The thermosphere consists primarily of oxygen, nitrogen and a helium. This layer of the Earth’s atmosphere lies below the exosphere and above the mesosphere, between 56 and 621 miles above the surface of the Earth.Continue Reading
Gases below the thermosphere contain different types of molecules and atoms which are bound and mixed together by turbulence. However, frequent collisions are not common in the thermosphere as gases in this region are broken apart by X-ray and ultraviolet photons from the sun. These high-energy photons strip gas particles of their electrons, which creates an electrically-charged region of molecules and atoms.
The thermosphere absorbs the bulk of UV and X-ray radiation from the sun, which cause temperatures to rise. Temperatures in the thermosphere vary based on location within the region and the sun’s activity levels. Temperatures increase sharply in the lower portion of the thermosphere, then flatten and remain steady in the middle and upper regions. The thermosphere is roughly 360 degrees Fahrenheit hotter during the day than at night. Temperatures in the upper region range from 930 degrees Fahrenheit to more than 3,600 degrees.
Because the thermosphere is located in the upper atmosphere, the atmospheric pressure of the thermosphere is minuscule relative to that of the Earth’s surface.Learn more about Atmosphere
Air is matter that has weight and contains 78 percent nitrogen and 21 percent oxygen. Air also has small amounts of argon, carbon dioxide and other ingredients.Full Answer >
The four main gases in the atmosphere are nitrogen, oxygen, argon and carbon dioxide. However, two of these gases make up most of the atmosphere. They are nitrogen and oxygen, which between them account for over 99 percent of the atmosphere.Full Answer >
Pure air is a homogeneous mixture made primarily of nitrogen and oxygen. Its elements are not readily separated or distinguished from one another. The composition of air is not uniform and may be influenced by environmental factors, such as industrial pollution, heavy forestation or volcanic activity.Full Answer >
The troposphere is made up largely of nitrogen and oxygen with trace amounts of argon, carbon dioxide and hydrogen ozone. The troposphere also contains the majority of the water vapor in the atmosphere.Full Answer >