- This article is about the atmospheric mesosphere, for the Earth's mantle see Mesosphere (mantle)Mesosphere (mantle)The mesosphere refers to the mantle in the region between the asthenosphere and the outer core. The upper boundary is defined as the sharp increase in seismic wave velocities and density at a depth of 660 km...
The mesosphere (ˈmɛsoʊsfɪər; from the Greek
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...
words mesos = middle and sphaira = ball) is the layer of the Earth's atmosphere
The atmosphere of Earth is a layer of gases surrounding the planet Earth that is retained by Earth's gravity. The atmosphere protects life on Earth by absorbing ultraviolet solar radiation, warming the surface through heat retention , and reducing temperature extremes between day and night...
that is directly above the stratosphere
The stratosphere is the second major layer of Earth's atmosphere, just above the troposphere, and below the mesosphere. It is stratified in temperature, with warmer layers higher up and cooler layers farther down. This is in contrast to the troposphere near the Earth's surface, which is cooler...
and directly below the thermosphere
The thermosphere is the biggest of all the layers of the Earth's atmosphere directly above the mesosphere and directly below the exosphere. Within this layer, ultraviolet radiation causes ionization. The International Space Station has a stable orbit within the middle of the thermosphere, between...
. In the mesosphere temperature decreases with increasing height. The upper boundary of the mesosphere is the mesopause, which can be the coldest naturally occurring place on Earth with temperatures below 130 K.