What is Atmosphere?

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What is Atmosphere?
An atmosphere refers to the blanket-like layer of gaseous materials that surrounds a celestial body like the Earth. It represents a layer of air that is maintained by a celestial body because of its gravitational force. In layman’s terms, the atmosphere pertains to the air or the climate of a particular area on Earth.

When speaking of our own planet’s atmosphere, it serves as a layer of protection from the harmful rays of the sun. With this layer of gaseous materials, life on earth is preserved. This scenario wouldn’t be possible because of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. With the Earth’s atmosphere, the temperature of the whole planet is regulated as it revolves around the Sun and shifts from day to night. The Earth’s atmosphere itself is divided into several layers containing different forms of gaseous molecules. It is said that these layers of gaseous compounds become thinner as one reaches higher altitudes. Beyond the Earth’s atmosphere is referred to as “outer space” but there is no definite and absolute boundary between this space and the planet’s atmosphere.

The term “atmosphere” is not only limited to science and astronomy. With influence from its scientific meaning of a blanket-type of air layer above the earth, atmosphere is also used as a term to denote a dominant mood or emotional environment. Like when somebody goes to a new school and feels happy with the overall culture and environment of the new place, he/she may describe the school as having an “atmosphere of fun and happiness”. In another context, the term “atmosphere” may also refer to an external or aesthetic effect of a particular place. For example when one attends a wedding reception in a hotel which is designed with a 60s theme, he/she may exclaim that the event has a ‘retro feel’ to it or a “retro atmosphere”.

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