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Earth’s atmosphere

Updated: Sep 14, 2022

The image shows a part of the Earth's atmosphere with fluffy clouds called cumuli. These clouds resemble a cauliflower in their buoyant structure. Above the clouds, the clear atmosphere continues in darker shades that give the scenery depth as it transitions into the space.

Imagine that you sit in a car and travel at 100 km/h directly up through the atmosphere. Of course, that is not possible, but let us imagine that for now. Do you know when you will reach the space? Only in one hour! The Earth’s atmosphere is a very thin layer of only 100 km. Furthermore, the troposphere that contains most of the oxygen we brief is only about 10 km thick. So the tiny gassy layer surrounding the Earth is one of the most critical protectors against harsh space weather. It absorbs most of the radiation from the Sun. Still, it leaves visible light, infrared radiation that we feel like warmth, a bit of UV radiation that makes our skins tanned or burnt, depending on how long you stay in the Sun, and a big part of radio wavelengths that we can use for communication.

Learn more about Earth’s atmosphere and how the space weather influences it in our audio booklet. You will find details on how the ionosphere plays a crucial role in communication and navigation and how the atmosphere affected by solar storms can cause satellites to be lost.

Listen to the audio

Audio booklet: Earth’s Atmosphere

Make tactile images

Tactile image: Atmosphere

Tactile image: Radio communication

Tactile image: Space weather

Tactile image: Aurora

Tactile image: Aurora formation

Print 3D models

3D model: Earth

3D model: Galileo satellite

3D model: Cubesat


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