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.
The majority of the Earth's atmosphere consists of a high amount of nitrogen, along with smaller amounts of oxygen, argon and carbon dioxide. The troposphere contains most of Earth's air and is the primary catalyst of weather patterns. The stratosphere contains a layer of oxygen-based gas called ozone, which protects the planet from the sun's ultraviolet rays. One of the mesosphere's primary benefits to Earth is that it breaks down meteors. The ionosphere is a relatively thin electrical layer that is useful for bouncing radio waves to different parts of the world. The exosphere fades into outer space and changes as it interacts with solar winds.