Get ready to learn about the Earth’s atmosphere with these fun printable worksheets and games below. An easy way to explore the layers of the atmosphere, and why they are important. Great for an Earth science theme for elementary age kiddos! We have loads of fun space activities for kids to try!
LEARN ABOUT THE LAYERS OF THE ATMOSPHERE
THE LAYERS OF THE ATMOSPHERE
The Earth is surrounded by layers of gases called the atmosphere, which is held in place by gravity. The atmosphere becomes thinner the greater the distance from Earth, with no clear boundary between the atmosphere and outer space.
Nitrogen gas makes up about three fourths of the atmosphere. Other main gasses are oxygen, argon and carbon dioxide.
Earth’s atmosphere has 5 main layers. The layers of the atmosphere in order from the lowest to the highest are the troposhere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere and exosphere. Read on to find out how they differ from each and what the purpose of each layer is.
The troposphere is the atmospheric layer closest to the planet and contains 75% of the mass of the total atmosphere. It ranges from the Earth’s surface to an altitude of about 10–15 km or 4-12 miles. It also contains 99% of the water vapor and is where the weather occurs. You will notice the temperature in the troposphere decreases as the altitude increases.
Next is the stratosphere, which occurs at 4 to 31 miles or 10 to 50 km. The lower layers of the stratosphere are colder and the upper layers become hotter. It contains warm, dry air and little water vapor, which means it usually has no clouds.
The stratosphere is made up of mainly nitrogen and oxygen. But it also has a layer known as the ozone layer, which contains a high concentration of ozone. This is able to absorb most of the Sun’s ultraviolet radiation. The ozone keeps most of the sun’s harmful radiation from reaching the earth.
The mesosphere is the third layer of the atmosphere. It extends from about 50 to 85 km or 31 to 53 miles above the Earth. It is the coldest layer of the atmosphere. The mesosphere is also where most meteors, and space junk, burn up before they can crash to the ground.
The thermosphere is the fourth layer of the atmosphere. It is very hot as it absorbs radiation from the sun. The thermosphere puts on the auroras, amazing light displays in Earth’s sky caused by colliding particles. The thermosphere is also where satellites orbit the Earth.
The exosphere is the most outer layer of the Earth’s atmosphere. This layer start at 500 km above the Earth’s surface and goes to about 10000 KM. It is mainly made up of light gases such as hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and helium. These gases are very spread out with a lot of space in between. They are light enough to escape Earth’s gravitational force and move into space.
LAYERS OF THE ATMOSPHERE WORKSHEETS
Learn about the Earth’s atmosphere with our free layers of the atmosphere worksheets. This printable pdf learning pack includes wordsearch, crossword, fill in the blank and more.
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EXPLORE THE 5 LAYERS OF THE ATMOSPHERE
Discover more fun and easy STEM activities right here. Click on the link or on the image below.