How High is our Atmosphere?

A Word of Weather

barometer 3

Every night on the forecast I give the barometer reading, which is a measure of pressure. Atmospheric pressure, in its simplest terms is equal to the weight of the air above the point at which you measure. At sea level, there’s about 14.7 pounds per square inch of air pressure. So in other words, at sea level if you created a column of air one square inch in cross sectional area, and extended it all the way up to the top of the atmosphere, it would weight on average about 14.7 pounds. But how high would that column be? There are really several different ways to answer.

As you go higher in elevation, and the pressure of the atmosphere lowers, it gradually becomes thinner until any air molecules become so far apart as to be essentially non-existent. If you really want to go to the extreme, the top of the…

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