Glossary term: Atmosphere

Description: Atmosphere is a layer of gas that surround a cecestial body. It is kept because of the graviational pull of the celestial body and therefore it is densest at the surface and merges smoothly into interplanetary space at high altitudes. A magnetic field can protect an atmosphere from rapidly dissipating in space because of solar or stellar wind. In Earth´s case it also protects all organisms from genetic damage from harmful effects of sunlight, the solar wind itself and cosmic rays.

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Term and definition status: This term and its definition is still awaiting approval

The OAE Multilingual Glossary is a project of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) in collaboration with the IAU Office of Astronomy Outreach (OAO). The terms and definitions were chosen, written and reviewed by a collective effort from the OAE, the OAE Centers and Nodes, the OAE National Astronomy Education Coordinators (NAECs) and other volunteers. You can find a full list of credits here. All glossary terms and their definitions are released under a Creative Commons CC BY-4.0 license and should be credited to "IAU OAE".