Thermosphere Facts for Kids

This layer is characterized by temperatures that are several hundred degrees Celsius above the surface of the planet.  It is composed of a mixture of nitrogen, oxygen, and argon gases.  The temperature of the atmosphere increases with altitude until it reaches the exosphere.  The exosphere is the top boundary of the Earth’s atmosphere.

It’s very rare to find anything at this altitude that has a breathable atmosphere.

Many satellites orbit the earth, and some of them are in this layer. The International Space Station is in this layer.

The name ‘thermosphere’ is taken from the Greek word ‘thermos’ which means ‘heat’. This layer blocks out most of the heat and radiation from the Sun and protects the underlying layers that absorb other forms of radiation. Even though the temperature reaches 2,000 °C (3,360 °F) in the thermosphere, it’s such a thin layer that it doesn’t feel hot. When the electrons are removed from the atoms of the air they become ions. These free-floating ions then attract each other and form a shield or “bubble” around the earth called the ionosphere. Radio waves can’t go through solid objects like mountains or concrete buildings, so they have to “bounce off” the surface of the Earth and travel through the atmosphere to get to your radio. This layer is very helpful in radio communication.


Interesting Facts for Kids about the Thermosphere

#1 – The thermosphere is in the stratosphere above Earth’s atmosphere and is heated by the Sun. It extends from about 62 miles (100 km) to approximately 213 miles (342 km) above the surface of the planet. The thermosphere is the fourth layer of the Earth’s atmosphere. This means it’s the second farthest atmospheric layer from the earth’s surface and the only layer that’s farther away than it is the exosphere.

#2 – The thermosphere is the region of space where the Earth’s atmosphere almost completely ends. It starts just above the exosphere, which is the first million feet or so of the air around the planet. The thermosphere extends from there, up to between 53 and 56 miles above the surface of the planet. There are five main layers that make up the atmosphere. The lowest layer is the surface which is only about 10 to 40 miles above sea level. The second layer is called the troposphere which extends from the surface of the earth to approximately 50 miles above sea level.

#3 – The thermosphere lies above the mesosphere and beneath the exosphere. These are the layers of the atmosphere where weather occurs. The mesosphere and the thermosphere are two distinct layers of the upper atmosphere. The mesopause is the point of minimum temperature at the boundary between the mesosphere and the thermosphere atmospheric regions. The mesopause separates the thermosphere from the mesosphere while the thermopause separates it from the exosphere.

#4 – The thermosphere is the second-largest layer of the Earth’s atmosphere. Only the ozone layer is larger. This layer of the atmosphere contains gases so hot that no spacecraft or satellite can make it there except in the case of a space shuttle. It’s called the mesosphere and it is the location of the Van Allen Radiation Belts which are two long, doughnut-shaped layers of high-energy charged particles that surround Earth. These particles affect all electronic devices operating in space.

#5 – At the bottom of the thermosphere, the temperature is around 5° F. As you go up in altitude, the temperature increases very quickly. By the time you are at 10 miles above sea level (the top of the troposphere), the temperature is 40° F. A man is stable when he reaches the point of being able to look back at the person in front of him without feeling any shame. The upper atmosphere is the region of the Earth’s atmosphere closest to space and the highest point of the atmosphere. Temperatures in the upper atmosphere range from 932 to 3,632 degrees Fahrenheit. In an average year, the temperature here at the Grand Canyon rises more than 15 degrees during the hottest months from May through September. But when solar activity is high, the temperature soars to nearly unbearable levels. In fact, it reaches as high as 3,630 degrees Fahrenheit or higher during some times of the year.

#6 – The thermosphere, or “outer atmosphere,” is where the air is so thin that a small difference in energy can have a large effect on the temperature. No matter how hot it is outside, a normal thermometer will read approximately 70°F lower in the atmosphere. The reason for this is the same as why we wear jackets in cold weather; it is not because we are cold but rather, it is because, without the extra insulation, our bodies give off far more heat than is coming in.

#7 – Cold air at the stratosphere makes it difficult for scientists to measure the temperature of this layer. In order to get accurate measurements, the scientists first have to calculate the density of the air by measuring the drag on the satellites. The same is then used to determine the temperature. Scientists may also use direct satellite measurements to determine the temperature of the topmost layer of the atmosphere. However, they don’t measure the temperature of the second (clouds) or third (liquid water) layers because those layers are very much in the way. Scientists measure the temperature of the lower, fourth layer of the atmosphere (called the “troposphere”).

