher concentration of the trace gas ozone than the other layers of the atmosphere. The other trace gases include carbon dioxide, neon, helium, methane and the manmade chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs. The CFCs reaching the stratosphere from the Earth's surface have become a cause for global concern because of the role they play in the chemical reaction that removes ozone from the atmosphere.Full Answer >
The four main gases in the atmosphere are nitrogen, oxygen, argon and carbon dioxide. However, two of these gases make up most of the atmosphere. They are nitrogen and oxygen, which between them account for over 99 percent of the atmosphere.Full Answer >
The stratosphere is a layer of the atmosphere that consists of nearly 19 percent of the atmosphere's gases, which are nitrogen, oxygen, argon and trace elements like neon and helium. The atmosphere consists of five layers, and its gas composition is 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen and 0.9 percent argon.Full Answer >
The Earth's atmosphere is primarily made up of nitrogen, oxygen and argon, but it includes trace gases in smaller amounts such as neon, helium, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone. The most abundant gases in the atmosphere are nitrogen at 78 percent and oxygen at 21 percent, while the trace gases methane, neon and helium make up around one-tenth of 1 percent of the atmosphere.Full Answer >