mesosphere [%PREMIUM_LINK%] (měz'ə-sfîr') Pronunciation Key |
The region of the Earth's atmosphere lying above the stratosphere and below the thermosphere, from a height of about 50 km (31 mi) to about 80 km (50 mi) above the Earth's surface. In the mesosphere temperatures decrease with increasing altitude due to the decreasing absorption of ultraviolet radiation from the Sun. At the top of this region temperatures are around -95°C (-135.4°F). Most of the meteors that enter Earth's atmosphere burn up while passing through the mesosphere. See also exosphere, stratosphere, thermosphere, troposphere., See illustration at atmosphere.