#8 – One of the most fascinating things about the thermosphere is that it is the location of the auroras, the spectacular natural light shows in the sky. Scientists believe that auroras are caused by collisions of charged particles, called “ionization”, with gas molecules in the upper atmosphere. When charged particles from space hit this layer of the atmosphere, they cause it to fluoresce. This is why you sometimes see the stars glow when you are looking up at the sky at night. It is also why sunsets and other forms of atmospheric lightning are often seen in the daytime. Nature at its most dramatic is the stuff of which legends are made. It’s no wonder that people in higher elevations experience less pain than those at lower elevations.

The ionosphere facilitates long-distance communications. It extends from 53 to 370 miles above the earth’s surface. It has charged particles, which means it allows us to send and receive radio signals with very little interference. 

Mesosphere Facts for Kids

You may never have heard of the mesosphere before, but it’s one of the highest regions of the atmosphere and above the stratosphere. This layer in the Earth’s atmosphere is the highest layer in which the gases are still mixed up rather than layered (not to be confused with the exosphere which is the highest layer in Earth’s atmosphere).

The mesosphere is the layer where meteors enter the Earth’s atmosphere and break up.

The mesosphere is a layer of Earth’s atmosphere that is just above the stratosphere. It contains more than enough gases to cause friction to slow down the meteors. We can see those during the day as shooting stars.


Mesosphere Facts for Kids

Source: UCAR Center for Science

#1 – There are seven layers in the protective blanket that surrounds the Earth. They are called the Atmosphere, Mantle, Crust, Outer Core, Inner Core, Nuclear Shell, and Quantum Shell. 

#2 – The mesosphere is one of the five layers of the atmosphere which surrounds the Earth. The layers of an atom are the nucleus (the central dense core), the electrons orbiting the nucleus, the next-closest outermost electrons, the next-closest outermost electrons, and finally, the extremely farthest electrons.

#3 – The mesosphere is the second layer above the Earth. It’s only a few miles thick, just above the stratosphere and the troposphere.

#4 – It is approximately from here that the bulk of the weather is generated. It is the location where high-speed winds come from and the source of most of the turbulence that affects air travel.

#5 – The mesosphere is approximately 23 miles thick. It starts at the top of the Earth’s atmosphere and extends all the way to the surface of the Earth. It lies at an altitude of about 1,948 to 3,054 meters above sea level, and extends for distances as much as 6,000 to 9,500 kilometers (3,860 to 5,800 miles) from the surface of the Earth.

#6 – The mesosphere is not a sphere, it is a flattened spheroid (a “donut”) with the lowest point located directly above the Earth’s equator. Its exact dimensions depend on the latitude of the observation location.

#7 – The highest point on Earth varies according to the seasons. In the winter it is higher than the highest point on the other planets in our solar system. It is also the lowest point in the summer.

#8 – Near Space is the lowest layer of the Earth’s atmosphere. It begins at about 62 miles above sea level, where the air is so thin, the temperature is nearly constant (around -60°F or -51°C), and there is very little air pressure.

The mesosphere is the part of the atmosphere nearest to the surface of the Earth. It’s the least dense portion of the atmosphere and is where most of the weather occurs. No one knows exactly why, but it appears that the further you travel from the Earth, the colder it gets: the temperature in the upper mesosphere can reach -150 degrees Fahrenheit.

The mesosphere is a cold enough place for vapour to condense into liquid or solid clouds that fall as ice particles, called noctilucent clouds or polar mesospheric clouds. Noctilucent clouds are visible from the Earth’s poles. These bright lights in the night sky are called noctilucent because they are caused by ice particles that reflect the sunlight to form this strange sight.


Things Found In The Mesosphere

There are plenty of interesting things happening in the mesosphere. Scientists have studied this area of space for a long time, and although it’s very difficult to study, they know what causes auroras and what kinds of atmospheric events are likely to cause them.

The mesosphere is the second-highest layer of our atmosphere. It’s called the “atmosphere of the mesosphere” because it’s the most commonly present gases are oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen.

