NASA Spotlite: Composition of Earth’s Atmosphere

NASA Spotlite: Composition of Earth’s Atmosphere


For thousands of years the Magical
Dragon of Knowledge has been teaching those in need. He has worked with
scientists throughout the ages but the question still remains. Who will the
dragon help next? Hey, Toni. Hey, Alex. Are you glad it’s finally warmed up around here? The air feels so nice. I’m so
glad it’s mostly oxygen. Actually, that’s a common misconception. The atmosphere isn’t actually mostly oxygen. It’s actually mostly nitrogen. But I see what you mean.
Fresh air is refreshing. Alex, you gotta be kidding me. The air has to be mostly
oxygen or else we wouldn’t be alive right now.
Come on, Tony, it’s not that hard to wrap your head around. The atmosphere is
mostly nitrogen. Man, I really wish there’s some mythical creature that
could explain this all to me. Whoa! It’s the Magical Dragon of Knowledge. Well Tony, your friend Alex
is correct. The Earth’s atmosphere is 78% nitrogen and only 21% oxygen, with the
most of the last 1% of the atmosphere being argon as well as some water vapor.
This means that there is almost three times as much nitrogen in the air then
there is oxygen. Wait, then how do we breathe and why is there so much
nitrogen in our atmosphere? Fortunately, Tony, we don’t need that much oxygen and
nitrogen is extremely important too. Nitrogen is actually a pretty important
structural component of proteins. The levels of nitrogen in the atmosphere
doesn’t fluctuate because the nitrogen cycle returns all the nitrogen that’s
used up back into the atmosphere. Wow, I was so uneducated. Thank you so much Magical Dragon of Knowledge. See, Tony, this is why you need to pay more attention in class, and go to more reliable sources like nasa.gov. Whoa! Where’d he go? Bye Magical Dragon. Bye. Wherever you are…

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