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In general, air pressure and density decrease with altitude in the atmosphere.
However, temperature has a more complicated profile with altitude, and may remain relatively constant or even increase with altitude in some regions (see the temperature section, below).
Excluding the exosphere, the atmosphere has four primary layers, which are the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, and thermosphere.
The exosphere is the outermost layer of Earth's atmosphere (i.e. It extends from the exobase, which is located at the top of the thermosphere at an altitude of about 700 km above sea level, to about 10,000 km (6,200 mi; 33,000,000 ft) where it merges into the solar wind.
It extends from the mesopause (which separates it from the mesosphere) at an altitude of about 80 km (50 mi; 260,000 ft) up to the thermopause at an altitude range of 500–1000 km (310–620 mi; 1,600,000–3,300,000 ft).
However, the aurora borealis and aurora australis sometimes occur in the lower part of the exosphere, where they overlap into the thermosphere.By volume, dry air contains 78.09% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, 0.93% argon, 0.04% carbon dioxide, and small amounts of other gases.Air also contains a variable amount of water vapor, on average around 1% at sea level, and 0.4% over the entire atmosphere.Because the general pattern of the temperature/altitude profile is constant and measurable by means of instrumented balloon soundings, the temperature behavior provides a useful metric to distinguish atmospheric layers.
In this way, Earth's atmosphere can be divided (called atmospheric stratification) into five main layers.The exosphere contains most of the satellites orbiting Earth.