More than three-quarters of our air is contained in the 10 miles (16 kilometers) of the atmosphere nearest Earth’s surface.
This layer is called the troposphere. This first layer is where clouds and weather occur.
The stratosphere above it extends 30 miles (48 kilometers) from the surface of Earth. Sometimes airplanes fly in the lowest part of the stratosphere to avoid bad weather in the troposphere.
From 30 to 50 miles (48 to 80 kilometers) is the mesosphere, and after that the thermosphere, which stretches up to 120 miles (200 kilometers) into the atmosphere.
After the thermosphere comes space, which we call the exosphere. The layers are defined by their range of temperature.
Earth’s atmosphere has five main layers. Living things can only breathe below the stratosphere because the air gets too thin farther from the surface.