An atmosphere (New Latin atmosphaera, created in the 17th century from Greek ἀτμός "vapor" and σφαῖρα "sphere") is a layer of gases that may surround a material body of sufficient mass, and that is held in place by the gravity of the body. An atmosphere may be retained for a longer duration, if the gravity is high and the atmosphere's temperature is low. Some planets consist mainly of various gases, but only their outer layer is their atmosphere.

The term stellar atmosphere describes the outer region of a star, and typically includes the portion starting from the opaque photosphere outwards. Relatively low-temperature stars may form compound molecules in their outer atmosphere. Earth's atmosphere, which contains oxygen used by most organisms for respiration and carbon dioxide used by plants, algae and cyanobacteria for photosynthesis, also protects living organisms from genetic damage by solar ultraviolet radiation. Its current composition is the product of billions of years of biochemical modification of the paleoatmosphere by living organisms.

Read more about Atmosphere:  Pressure, Escape, Composition, Circulation, Importance

Other articles related to "atmosphere":

City Of Ten Thousand Buddhas - Atmosphere
... Unique to the City, the monastery houses both male and female Sangha, students from the boarding school, and is open to the public ... Many monasteries in China, Taiwan, and in the West house only monks or only nuns but not both, and are closed to the public ...
Exploration Of Saturn - Flybys - Voyager
... Because of the earlier discovery of a thick atmosphere on Titan, the Voyager controllers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory elected for Voyager 1 to make a close approach of ... This greatly increased our knowledge of the atmosphere of the moon, but also proved that Titan's atmosphere is impenetrable in visible wavelengths, so no surface details were seen ... Voyager 2 probed Saturn's upper atmosphere with its radar, to measure temperature and density profiles ...
Palestinian Legislative Election, 2006 - Results - Atmosphere
... The militant Islamist group Islamic Jihad called on Palestinians to boycott the election. ...
Atmosphere - Importance
... From the perspective of the planetary geologist, the atmosphere is an evolutionary agent essential to the morphology of a planet ... studying surface of earth leads to an understanding of the atmosphere and climate of a planet — both its present state and its past ... For a meteorologist, the composition of the atmosphere determines the climate and its variations ...
Makemake (dwarf Planet) - Physical Characteristics - Atmosphere
... Makemake was expected to have an atmosphere similar to that of Pluto but with a lower surface pressure ... astronomers had an opportunity to analyze its atmosphere as it passed in front of a 18th magnitude star and abruptly blocked its light ... results showed that Makemake presently lacks a substantial atmosphere and placed an upper limit of 4–12 nanobar for the pressure at its surface ...

Famous quotes containing the word atmosphere:

    We must be generously willing to leave for a time the narrow boundaries in which our individual lives are passed ... In this fresh, breezy atmosphere ... we will be surprised to find that many of our familiar old conventional truths look very queer indeed in some of the sudden side lights thrown upon them.
    Bertha Honore Potter Palmer (1849–1918)

    The atmosphere parents wish to create when talking with children about birth and reproduction is warm, honest, and reassuring, one that tells children they are free to ask questions as often as they need to, and you will answer them as lovingly as you know how.
    Joanna Cole (20th century)

    A noble soul is not the one that can manage the highest flights but the one that rises very little and falls very little but always dwells in a free, resplendent atmosphere and altitude.
    Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900)