What are the 5 Layers of the Atmosphere in Order? (2023)

An atmosphere is the gases covering the planet that are held on by its gravity. These surrounding gases can be divided into a set of layers. Our planet earth has 5 layers of the atmosphere. So, the earth’s five layers of the atmosphere in order are Troposphere, Stratosphere, Mesosphere, Thermosphere, and Exosphere.

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The Earth’s five layers are organized like an onion’s skin.

“Here in this article, you will know about atmosphere layers in order, earth’s atmospheric gases composition, atmospheric pauses, how it helps to sustain life on earth, many other information with proper diagram (images).”

5 Layers of the Atmosphere

The atmospheric layers start from the ground level of the earth and rise up to a certain height according to its temperature, pressure, composition, and other properties. From the ground level, they are:

(Video) The Layers Of Atmosphere | Air and Atmosphere | What is Atmosphere | Earth 5 Layers

  1. Troposphere:- (0 -12 km) or (0 to 7 miles)
  2. Stratosphere:- (12 -50 km) or (7 to 31 miles)
  3. Mesosphere:- (50 -80 km) or (31 to 50 miles)
  4. Thermosphere:- (80 -700 km) or (50 to 440 miles)
  5. Exosphere:- (700 -10000 km) or (440 to 6200 miles)

Between the layers of the atmosphere, there are zones called ‘pause’. 5 layers of the atmosphere have 4 pauses, named as:

  • Tropopause
  • Stratopause
  • Mesopause
  • Thermopause

We know the simple meaning of ‘pause’ is ‘stop’. For example, tropopause means the end of the troposphere layer, the same as stratopause means the end of the stratosphere.

Though the earth’s atmosphere layers are made of gases. Therefore before knowing the layers of the atmosphere in order, here we will see the composition of the gases in the atmosphere.

Earth’s atmosphere composition

The atmosphere of the earth has been made of many gases and these gases are usually called ‘air’. How much amount of these gases are available in the earth’s atmosphere, is called the composition of the earth’s atmosphere.

Earth’s atmosphere composition or percentage of gases in the atmosphere by volume is given below:

  • Nitrogen- 78.08%
  • Oxygen- 20.95%
  • Argon- 0.93%
  • Carbon dioxide- 0.041%
  • Water vapor- 0.0028%
  • Neon- 0.0018%
  • Other trace amounts of gases- such as Helium (He), Hydrogen (H2), Methane (CH4), Krypton (Kr), Ozone (O3), Xenon (Xe), and greenhouse gases.

What are the 5 Layers of the Atmosphere in Order? (1)

Composition of the gases in Earth’s atmosphere

These gases have some specific regions in the whole atmosphere. Ozone gas (O3) is found at a height of around 15 to 35 km in the stratosphere layer. Whereas Earth’s oxygen levelor oxygen percentage in the atmosphereis around 20.95% by volume and is mostly found in the troposphere layer.

Layers of the Atmosphere in Order

Here we have mentioned Earth’s 5 layers of the atmosphere in order with the proper diagram (image). We have also given detail about the 4 pauses in the atmosphere.

What are the 5 Layers of the Atmosphere in Order? (2)

(Video) Layers of the atmosphere in order

5 Layers of the Atmosphere in Order

1. Troposphere

The troposphere is the first and lowest layer of the atmosphere of the earth. It extends from the surface of the earth to an average height of 12 km. The troposphere contains more than 80% mass of the earth’s atmosphere.

Must Check:-Interesting facts about the Earth

We can say, this is our layer because we live at the bottom of this layer which is called the surface of the earth. This is the layer where we can experience the weather and seasons of the earth. So this layer is also called the ‘weather layer’.

Water vapor, clouds, moisture, and other weather-associated winds all are found within this layer. At a height of 5 km from the earth’s surface, it contains a 50% mass of atmospheric gases. The temperature of this layer decreases with height and it ranges from (25ºC to -60°C) from the surface to the tropopause zone.

The troposphere layer can be accessed by propeller-driven aircraft.


The tropopause is the transition zone of the troposphere and stratosphere layer. It locates at the top of the troposphere layer and the bottom of the stratosphere layer. At this zone/height, the temperature stops decreasing. (‘tropo’ means ‘change’, and ‘pause’ means ‘stop’).

