Thermosphere Facts

Thermosphere Facts
The thermosphere is one of five layers of the earth's atmosphere. The other four layers include the troposphere, stratosphere, the mesosphere, and exosphere. The thermosphere is the atmosphere's fourth layer, located above the mesosphere and below the exosphere. The thermosphere begins at a distance of approximately 53-56 miles above the earth's surface and extends to between 311 and 621 miles from the earth, where the exosphere begins and extends into space. Just as in the stratosphere, the temperature in the thermosphere increases as the distance from earth becomes greater. The word 'thermosphere' is derived from the Greek word 'thermo' which means 'heat.' The temperature at the thermosphere's greatest height can reach more than 2000 degrees Celsius.
Interesting Thermosphere Facts:
The temperature in the thermosphere is largely influenced by solar activity. The time of day also affects the temperature, with higher temperatures in the day than at night - similar to the earth's surface, but much, much hotter.
The transitional area between the thermosphere and mesosphere is referred to as the mesopause.
The transitional area between the thermosphere and the exosphere is referred to as the thermopause.
Although still considered part of the earth's atmosphere, the thermosphere has such low air density that it is often considered to be part of space.
The International Space Station and the space shuttle orbit the earth in the thermosphere layer of earth's atmosphere. The International Space Station is located approximately 200 to 240 miles from earth's surface.
The main components of air in the thermosphere include helium, atomic nitrogen, and atomic oxygen.
The thermosphere absorbs a lot of the UV radiation and X-ray given off by the sun. When the sun is more active and the thermosphere heats up more, this layer of earth's atmosphere increases in size.
Much of the circulation in the thermosphere occurs because of the tides and waves in earth's atmosphere.
One of the most amazing sky phenomena occurs mostly in the thermosphere. It is called the aurora borealis or northern/southern lights.
The northern or southern lights occur when ions, protons, and electrons from space collide with the molecules and atoms in the thermosphere, creating high energy that emits light. These light displays are the northern and southern lights.
The thermosphere is the largest layer of the earth's atmosphere.
Although it is known that temperatures in the thermosphere can reach 2000 degrees Celsius or more, actually reading the temperature is difficult for scientists. This is because the air is so thin.
In order to measure the thermosphere's temperature, scientists measure its air density which helps to determine temperature.
The charged particles in the thermosphere make it easier for long distance communication via radio.
Because outer space is believed to begin at 62 miles above the earth's surface, the thermosphere could be considered part of space.
When large magnetospheric storms occur in the thermosphere's atmospheric layer, thermospheric storms are produced.
It is estimated that approximately 99.99% of the earth's atmosphere is below the thermosphere, despite its size. This is because the air is so thin.

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