Living on Earth, it is difficult to understand the size of our atmosphere. When we study other planets and Earth from space, we can understand the true thickness of our atmosphere.

Let us try an experiment. If the Earth were a sphere 1 foot in diameter, how thick would our atmosphere be? Start with your hand 2 feet above a table. Lower it slowly until to think you are at the top of the atmosphere … So where did you stop? A foot up? An inch up? The answer is about 1/4 inch.

Little atmosphere is between space and us. It is what protects us from gamma rays, x-rays and ultraviolet radiation. We could not to live here without atmosphere. It is all that we have and we cannot make more. It might be worth taking care of.

Come join us at the Insperity Observatory ( for Public Night on the first Friday each month from sunset to 10 p.m.

Aaron Clevenson
Author: Aaron ClevensonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I am the observatory director at the Insperity Observatory in Humble ISD. I am also an adjunct astronomy professor at Lone Star College-Montgomery where I teach solar system astronomy and stars and galaxies astronomy. I am the author of the astronomy textbook, “Astronomy for Mere Mortals.” I am a past president of the North Houston Astronomy Club, and was the chair of Astronomy Day in Southeast Texas in 2015 and 2016. He is an observing program director with The Astronomical League, coordinates their Master Observer Progression Awards, and has authored six of their observing programs.

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