2. Stratosphere

The stratosphere is the second layer of the atmosphere from the earth’s surface. It lies above the troposphere and below the mesosphere. The stratosphere extends from 12 km to 50 km of the earth’s surface.

In this layer, the temperature rises with increasing height and it ranges from (-60ºC to 4ºC) from the tropopause to the stratopause zone. Ozone(O3) is present in this layer. The ozone layer absorbs the ultraviolet radiation of the sun and increases the temperature of this layer.

This layer is free from clouds and other weather-associated air turbulence. Because of this, it provides the best condition for the flying of jets and large airplanes.

Jet-powered aircraft could reach the level of the stratosphere layer.


At about 50 km from the earth’s surface temperature start falling again and is the pause zone of the stratosphere called stratopause. The stratopause is a transition zone and locates between the top of the stratosphere and the bottom of the mesosphere layer.

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3. Mesosphere

It is the 3rd layer of the atmosphere from the earth’s surface and contains the region above the stratosphere and below the thermosphere. The mesosphere extends an altitude of 50 km to 80 km from the surface of the earth.

The temperature of this middle layer of the atmosphere decreases with altitude and ranges from (4ºC to -90ºC) from the stratopause to the mesopause zone. The mesosphere is the coldest layer of the atmosphere with an average temperature of -80ºC.

This layer helps us by burning up most of the meteors. The mesosphere layer can be accessed by rocket-powered aircraft.

Just below the mesopause, the mesosphere layer contains noctilucent clouds (night-shining clouds). These noctilucent clouds are the highest clouds of the atmosphere and it is made up of ice crystals.


At about 80 km from the earth’s surface temperature starts rising again and this is the end of the mesosphere called mesopause. It locates between the mesosphere layer and the thermosphere layer.

4. Thermosphere

The thermosphere is the 4th layer of the atmosphere from the earth’s surface and is the 2nd highest layer. The thermosphere lies between the mesosphere and the exosphere layer. It extends from a height of 80 km to 700 km in the atmosphere of the earth.

The gases of this layer absorb X-rays and ultraviolet radiation of the sun. Because of this absorption of radiation, it raises the temperature of the layer at around 1500 degrees Celcius. Hence in the thermosphere layer temperature ranges from (-90ºC to 1500ºC) from mesopause to thermopause.

The thermosphere layer protects us from meteors and obsolete satellites by burning up with its high temperature. So this layer burns up the space debris coming towards earth.

Sometimes aurora lights can be seen in the thermosphere layer.


The high temperature of this layer breaks the molecules of the gases into positive and negatively charged particles or ions. So the thermosphere layer is also called the ionosphere. Mainly ionosphere extends at about 80 km to 550 km above the earth’s surface. These ions of the ionosphere reflect the radio wave toward space which results in high-range radio communications.

International space station (ISS) orbits at a lower height of 300 km to 400 km from the earth’s surface so this is the layer where ISS located.

Near around 60 kilometers from the earth’s surface, the location of the magnetosphere starts. Mostly from the thermosphere region and it extends up to 30000 – 60000 km, depending upon many factors.

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The magnetosphere of the earth and the 5 layers of the atmosphere of the earth both are different terms but somehow help the earth. Know here more about the magnetosphere of the earth.


The transition zone between the end of the thermosphere and the start of the exosphere is thermopause.

5. Exosphere

It is the highest layer of the atmosphere and lies above the thermopause. It is located at an altitude of 700 km to 10000 km from the earth’s surface.

This layer has low-density gases like hydrogen, helium, oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide. Atoms and molecules of these gases are free-moving particles and usually do not collides with each other. These particles can travel hundreds of kilometers without a single collision.

The exosphere layer contains many of the satellites that are orbiting around the earth.

How Atmospheric Layers are Helpful for Life on Earth?

Each and every 5 layers of the atmosphere has its own benefits. The atmospheric layers help to sustain life on earth, from a life of a little insect to big living creatures including humans.

Here below you can find how these layers in order are helpful:-

  • Troposphere – Within this layer humans and other lives live on the surface of the earth. Here we can see the weather and seasons.

Check about:-Why and How do Seasons Change on Earth?

