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Assignments » Layers of the Atmosphere Diagram

Layers of the Atmosphere Diagram Layers of the Atmosphere Diagram

Over the next few days, you will be creating a diagram showing all of the layers of the Earth's atmosphere.

In order to research the features and characteristics of each layer, you may use:

  • Mrs. Flynt's big, old, maroon Prentice Hall Earth Science textbooks (or the thin, blue Weather and Climate books--they have the same lessons).
  • Your own Course 1 (6th Grade) iScience textbook (FROG on the cover)
  • Your Layers of the Atmosphere WS, Guide to the Atmosphere packet, as well as many other Portfolio entries.
  • The Internet: You can ask to use the Internet in the regular classroom, you will be provided with computer lab time, and you can use the internet during EPIC or after school.

For each layer, you need to add detailed drawings and features--including words, descriptions,  and measurements (like altitude and temperature)--associated with each layer of the atmosphere.

List of Features to Research so that you can illsutrate and explain them in your diagram: 

  • How each layer got its name (and why is each layer called what its called).
    • thermosphere
    • mesosphere
    • stratosphere
    • troposphere
  • How and WHY temperature changes within each layer--we went over  in detail in class previously--a diagram should already be in your Portfolio.
  • How air pressure changes with altitude.
  • Where meteors burn up and why.
  • Where planes fly (cruising altitude) and WHY.
  • Where weather takes place.
  • How AM radio signals use the atmosphere (satellite radio is different).
  • The location and characteristics of the ionosphere.
    • The sub-divisions of the ionosphere.
  • The location and characteristics of the exosphere.
  • The location and role of the ozone layer.
  • How high the highest mountain extends into the atmospehre.
  • Where auroras occur and why.
  • At what altitude (and in what layer) does the ISS orbit the Earth?
  • At what altitude (and in what layer) do most satellites (like the Hubble Space Telescope or communication satellites) orbit the Earth?
  • What is the maximum altitude that weather balloons reach before popping?
  • Where are the tropopause, stratopause, and mesopause located? What determines these boundaries?
  • What types of electromagnetic radiation penetrate which layers? Which types get absorbed or reflected?
  • What color is the sky? Why does it change?
  • Odd mesospheric phenomena, like sprites and/or noctilucent clouds.

 

Other Instructions:

  1. You can use this image to set up the temperature scale along the bottom of your printer paper.
  2. You should then draw and label the 4 main layers and their boundaries (tropopause, stratopause, mesopause).
  3. The altitude and thickness of the layers do NOT have to be to scale; this will allow you to make each layer “thick” enough to fit all of the features that you will want to include!
  4. Once you have the temp scale at the bottom and have drawn in your layers, you can then create a temperature profile with increasing altitude as one moves up through the atmosphere (the temp profile WILL be to scale, even though the altitude may not be).
  5. Be sure to include descriptions, captions, and symbols that will help clarify and explain key features.
  6. Make sure you use COLORED PENCILS to finish your final draft. Think about using color effectively and creatively to enhance your digram and support the information you are trying to communicate.
    • Coloring every inch of paper is not nearly as important as using color EFFECTIVELY to convey information!







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Gifted Science with Mrs. Flynt
Gifford Middle School, Indian River County, Florida
4530 28th Court
Florida, 32967
Phone: 772-564-3550