# Mass of earth's atmosphere

What is the mass of the earth's atmosphere? The radius of the earth is 6.4E6m.

The only thing I can think of is to subtract something from the mass of the entire earth or something...

## Answers and Replies

Related Introductory Physics Homework Help News on Phys.org
Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
rlmurra2 said:
What is the mass of the earth's atmosphere? The radius of the earth is 6.4E6m.
The atmosphere is a thin band of gas surrounding a solid/liquid earth, but one can use thin shell method of calculating the thickness of that band.

So V = $\int_{R_i}^{R_o} 4\pi\,\rho(r)\,r^2\,dr$

or V = $4\pi\,R^2\,\int_0^H \rho(z)\,dz$, where R would be the mean radius of the atmosphere referenced from the center of the earth.

Then one needs to integrate as a function of altitude, since density decreases with increase in altitude.

Height of Earth's atmosphere - http://www.rcn27.dial.pipex.com/cloudsrus/atmosphere.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth's_atmosphere

That should give you enough information.

Last edited by a moderator:
Bystander
Homework Helper
Gold Member
Given a radius, can you calculate a surface area? Given an area and a "std." atmospheric pressure can you calculate a total force? Given that force and an "average" value for acceleration of gravity at the earth's surface, can you calculate anything else of interest?

NateTG