An atmosphere (New Latin atmosphaera, created in the 17th century from Greek ἀτμός "vapor" and σφαῖρα "sphere") is a layer of gases that may surround a material body of sufficient mass, and that is held in place by the gravity of the body. An atmosphere may be retained for a longer duration, if the gravity is high and the atmosphere's temperature is low. Some planets consist mainly of various gases, but only their outer layer is their atmosphere.

The term stellar atmosphere describes the outer region of a star, and typically includes the portion starting from the opaque photosphere outwards. Relatively low-temperature stars may form compound molecules in their outer atmosphere. Earth's atmosphere, which contains oxygen used by most organisms for respiration and carbon dioxide used by plants, algae and cyanobacteria for photosynthesis, also protects living organisms from genetic damage by solar ultraviolet radiation. Its current composition is the product of billions of years of biochemical modification of the paleoatmosphere by living organisms.

Read more about Atmosphere:  Pressure, Escape, Composition, Circulation, Importance

Other articles related to "atmosphere":

Makemake (dwarf Planet) - Physical Characteristics - Atmosphere
... Makemake was expected to have an atmosphere similar to that of Pluto but with a lower surface pressure ... showed that Makemake presently lacks a substantial atmosphere and placed an upper limit of 4–12 nanobar for the pressure at its surface ... of methane and possibly nitrogen suggests that Makemake could have a transient atmosphere similar to that of Pluto near its perihelion ...
Exploration Of Saturn - Flybys - Voyager
... Because of the earlier discovery of a thick atmosphere on Titan, the Voyager controllers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory elected for Voyager 1 to make a close approach of Titan ... This greatly increased our knowledge of the atmosphere of the moon, but also proved that Titan's atmosphere is impenetrable in visible wavelengths, so no surface details were seen ... Voyager 2 probed Saturn's upper atmosphere with its radar, to measure temperature and density profiles ...
Atmosphere - Importance
... From the perspective of the planetary geologist, the atmosphere is an evolutionary agent essential to the morphology of a planet ... Conversely, studying surface of earth leads to an understanding of the atmosphere and climate of a planet — both its present state and its past ... For a meteorologist, the composition of the atmosphere determines the climate and its variations ...
Palestinian Legislative Election, 2006 - Results - Atmosphere
... The militant Islamist group Islamic Jihad called on Palestinians to boycott the election. ...
City Of Ten Thousand Buddhas - Atmosphere
... Unique to the City, the monastery houses both male and female Sangha, students from the boarding school, and is open to the public ... Many monasteries in China, Taiwan, and in the West house only monks or only nuns but not both, and are closed to the public ...

Famous quotes containing the word atmosphere:

    The meeting in the open of two dogs, strangers to each other, is one of the most painful, thrilling, and pregnant of all conceivabale encounters; it is surrounded by an atmosphere of the last canniness, presided over by a constraint for which I have no preciser name; they simply cannot pass each other, their mutual embarrassment is frightful to behold.
    Thomas Mann (1875–1955)

    And so I look on those sentiments which make the glory of the human being, love, humility, faith, as being also the intimacy of Divinity in the atoms; and, that, as soon as the man is right, assurances and previsions emanate from the interior of his body and his mind; as, when flowers reach their ripeness, incence exhales from them, and, as a beautiful atmosphere is generated from the planet by the averaged emanations from all its rocks and soils.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

    The life of our city is rich in poetic and marvelous subjects. We are enveloped and steeped as though in an atmosphere of the marvelous; but we do not notice it.
    Charles Baudelaire (1821–1867)