Related topics: nasa · climate change · solar wind · mars · solar radiation

Researchers discover Earth and space share the same turbulence

In a paper published in Geophysical Research Letters, researchers have discovered that the turbulence in the thermosphere exhibits the same physical laws as the wind in the lower atmosphere. Furthermore, wind in the thermosphere ...

10 years preparing for 'Armageddon'

It's a scenario made famous by the 1998 film "Armageddon": an asteroid is spotted on a collision course with Earth, and experts scramble to plan a space mission to rendezvous with the asteroid and mitigate the danger. It's ...

page 1 from 40

Earth's atmosphere

The Earth's atmosphere is a layer of gases surrounding the planet Earth that is retained by the Earth's gravity. It has a mass of about five quadrillion metric tons. Dry air contains roughly (by volume) 78.08% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, 0.93% argon, 0.038% carbon dioxide, and trace amounts of other gases. Air also contains a variable amount of water vapor, on average around 1%. The atmosphere protects life on Earth by absorbing ultraviolet solar radiation, warming the surface through heat retention (greenhouse effect), and reducing temperature extremes between day and night.

There is no definite boundary between the atmosphere and outer space. It slowly becomes thinner and fades into space. An altitude of 120 km (75 mi) marks the boundary where atmospheric effects become noticeable during atmospheric reentry. The Kármán line, at 100 km (62 mi), is also frequently regarded as the boundary between atmosphere and outer space. Three quarters of the atmosphere's mass is within 11 km (6.8 mi; 36,000 ft) of the surface.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA