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Our earth is surrounded by a huge envelope of air called the atmosphere. Atmosphere extends to more than 800km above the surface of earth and is held in place by the earth’s gravity. The atmosphere protects us from many harmful rays coming from the sun. The air envelope is thicker near the earth’s surface and as we go higher the density and the availability of air gradually decreases. This is because, as we go higher, the force of gravity decreases, so it is not able to hold large amount of air.
The atmosphere is made of five different layers – the troposphere, the stratosphere, the mesosphere, the ionosphere and the exosphere.
The troposphere is the layer closest to the earth. It is the layer in which we live. It extends upwards for about 16km above the surface of the earth. Movement of wind takes place in this layer. It also contains water vapour, which is responsible for making clouds. This layer is responsible for the weather we experience on earth.
Aircrafts usually fly above this layer to avoid strong winds and bad weather.
The stratosphere lies above the troposphere. This layer has the ozone layer in it. The ozone layer protects all life on earth from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun.
A weathercock shows the direction in which the air is moving at a particular place. You can also make a wind sock to find the direction of the wind. Can you try it yourself?
USE OF AIR
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