Atmosphere

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":

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 ...
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 ... 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 ...
Makemake (dwarf Planet) - Physical Characteristics - Atmosphere
... Makemake was expected to have an atmosphere similar to that of Pluto but with a lower surface pressure ... astronomers had an opportunity to analyze its atmosphere as it passed in front of a 18th magnitude star and abruptly blocked its light ... that Makemake presently lacks a substantial atmosphere and placed an upper limit of 4–12 nanobar for the pressure at its surface ...
Palestinian Legislative Election, 2006 - Results - Atmosphere
... The militant Islamist group Islamic Jihad called on Palestinians to boycott the election. ...

Famous quotes containing the word atmosphere:

    It is better to have your head in the clouds, and know where you are ... than to breathe the clearer atmosphere below them, and think that you are in paradise.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    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)

    The man who, from the beginning of his life, has been bathed at length in the soft atmosphere of a woman, in the smell of her hands, of her bosom, of her knees, of her hair, of her supple and floating clothes, ... has contracted from this contact a tender skin and a distinct accent, a kind of androgyny without which the harshest and most masculine genius remains, as far as perfection in art is concerned, an incomplete being.
    Charles Baudelaire (1821–1867)