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NASA'S GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER / MARY PAT HRYBYK-KEITH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA'S GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER / MARY PAT HRYBYK-KEITH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Earth's ionosphere and atmospheric layers, illustration. The ionosphere (partially shown in yellow at upper left) is the ionised part of the Earth's atmosphere, reaching from around 60 to 1000 kilometres above the Earth's surface. It includes the thermosphere and parts of the mesosphere (below the thermosphere) and exosphere (above the thermosphere). The ionisation is caused by the Sun, and studying the ionosphere is a key part of understanding the effect space weather has on satellite communications and related technology. Other atmosphere layers shown here are the troposphere and stratosphere, the two lower layers where most surface weather occurs. The altitude boundaries of each layer is shown in kilometres (km).
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