the edge of space. An introduction to our active ionosphere begin. Layers of the Atmosphere. Troposphere 0 – 18 km weather Stratosphere 5 – 50 km ozone layer Mesosphere 50 – 90 km shooting stars Ionosphere 90 – 600 km space shuttle, aurora (aka thermosphere)
An introduction to our active ionosphere
The density of the atmosphere decreases with increasing altitude
Temperature varies greatly throughout the atmosphere – defining its layers.
Nitrogen (N2) 78%
Oxygen (O2) 21%
Argon (Ar) 1%
Water Vapor (H2O) 0-7%
Ozone (O3) 0-0.01%
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) 0.01-0.1%
From time to time, the sun emits huge amounts of plasma into the solar system. Although the magnetosphere shields the Earth from most of the radiation, some penetrates through to the ionosphere. Once there, it can cause all sorts of trouble. Scientists need good space weather forecasts to prepare for these disturbances. (learn more)
The ionosphere changes dramatically every night. Without the influx of solar power, the matter loses some of its energy. This decreases the plasma density, especially at lower altitudes. AM radio waves take advantage of this “higher” ionosphere and reflect to farther distances. (learn more)
protects the ionosphere from the solar wind (the charged particles emitted by the sun). The sun sometimes emits very large amounts of matter all at once in a coronal mass ejection (CME). This can lead to solar storms which knock out communications worldwide. (learn more)
Really cool movies!!!