  • Stratosphere – This layer provides the best condition for the flying of jets and large airplanes.
  • Mesosphere – This layer helps us by burning up most of the meteors in the sky. Here a rocket-powered aircraft can fly easily.
  • Thermosphere – This layer helps us by burning space debris coming towards earth including obsolete satellites, meteors, and small-size asteroids.
  • Exosphere – It helps us by providing the best condition to held satellites where it orbits around the earth.

So these were the 5 layers of the atmosphere and how these layers are different from each other. All these five layers of the atmosphere help to sustain life on the earth including with magnetosphere.

We, humans, need to care about these atmospheric layers and in return, it will care about us. Hope you have liked this article about the atmosphere of the earth and its five layers in order. Do comment on your point of view.

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What are the 5 layers in order? ›

Earth's atmosphere has five major and several secondary layers. From lowest to highest, the major layers are the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere and exosphere. Troposphere.

What are the 5 layers of the atmosphere and what happens in each one? ›

Moving upward from ground level, these layers are called the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere, and exosphere. The exosphere gradually fades away into the realm of interplanetary space. Layers of the atmosphere: troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere and thermosphere.

Why are there 5 layers of the atmosphere? ›

The atmosphere is a protective layer of gasses that shelters all life on Earth, keeping temperatures within a relatively small range and blocking out harmful rays of sunlight. The atmosphere has five different layers that are determined by the changes in temperature that happen with increasing altitude.

What is the sometimes 5th layer of the atmosphere called? ›


The exosphere is the last fifth of the main layers of the atmosphere, following the thermosphere, mesosphere, stratosphere, and troposphere. The height of this layer is above 500–1,000 km, depending on solar activity, and up to 10,000 km.

Does the earth have 5 main layers? ›

The structure of the earth is divided into four major components: the crust, the mantle, the outer core, and the inner core. Each layer has a unique chemical composition, physical state, and can impact life on Earth's surface.

What is the correct order of layers? ›

Starting from earth's surface, the six layers are Troposphere, Stratosphere, Mesosphere, Thermosphere, Ionosphere and Exosphere.

What are the 5 layers of the atmosphere for kids? ›

Earth's atmosphere has six layers: the troposphere, the stratosphere, the mesosphere, the thermosphere, the ionosphere, and the exosphere.

Which layer is the coldest? ›

Mesosphere, altitude and temperature characteristics

The top of the mesosphere is the coldest area of the Earth's atmosphere because temperature may locally decrease to as low as 100 K (-173°C).

Which layer is the hottest? ›

The thermosphere is often considered the "hot layer" because it contains the warmest temperatures in the atmosphere. Temperature increases with height until the estimated top of the thermosphere at 500 km.

What layer is ozone in? ›

The ozone layer lies approximately 15-40 kilometers (10-25 miles) above the Earth's surface, in the stratosphere.

Which layer is closest to space? ›

Exosphere. This is the outermost layer of the atmosphere. It extends from the top of the thermosphere to 6,200 miles (10,000 km ) above the earth. In this layer, atoms and molecules escape into space and satellites orbit the earth.

What layer do planes fly in? ›

Commercial jet aircraft fly in the lower stratosphere to avoid the turbulence which is common in the troposphere below.

Which layer is closest to the sun? ›

The sun's photosphere

The photosphere is the lowest layer of the sun's atmosphere — the innermost layer we can observe directly. The term photosphere means "sphere of light" and is the layer where most of the sun's energy is emitted. It takes about eight minutes for sunlight from the photosphere to reach Earth.

Which layer is the farthest from the sun? ›

The exosphere is the most distant atmospheric region from Earth's surface.

Is the mantle a solid or liquid? ›

The mantle is the mostly solid bulk of Earth's interior. The mantle lies between Earth's dense, superheated core and its thin outer layer, the crust. The mantle is about 2,900 kilometers (1,802 miles) thick, and makes up a whopping 84 percent of Earth's total volume.

Which layer of the Earth is liquid? ›

The outer core is the liquid largely iron layer of the earth that lies below the mantle. Geologists have confirmed that the outer core is liquid due to seismic surveys of Earth's interior. The outer core is 2,300 km thick and goes down to approximately 3,400 km into the earth.

Is the outer core solid or liquid? ›

The core of the Earth is made up mainly of iron, in an outer liquid layer and an inner solid layer. The outer core is where the circulating conducting liquid generates the geodynamo, responsible for our magnetic field.