Metero Protection by Mesosphere

Earth is protected from meteors by a very complicated system. It’s estimated that about forty tons of meteors fall to Earth every day, and a lot of those are tiny ones. They don’t have a chance against the gravity of our planet.

Sometimes when meteors burn up in the mesosphere they appear in the night sky as balls of fire. These fiery streaks are called “shooting stars”.

Troposphere Facts for Kids

The bottom layer is the layer closest to the earth. It’s also the densest of the five layers. This layer of the atmosphere is known as the troposphere. Humans live in the troposphere. It’s a layer of the Earth’s atmosphere where humans live and breathe.

The troposphere starts at the Earth’s surface and extends to a height of about ten kilometres.

In the troposphere, the air is about 12,500 feet above sea level and has a temperature of about 75 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the layer of air where clouds form because almost all the water in the atmosphere is found there.

Layer number 1 is a mixture of mostly nitrogen (78%), oxygen (21%), and argon (0.9%). Trace gases (carbon dioxide, nitrous oxides, methane, and ozone) account for another tenth of a per cent.

Img source: NASA

What Influences the Temperature of Troposphere

The temperature of the troposphere varies because it is heated primarily by outgoing longwave radiation. This means that the temperature for this layer of the atmosphere, which is closest to Earth’s surface, is primarily determined by what happens on Earth’s surface and in the lower atmosphere. The troposphere is also important because it encompasses all weather phenomena and makes up 70% of Earth’s atmosphere.


Composition of Troposphere

Dry air is made of 2.08% nitrogen, 3.95% oxygen, and 4.93% argon. Nitrogen makes up the bulk of dry air, while oxygen and argon are light gases. Dry air is a non-reactive gas that consists of approximately 5.95% oxygen and 6.05% nitrogen.

Pressure

When you go up in altitude, the atmospheric pressure decreases, which means the air pressure is no longer equal to the weight of the air above a certain point on the planetary surface. In this case, the “certain point” is the top of the mountain where you are. Therefore, the air pressure at the top of the mountain is less than the air pressure at the bottom of the mountain. This decrease in air pressure at high altitudes is known as the “barometric pressure gradient.


The layer we call home

Earth’s closest to the surface is called the troposphere. It’s where most of the air is in our atmosphere. “Tropos” means change. This layer is called the “Molecular Layer” and gets its name from the fact that it is the least dense of the three atmospheric layers and it is constantly changing and evolving as the result of interaction with the gases above it.

The troposphere is the lowest layer of the atmosphere, which is 5-9 miles (8-14 kilometres) thick. Yes. It’s true. All other things being equal, the distance between two points on a Mercator projection is thinnest at the North and South Poles.

This layer covers the surface of Earth and contains all of the clouds that we see in the sky. The air is the heaviest in this lowest layer of the atmosphere. In fact, the troposphere is where three-quarters of the mass of the entire atmosphere is located. The air in the room is 78 per cent nitrogen and 21 per cent oxygen. The last 1% of the atmosphere is made of argon, water vapour, and carbon dioxide.

When you feel the breeze on your face, see the clouds in the sky, and see a bird flap its wings in flight, you’re experiencing the stratosphere.

Biosphere Facts for Kids

Earth is the only planet in our solar system that supports life and that is because of Earth’s biosphere. The biosphere is a thin layer of gases, water, and soil that surrounds the planet. Plants, animals, and microbes form the majority of the biomass on Earth and they all contribute to maintaining a stable environment. In order for humanity to survive on Earth for another 1 million years, we will need to protect this thin film that keeps us alive.

The biosphere of the Earth: The biosphere is an ecosystem that consists of the non-living components of the Earth. The plant and animal species in the biosphere are the only contributors to the total amount of biomass on Earth.


What is the Importance of Biosphere?

The biosphere is the living organisms in the crust of the Earth. The organisms found in the biosphere are responsible for maintaining life on this planet. The biosphere’s importance is universal in its significance. The biosphere is crucial to the survival of Earth because it provides the resources and energy for life on Earth. The biosphere largely determines the climate of the Earth and there are many factors that make it a vital part of Earth’s life.


