Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A different view

This is by far one of the most beautiful pictures I've seen of our atmosphere, taken from the International Space Station, which is about 250 miles above us. One of the things I teach to school kids is that the Earth's atmosphere is made up of layers, starting with the troposphere (the lowest layer where we are). Next up is the stratosphere, then mesosphere, and finally, the thermosphere. When you get higher than the thermosphere, you are moving into outer space. The orange-reddish color is the troposphere, which is more dense than the other layers of the atmosphere. The brown color is the tropopause (the division between the troposphere and the stratosphere), and the milky white color would be the stratosphere. The mesosphere and thermosphere fade from shades of blue to black. We are able to see these particular colors because the different gasses act to filter out certain colors that we see with our eyes. The moon may appear to be part of our atmosphere, but it is almost 240,000 miles away, putting it outside of the gaseous envelope that surrounds our planet.


Robbie Isbell said...

That is very informative. Thanks Ross!

Dennis Turner said...

Absolutely outstanding. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

informative, Thanks

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