What is the 1st layer of atmosphere? ›

The troposphere starts at the Earth's surface and extends 8 to 14.5 kilometers high (5 to 9 miles). This part of the atmosphere is the most dense. Almost all weather is in this region.

What is the correct order of the layers from hottest to coolest? ›

The Earth's layers from coolest to hottest are: crust, mantle, outer core, and inner core.

What is the correct order of the sun's atmospheric layers? ›

The inner layers are the Core, Radiative Zone and Convection Zone. The outer layers are the Photosphere, the Chromosphere, the Transition Region and the Corona.

What is the 7 layer of atmosphere? ›

These layers are the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere and thermosphere. A further region at about 500 km above the Earth's surface is called the exosphere.

What are the five main layers of the atmosphere quizlet? ›

Terms in this set (5)
  • Troposphere. The first layer of the atmosphere. We live here, breathe here, and weather occurs here. ...
  • Stratosphere. The second layer of the atmosphere. ...
  • Mesosphere. The middle layer of the atmosphere. ...
  • Thermosphere. It is the fourth layer of the atmosphere. ...
  • Exosphere. The last layer of the atmosphere.

Which layer of atmosphere has most oxygen? ›

The thermosphere is the thickest layer in the atmosphere. Only the lightest gases—mostly oxygen, helium, and hydrogen—are found here. The thermosphere extends from the mesopause (the upper boundary of the mesosphere) to 690 kilometers (429 miles) above the surface of the Earth.

In what layer do weather balloons fly? ›

In two hours, a weather balloon can rise above the clouds, higher than the paths of jet planes, passing through the ozone layer in the stratosphere. Reaching altitudes of 35 km (22 miles) or higher, the balloons endure temperatures as cold as -90° C (-130° F).

What layer do we live in? ›

The Troposphere

This is the layer we live in and contains most of what we consider to be "the atmosphere," including the air we breathe and nearly all of the weather and clouds we see. In the troposphere, the temperature of the air decreases the higher you go.

What layer is the largest? ›

* The mantle is the largest layer of the Earth. It is 2900km thick. *It includes the lithosphere and athenosphere.

What is hotter than sun? ›

What is the name of the star hotter than the Sun? Sirius is an A-type star — that is, it is much hotter than the Sun and has a surface temperature of approximately 9.400 °C, while the Sun's is around 5.500 °C. It has just over two solar masses and emits 26 times more energy than our star.

What layer of the Earth is the thickest? ›

The mantle is the layer located directly under the sima. It is the largest layer of the Earth, 1800 miles thick. The mantle is composed of very hot, dense rock.

Is there still a hole in the ozone? ›

The hole in the ozone layer — the portion of the stratosphere that protects our planet from the sun's ultraviolet rays — is continuing to decrease. The hole over Antarctica had an average area of 8.91 million square miles (23.2 million square kilometers).

Is the ozone hole shrinking? ›

Scientists have confirmed that the shrinking of the ozone hole has continued a positive trend in recent decades. “Over time, steady progress is being made, and the hole is getting smaller,” says Paul Newman, Chief Scientist for Earth Sciences at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

Where is the new ozone hole? ›

But some experts have raised questions about the findings. According to the study published May 22, 2022, in AIP Advances, the ozone hole is located at altitudes of 10-25 km over the tropics. The tropical ozone hole is about seven times larger than Antarctica, the study suggested.

Which layer is farthest to Earth? ›

Exosphere. This is the outermost layer of the atmosphere. It extends from about 375 miles (600 km) to 6,200 miles (10,000 km ) above the earth. In this layer, atoms and molecules escape into space and satellites orbit the earth.

What separates Earth from space? ›

A common definition of space is known as the Kármán Line, an imaginary boundary 100 kilometers (62 miles) above mean sea level. In theory, once this 100 km line is crossed, the atmosphere becomes too thin to provide enough lift for conventional aircraft to maintain flight.

Which layer is the most important to you and why? ›

The troposphere is the lowest and most important layer of the atmosphere. The troposphere is the lowest layer of the atmosphere. All of the air you breathe is in the troposphere. All of Earth's weather—wind, rain, snow, heat—is in the troposphere.

Can a plane fly out of the atmosphere? ›

Large planes can only fly as high as about 7.5 miles. The air is too thin above that height. It would not hold the plane up.

