Layers of the Atmosphere
Label and color the diagram of the Earth’s Atmosphere
Follow the steps below:
 Below the zero line write: SEA LEVEL
 Color the land area: brown
 Color the water: purple
 Label the area between 0 and about 12 kilometers:
 Draw clouds and rain in the troposphere. Clouds can form to
the top of the troposphere but most weather occurs near sea
 Draw geese flying at about 6-7 km.
 Hot air balloons can fly around 5-7 km.
 Mount Everest (the tallest) is about 9 km tall.
 Color the troposphere: blue
 Draw jet airliners (like a boeing 747) flying at the very top
of the troposphere and the bottom of the stratosphere
 Label the area between 12 and 50 Kilometers:
 Draw in the stratosphere
(wavy lines) at about 2030 km and label it Ozone.
o The ozone layer is capable of reflecting UV radiation
which is harmful to life. (draw it in!)
 Weather balloons are used to study this layer of the
atmosphere and can reach 50 km above sea level.
 It requireds special high-altitude military planes (like
Blackbird SR-70’s) to fly at 26 km.
 Color the stratosphere: green
 Label the area between 50 and 85 Kilometers: MESOPHERE.
 Draw in the mesosphere
and label it meteors. Most
meteors burn up in the mesosphere leaving trails of light we
call shooting stars.
 Color the mesosphere: yellow
 At the base of the thermosphere draw an wavy line and label
o The ionosphere can reflect radio waves back to
Earth…draw them in. This is important because the
Earth is round and radio waves travel straight paths,
we would not be able to hear a radio station if we were
more than 16 miles away if this did not occur.
 Aurora borealis (northern lights) occur in the thermosphere
at around 100-250 km
 At 350 km draw a space shuttle and the international space
station. Low Earth Orbit satellites circle the Earth
between 300 and 2000 km.
 Color the thermosphere: orange
 At the top of 650 Kilometers write: Exosphere
o Draw satellites and stars. Global Positioning
Satellites orbit at about 20,000 km above the surface.
Geostationary satellites which are used for
communication are about 36,000 km above the Earth’s
surface. These are considered Medium Earth Orbits.
Name: _____________________
1. What are 5 things (not layers) that make up the
2. What are the five layers of the atmosphere?
3. Where does most of the earth’s weather occur?
4. Why do airline pilots like to fly just below the
5. If you see a falling star, which part of the atmosphere do
you think the meteor is traveling?
6. Why is the ionosphere important for communication?