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Interesting Facts About the Atmosphere
We learn about the atmosphere in the school, and that is where the learning stops for most of us. We know that the atmosphere surrounds the Earth and contains the air we breathe to stay alive. We are aware of the basics of what atmospheric pressure is and how it works. The atmosphere is as basic and essential as is water, but there is still much to learn. We are aware of the ozone layer and how it absorbs harmful UV radiation of the Sun. We are also cognizant of how the atmosphere influences the climate. However, there is not much we know about the atmosphere beyond this information. Isn’t that odd? If you want to learn more about the atmosphere, continue reading this article. Below we share some interesting and little known facts about the atmosphere that will increase your knowledge on the subject –
- Air – Our Earth’s atmosphere is primarily made up of 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen. It also contains small amounts of carbon dioxide, helium, neon, and argon.
- Toxic gases, smoke, volcanic ash, salt, and dust – all form contaminants to the atmosphere.
- Human negligence of the environment and irresponsible behavior greatly affects the atmosphere. The use of greenhouse gases and air contamination has led to global warming, which in turn has led to the destruction of the ozone belt and increasing instances of acid rain, which is damaging to the atmosphere.
- In the stratosphere, a special air molecule called ozone is found. Ozone is made up of three atoms of oxygen. A massive collection of these molecules form the ozone layer i.e., the protective layer which protects living beings on the planet from sun damage.
- Atoms – The outermost layer of the atmosphere or the exosphere contains dense amounts of hydrogen, helium, oxygen, and so on. The atoms and molecules in this layer are so distant from each other that they can travel for hundreds of kilometers without colliding with each other.
- In the second-highest layer of the atmosphere i.e. the thermosphere, the same molecules have to travel at least a kilometer before they can collide.
- Planets – The Earth’s atmosphere makes it conducive for life. The atmosphere of other planets does not provide the same conditions for life that our planet does. For example, – Mars has an incredibly thin atmosphere, mainly containing carbon dioxide. The temperature on Mars is too cold for life form as there are little greenhouse gas effect and low atmospheric pressure.
- Moon – Research has recently found that the Moon has an atmosphere too. Although this atmosphere is very thin, the lunar surface too consists of gases such as helium, argon, carbon dioxide, methane, and oxygen, to name a few. It has been realized that even thin water molecules could exist on the Moon. However, the lunar atmosphere cannot absorb any radiation and requires constant replenishment of gases for this atmosphere to survive. Because of this, it wouldn’t be completely right to recognize this existing layer of gases on the Moon as an atmosphere.
Here’s hoping you found our article informative and knowledgeable. We bet you didn’t know the Moon had an atmosphere, did you?
NASA of course is generally commissioned to study the Earth’s atmosphere among other things.