The term geosphere is often used to refer to the densest parts of Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

, which consist mostly of rock
Rock (geology)
In geology, rock or stone is a naturally occurring solid aggregate of minerals and/or mineraloids.The Earth's outer solid layer, the lithosphere, is made of rock. In general rocks are of three types, namely, igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic...

 and regolith
Regolith is a layer of loose, heterogeneous material covering solid rock. It includes dust, soil, broken rock, and other related materials and is present on Earth, the Moon, some asteroids, and other terrestrial planets and moons.-Etymology:...

. The geosphere consists of the inside of the Earth or other planets or bodies.

In Aristotelian physics
Aristotelian physics
Aristotelian Physics the natural sciences, are described in the works of the Greek philosopher Aristotle . In the Physics, Aristotle established general principles of change that govern all natural bodies; both living and inanimate, celestial and terrestrial—including all motion, change in respect...

, the term was applied to four spherical natural places, concentrically nested around the center of the Earth, as described in the lectures Physica
Physics (Aristotle)
The Physics of Aristotle is one of the foundational books of Western science and philosophy...

and Meteorologica
Meteorology (Aristotle)
Meteorology is a treatise by Aristotle which contains his theories about the earth sciences. These include early accounts of water evaporation, weather phenomena, and earthquakes....

. They were believed to explain the motions of the four terrestrial elements
Classical element
Many philosophies and worldviews have a set of classical elements believed to reflect the simplest essential parts and principles of which anything consists or upon which the constitution and fundamental powers of anything are based. Most frequently, classical elements refer to ancient beliefs...

Earth (classical element)
Earth, home and origin of humanity, has often been worshipped in its own right with its own unique spiritual tradition.-European tradition:Earth is one of the four classical elements in ancient Greek philosophy and science. It was commonly associated with qualities of heaviness, matter and the...

, Water
Water (classical element)
Water is one of the elements in ancient Greek philosophy, in the Asian Indian system Panchamahabhuta, and in the Chinese cosmological and physiological system Wu Xing...

, Air
Air (classical element)
Air is often seen as a universal power or pure substance. Its supposed fundamental importance to life can be seen in words such as aspire, inspire, perspire and spirit, all derived from the Latin spirare.-Greek and Roman tradition:...

and Fire
Fire (classical element)
Fire has been an important part of all cultures and religions from pre-history to modern day and was vital to the development of civilization. It has been regarded in many different contexts throughout history, but especially as a metaphysical constant of the world.-Greek and Roman tradition:Fire...


In modern texts and in Earth system science
Earth system science
Earth system science seeks to integrate various fields of academic study to understand the Earth as a system. It considers interaction between the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere , biosphere, and heliosphere....

, geosphere refers to the solid parts of the Earth and is used along with atmosphere
An atmosphere is a layer of gases that may surround a material body of sufficient mass, and that is held in place by the gravity of the body. An atmosphere may be retained for a longer duration, if the gravity is high and the atmosphere's temperature is low...

, hydrosphere
A hydrosphere in physical geography describes the combined mass of water found on, under, and over the surface of a planet....

, and biosphere
The biosphere is the global sum of all ecosystems. It can also be called the zone of life on Earth, a closed and self-regulating system...

 to describe the systems of the Earth (the interaction of these systems with the heliosphere
The heliosphere is a bubble in space "blown" into the interstellar medium by the solar wind. Although electrically neutral atoms from interstellar volume can penetrate this bubble, virtually all of the material in the heliosphere emanates from the Sun itself...

 is sometimes listed). In that context, sometimes the term lithosphere
The lithosphere is the rigid outermost shell of a rocky planet. On Earth, it comprises the crust and the portion of the upper mantle that behaves elastically on time scales of thousands of years or greater.- Earth's lithosphere :...

 is used instead of geosphere. However, the lithosphere only refers to the uppermost layers of the solid Earth (oceanic and continental crustal rocks and uppermost mantle).

Since space exploration began, it has been observed that the extent of the ionosphere
The ionosphere is a part of the upper atmosphere, comprising portions of the mesosphere, thermosphere and exosphere, distinguished because it is ionized by solar radiation. It plays an important part in atmospheric electricity and forms the inner edge of the magnetosphere...

 or plasmasphere
The plasmasphere, or inner magnetosphere, is a region of the Earth's magnetosphere consisting of low energy plasma. It is located above the ionosphere...

 is highly variable, and often much larger than previously appreciated, at times extending to the boundaries of the Earth's magnetosphere
A magnetosphere is formed when a stream of charged particles, such as the solar wind, interacts with and is deflected by the intrinsic magnetic field of a planet or similar body. Earth is surrounded by a magnetosphere, as are the other planets with intrinsic magnetic fields: Mercury, Jupiter,...

 or geomagnetosphere. This highly variable outer boundary of geogenic matter has been referred to as the "geopause," to suggest the relative scarcity of such matter beyond it, where the solar wind
Solar wind
The solar wind is a stream of charged particles ejected from the upper atmosphere of the Sun. It mostly consists of electrons and protons with energies usually between 1.5 and 10 keV. The stream of particles varies in temperature and speed over time...

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