Breakdown: The layer that gives us shooting stars

Breakdown: The layer that gives us shooting stars

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - In previous breakdowns, we talked about the Stratosphere and the Troposphere, in this installment we are going to breakdown the Middle Layer, or the Mesosphere.

Lying between the thermosphere and the stratosphere, “Meso” means middle, and this is the highest layer of the atmosphere in which gases are all mixed up rather than being layered by their mass.

Our mesosphere is nearly 22 miles thick, but the air is so thin you wouldn’t be able to breathe in this layer, yet there is still more gas in this layer than there is in the thermosphere.

If you have ever seen a meteor shower, where meteors burn up and streak across the sky? While many people call them shooting stars, those meteors are burning up in the Mesosphere layer.

The meteors will travel through the exosphere and thermosphere without much trouble due to the lack of air in those layers, but when they hit the middle layer, there are enough gases to cause friction and create heat to burn up in the Mesosphere.

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