The thermosphere is so hot because it absorbs a large amount of the ultraviolet and x-ray radiation coming to Earth from the sun, converting it to heat. Its temperature is extremely variable, based on both the time of day and the sun's activity.
Temperatures within the thermosphere increase at higher levels until it becomes somewhat stable up to the thermopause, the end of the thermosphere and the beginning of the exosphere. In upper levels, the typical temperatures of the thermosphere are usually anywhere between 900 degrees and 3,600 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature often is about 400 degrees Fahrenheit hotter during the day than at night. It is around 900 degrees Fahrenheit hotter when the sun is very active than when it is inactive.
The thermosphere is considered part of the atmosphere, but it is extremely thin and has different components than the lower atmosphere. Rather than the mix of gases found in the lower atmosphere, different elements tend to be in different regions in the thermosphere. In addition, the gas molecules tend to dissociate into individual atoms, so that the gases in the thermosphere are largely atomic oxygen, atomic nitrogen and helium. These gases are frequently hit by ionizing radiation from the sun, stripping electrons from them.Learn More
According to Universe Today, the moon is visible in the daytime because of its reflectivity and because the moon's orbit does not always keep it on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun. When the moon and sun are in the sky together, the reflected light from the moon's surface is enough to make the satellite visible even during the day.Full Answer >
The sun is important to Earth because it helps regulate the climate, is the main source of energy for producers in the ecosystems and it keeps the oceans from freezing, along with providing light. If just one of these factors changed dramatically, it would impact all life on Earth. Without the sun, the planet's oceans would freeze, temperatures would drop and all life would die off without light or food.Full Answer >
According to astrobiologist Jack O'Malley-James of the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, the sun will grow large enough to extinguish all life on Earth in roughly 2.8 billion years. The planet's non-microbial life will become extinct in 800 million to 1.3 billion years.Full Answer >
Global winds refer to the pattern of air movement all around the globe, and they result from the fact that the Earth receives unequal heating from the sun. Not only does the tilt of the Earth's axis mean that different parts of the planet receive disparate amounts of sunlight, but the oceans and lands also heat at different rates. The imbalance in temperature makes heat move toward the poles, both in the wind and in ocean currents. When horizontal variances in air pressure take place as a result, wind occurs.Full Answer >