Origin of the term Biosphere

The biosphere is a term that defines the zone of life on earth and includes all living organisms and their interactions with the Earth’s surface, atmosphere, and geosphere. The term biosphere was first introduced by geologist Eduard Suess as an idea for a “world ocean” in 1875.


Geosphere Facts for Kids

There are several conflicting definitions of “geosphere.” However, one generally accepted usage is The physical environment within which human beings exist. Geology is the collective name for the lithosphere, the hydrosphere, the cryosphere, and the atmosphere. Different collectives of the geosphere can exchange different mass and energy fluxes (the measurable amount of change). When these changes occur in the earth’s different layers or spheres, it affects the balance of that sphere and the resulting effect is felt throughout the geosphere. If you are looking for a good example, then the Earth’s soil can be used to explain the concept of a biosphere.

Modern texts and Earth system science sometimes list geosphere along with the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere to describe Earth’s systems. Geosphere means the solid parts of the Earth. Instead of saying the lithosphere is the strongest part of the Earth’s structure, we can say it’s the part that contains most of the planet’s mass. The lithosphere, however, refers only to the uppermost layers of the solid Earth. These are the oceanic and continental crustal rocks and the uppermost mantle.


Types of Geosphere

The Earth has a geosphere that is made up of three layers: The lithosphere, the hydrosphere, and the atmosphere. Together, these layers form a system that regulates the conditions on our planet and provides a livable environment for us to inhabit. However, human activity is re-shaping this system and it’s reshaping our climate as well.

  • The lithosphere (rock layer) is the “outer shell” of Earth. It is made up of the crust, the upper mantle, and the lower mantle (these areas have the highest temperature, pressure, and resilience).
  • The Hydrosphere – The hydrosphere is the water that surrounds our planet. It mostly consists of oceans with smaller amounts in the atmosphere, ice caps, and groundwater. The most significant change in this sphere is the rapid melting of ice caps and glaciers due to global warming.
  • The Atmosphere – The earth’s atmosphere is made up of layers. The lower levels are the troposphere, stratosphere, mesophere, and thermosphere. They are all very close to the Earth’s surface. The hydrosphere is anything that has water in it, including oceans, rivers, lakes, glaciers, ice caps and even clouds. There are many ways in which the hydrosphere is changing on Earth.

Geosphere Changes Due to Global Warming

A warming planet is having drastic effects on Earth’s gravitational pull, which has altered the global balance of water on the planet. A study conducted by scientists at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography found that melting glaciers have decreased water weight pressure on the Earth’s surface, which results in a stretching of Earth’s crust down into thicker layers of rock below. This stretches tectonic plates and increases volcanic eruptions. The study also found that the weight of the ocean has increased on the ocean floor, which is affecting the water pressure on Earth’s surface. This causes a lowering of sea levels, which is currently happening in the coastal regions of the world.


How does the geosphere interact in the earth system?

The Earth appears to be incredibly stable, but it is, in fact, an extremely active participant in the larger systems of which it is a part. By understanding how the various parts of our planet interact, we can more fully understand what is happening to us, our world and our future. Minerals are important. They determine the nature of the soil and the plant life that grows in the soil.

One example is: Manganese is important because it acts as an enzyme activator. Carbon is essential for life. It’s the basic building block of all organic matter in the earth’s crust, which are carried to the ocean by winds and rivers and eventually become part of the ocean floor. As oceans become depleted of minerals and other substances they are forced to erupt in massive waves of water, which migrate across the surface of the earth as a series of destructive tectonic plates. The volcanoes that can be detected by our satellite-based system are the ones with the largest emissions of carbon dioxide. These volcanic systems are among the most dangerous because they can vent large quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Carbon is one of the elements that link the geosphere (where it is found only in the earth), the atmosphere (where it is present in trace amounts), the hydrosphere (where it is the most abundant element), and the biosphere (where it is essential for all life as

The inner core of the earth is made of solid iron. Without the moon, our planet would be an uninhabitable wasteland. The moon maintains a constant gravitational pull on Earth, which in turn produces a magnetic field that protects us from solar winds and cosmic radiation. Without the moon, life on Earth would be very difficult if not impossible. A hot new layer, geothermal technology could eventually allow us to harness greater amounts of heat energy from within the crust and convert it to electricity at the surface.