The mixture of gases that surrounds and is retained by the gravity of a celestial body such as the Earth.The atmosphere is denser near the Earths surface, and becomes gradually thinner until it fades away into space. Particularly near the Earths surface, the physical matter in the atmosphere attenuates electromagnetic signals due to absorption, refraction and other phenomena. At the outer limits of the atmosphere are four layers of the ionosphere, which is useful for skywave radio propagation. See also attenuation, ionosphere, propagation, refraction, and skywave.
Other Word Forms of Atmosphere
Origin of Atmosphere
From New Latin atmosphaera, from Ancient Greek ἀτμός (atmós, “steam”) + Ancient Greek σφαῖρα (sphaĩra, “sphere”); corresponding to atmo- + -sphere (?).
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
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