The mesosphere is the part that corresponds to the earth’s atmosphere that is located above the stratosphere and below the thermosphere . This layer of the atmosphere decreases in temperature as the height increases. It can even have temperatures of -80 ° C at short distances. It extends from the stratopause , which is the contact zone between the stratosphere and the mesosphere . This is the third layer of the atmosphere and it is the coldest. It is only 0.1% air. It is very important because here the ionization process takes place and chemical reactions are formedown the layer. It is the layer where spacecraft going off the ground begin to notice the structures of the winds. Here you can see shooting stars, which are meteoroids that disintegrate when they collide with the atmosphere. It is also important to understand the etymology of the word mesosphere. The word comes from the Greek and the conjunction of the words “ μέσος” which means “medium” and from the word “ σφαῖρα ” whose meaning is sphere. In other words, the mesosphere is the middle layer of the earth’s sphere.


What is the Mesosphere?

The mesosphere is the layer of the atmosphere that is located above the stratosphere and below the thermosphere . It is an extremely cold layer at short distances. It is the third layer of the atmosphere and has almost no air, only 0.1%. It is the place where shooting stars can be observed and where spacecraft observe the different structures of the winds .

  • Characteristics of the mesosphere
  • Composition of the mesosphere
  • Mesosphere function
  • Importance

Characteristics of the mesosphere

The main characteristics of the mesosphere are its strong winds that go from east to west, the different atmospheric tides , the atmospheric gravity waves that are inside it, generally known as gravity waves , and finally its planetary waves . These tides and waves can also be found in the troposphereand propagate upward in the mesosphere. There are many gravity waves that can become so large that they become very unstable and dissipate. It is also characterized because from its limit, the temperature is decreasing and it manages to reach extremely cold temperatures, even temperatures of -110 ° C have been reported. In this layer there is no water vapor and the gases are decreasing. In addition, it is interesting to understand that gravity waves tend to be greater in this layer, thus producing a lot of instability and as a result these waves always dissipate. This layer extends from approximately 50 km to 80 km and is characterized by a decrease in temperatures, reaching 190-180 K at an altitude of 80 km. The upper limit of the mesosphere is known as the mesopause,


Composition of the mesosphere

The mesosphere is chemically composed of the same components as the troposphere, among them we can mention nitrogen and oxygen, these being extremely important for life. It also has the presence of important gases such as ozone. In this region the concentrations of ozone and water vapor are practically zero. However, the temperature is lower at this level compared to the previous two. This is because, as we move away from the earth: The chemical composition of the air has a strong dependence on altitude, the atmosphere fills with gases that are lighter and when the altitudes are very high, the residual gases are stratify depending on their molecular mass.

Mesosphere function

The main function of the mesosphere is the formation of atmospheric turbulences and waves that act at enormous spatial and temporal scales. This is the region in which spacecraft returning to earth after a voyage begin to observe the wind structures thoroughly. It is important to take into account that its function is also the heating of the ozone that usuallydecreases with height, thus producing a decrease in temperature in said layer. It is in charge of burning and disintegrating the meteorites when they approach the layer and this is where we obtain and see what we usually know as shooting stars. We must always remember that, as its main objective, the mesosphere has the function of maintaining conditions in a favorable way for life.


The mesosphere is one of the most important layers of the earth, being the place where meteorites disintegrate when trying to enter the earth, thus avoiding great tragedies worldwide. At the same time, it is one of the layers that is responsible for maintaining favorable conditions for human life, plants and animals. It is also important for ionization and the chemical reactions that occur in it.

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