The atmosphere is a fluid body which extends from the Earth's surface to a variable height of about 600 miles and consists of several layers of gasses, water, and aerosols.
Levels (lowest –> highest)
- Extends from the surface to 8-14.5 km (5-9 mi)
- About 90% of the atmosphere's mass is contained in this level
- Contains nearly all water-based weather
- Extends to about 50 km (≈30 mi)
- Contains the ozone layer
- Extends to about 85 km (53 mi)
- Meteors are burnt in this layer
- Extends to about 600 km (372 mi)
- Aurora borealis occurs in this layer
- Satellites in Low Earth Orbit are positioned in this layer
- No set boundaries are defined, but this layer extends (albeit "faintly") out to about 10,000 km (6,200 mi)
References / Sources
Rauber, Robert M., et al. Severe and Hazardous Weather: An introduction to high impact meteorology. 5th ed., Kendall Hunt Publishing Company, 2017.
Zell, Holly. “Earth's Atmospheric Layers.” NASA, NASA, 2 Mar. 2015, www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/science/atmosphere-layers2.html.