Earth’s atmosphere is made up of five layers. From closest to the ground to space they are the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere, and exosphere. The troposphere is where the weather is, the stratosphere is where planes fly and contains the ozone layer. The mesosphere is where incoming meteors burn up to produce shooting stars, and the thermosphere is where the aurora takes place. The ionosphere (same thing as the thermosphere) also ionizes lots of atoms in the air and reflects radio waves, which makes radio communication possible (otherwise we’d just lose the waves to space). Finally the exosphere is the thin section of atmosphere that signals the end of earth’s atmosphere, and the beginning of space.
The earth’s atmosphere is an oxidizing atmosphere, and is composed of 79% nitrogen, 20% oxygen, and 1% other gases. Almost all of the oxygen was made by photosynthetic plants, or, more specifically, marine blue-green algae.
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