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High atmosphere

The Aeronomy (pronounced Aeronomy) is the physics of the upper atmosphere or upper atmosphere . While the physics of the lower atmosphere has been referred to as meteorology since Aristotle , the name aeronomy for the areas of the upper atmosphere was not established until 1954 at the meeting of the International Union for Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) in Rome. Aeronomy is a branch of geophysics . Sometimes aeronomy is also included as a branch of meteorology, other times excluded from it. This depends on whether “meteorology” only refers to meteorology in the narrower sense, ie the physics of the lower atmosphere mentioned above; or whether the term meteorology refers more generally to the physics of the entire earth's atmosphere.

Local areas of consideration for aeronomy

The terms upper atmosphere and high atmosphere are not clearly defined. For the use in connection with the term aeronomy, however, the atmosphere is usually meant from an altitude of about 50 km.

Practical and theoretical reasons for choosing this height

From a practical point of view, 50 km represent roughly the upper limit of traditional exploration methods using balloon flights. Prior to the introduction of research rockets, higher areas could not be reached and were therefore reserved for observation using indirect methods. From a theoretical point of view, the atmosphere is always well mixed up to an altitude of about 50 km and therefore has an almost constant basic chemical composition. Above 50 km, this basic composition begins to change with altitude, with lighter elements predominating with increasing altitude. A significant ionization of the atmospheric gas mixture also occurs for the first time from approximately the same altitude range, the influence of which on various other physical properties of the gas also increases with altitude.

See also: Aerology , Max Planck Institute for Aeronomy

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