Can a jet fly into space? ›

Most Airplanes Need Air To Fly

Additionally, the jet engines of airplanes actually work by sucking air through them. All of this means that for almost all airplanes, space flight is impossible. You just can't take the air out of airplanes!

What are 3 facts about the stratosphere? ›

Stratosphere – Interesting Facts
  • The stratosphere layer is 35 km thick.
  • Cold air is found at the bottom of the stratosphere.
  • Light air is found at the top of the stratosphere.
  • Heavy air is found at the bottom of the stratosphere.
  • Warm air is found at the top of the stratosphere.

What is light from the Sun called? ›

sunlight, also called sunshine, solar radiation that is visible at Earth's surface.

What is the center of the Sun called? ›

At the very center is the dense, hot core. Around the core lie two layers: a thick layer called the radiative zone and a thinner, cooler layer called the convective zone. Surrounding all of them is the sun's surface layer, known as the photosphere.

Why is corona hotter than Sun surface? ›

The corona emits ultraviolet, X-rays and consists of ionised gas at temperatures exceeding 2 million degrees Fahrenheit. However, just 1,000 miles below, the surface, known as the photosphere, simmers at just 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

What layer is hotter than the Sun? ›

New measurements suggest the Earth's inner core is far hotter than prior experiments suggested, putting it at 6,000C - as hot as the Sun's surface. The solid iron core is actually crystalline, surrounded by liquid. But the temperature at which that crystal can form had been a subject of long-running debate.

What is the corona layer of the Sun? ›

The corona is the outermost part of the Sun's atmosphere. The corona is usually hidden by the bright light of the Sun's surface. That makes it difficult to see without using special instruments. However, the corona can be seen during a total solar eclipse.

Which layer of the atmosphere absorbs UV rays? ›

Ozone in the stratosphere protects life on Earth from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation and is therefore often called 'good' ozone. This is in contrast to ozone in the troposphere, the lowest layer of the atmosphere, where it is an air pollutant and can be harmful to humans, animals and vegetation.

What are the 5 layers of epidermis called? ›

The main layers of the epidermis are: stratum corneum, stratum lucidium, stratum granulosm, stratum spinosum, stratum germinativum (also called stratum basale).

Are there 5 layers of skin? ›

Your skin has three main layers, and the epidermis (ep-uh-derm-us) is the outermost layer in your body. The other two layers of skin are the dermis and hypodermis. The epidermis is the thinnest layer of skin, but it's responsible for protecting you from the outside world, and it's composed of five layers of its own.

What is the five layer? ›

Without the atmosphere, there could be no life on earth. The atmosphere is mainly composed of five layers: These are troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere, and exosphere.

Why is it called epidermis? ›

The word epidermis is derived through Latin from Ancient Greek epidermis, itself from Ancient Greek epi 'over, upon' and from Ancient Greek derma 'skin'. Something related to or part of the epidermis is termed epidermal.

What are the 5 structures found in the dermis? ›

The dermis contains hair roots, sebaceous glands, sweat glands, nerves, and blood vessels. The hypodermis lies below the dermis and contains a protective layer of fat.

Which of the 5 layers of the epidermis in thick skin is not found in thin skin? ›

The layer of the epidermis that is absent in thin skin is the stratum lucidum. The stratum lucidum is the only layer found in thick skin that is not found in the other skin layers.

What is the 7th layer of skin? ›

stratum basale.

Found in the dermis, the 6th and 7th layer are the papillary layer and the reticular layer. The layers of the skin are anchored to the muscles via the subcutis.

What gives skin its color? ›

Melanin is a natural pigment that gives your skin its color. It's produced in cells called melanocytes.

How thick is human skin? ›

Skin functions and Layers

Skin is the largest organ of the body. It has an area of 2 square metres (22 square feet) in adults, and weighs about 5 kilograms. The thickness of skin varies from 0.5mm thick on the eyelids to 4.0mm thick on the heels of your feet.

What are the 7 types of layers? ›

7 Layers of OSI Model
  • #1. The Physical Layer. The physical layer is where the raw bitstream is physically transmitted over a physical medium. ...
  • #2. The Data Link Layer. ...
  • #3. The Network Layer. ...
  • #4. The Transport Layer. ...
  • #5. The Session Layer. ...
  • #6. The Presentation Layer. ...
  • #7. The Application Layer.


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