ionosphere

noun
ion·​o·​sphere | \ ī-ˈä-nə-ˌsfir How to pronounce ionosphere (audio) \

Definition of ionosphere

: the part of the earth's atmosphere in which ionization of atmospheric gases affects the propagation of radio waves, which extends from about 30 miles (50 kilometers) to the exosphere, and which is contiguous with the upper portion of the mesosphere and the thermosphere also : a comparable region of charged particles surrounding another celestial body (such as Venus)

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Other Words from ionosphere

ionospheric \ ˌī-​ˌä-​nə-​ˈsfir-​ik How to pronounce ionospheric (audio) , -​ˈsfer-​ \ adjective
ionospherically \ ˌī-​ˌä-​nə-​ˈsfir-​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce ionospherically (audio) , -​ˈsfer-​ \ adverb

Examples of ionosphere in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Such oscillations generally spread out in all directions, including upward towards the ionosphere. The Economist, "Planetary monitoring A plan to turn the atmosphere into one, enormous sensor," 11 June 2020 These rippled outward from the point in the ionosphere directly above the earthquake’s epicentre. The Economist, "Planetary monitoring A plan to turn the atmosphere into one, enormous sensor," 11 June 2020 After separating, each of the two mini-satellites deploys a five-meter steel tape that can collect free electrons from the ionosphere. Jeremy Hsu, Scientific American, "Kilometer-Long Space-Tether Tests Fuel-Free Propulsion," 4 Nov. 2019 Coupled with an ionosphere that can create organic snow and the potential for an interior ocean, Triton is an exciting exploration target to understand how habitable worlds may develop in our solar system and others. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "NASA signals interest in Venus and volcanoes for next science missions," 13 Feb. 2020 The work tracks how energy spreads out from the site of a lightning bolt into the ionosphere via an electromagnetic pulse. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Data from the International Space Station confirms: Lightning is insane," 10 Dec. 2019 Learning more about the ionosphere -- part of Earth's upper atmosphere where the sun's radiation collides with gas that breaks into electrons and ions -- is key. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "NASA's newest mission, ICON, expected to launch tonight," 10 Oct. 2019 Because the pulse takes time to reach the ionosphere, there's a delay between the lightning and the appearance of the elve. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Data from the International Space Station confirms: Lightning is insane," 10 Dec. 2019 More missions are planned in coming years to study the ionosphere, including from the International Space Station. Author: Marcia Dunn, Anchorage Daily News, "NASA launches satellite to explore where air meets space," 11 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ionosphere.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ionosphere

1926, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ionosphere

ion or ion(ization) + -o- + -sphere

Note: The term was introduced by the British engineer and physicist Robert A. Watson-Watt (1892-1973), apparently first in an unpublished letter (November 8, 1926) to the secretary of the Radio Research Board, a government agency (see Nature, vol. 224, December 13, 1969, p. 1096). Watson-Watt used it in print in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, vol. 55 (1929), p. 278.

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Time Traveler for ionosphere

Time Traveler

The first known use of ionosphere was in 1926

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Statistics for ionosphere

Last Updated

5 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ionosphere.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ionosphere. Accessed 7 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for ionosphere

ionosphere

noun
ion·​o·​sphere | \ ī-ˈä-nə-ˌsfir How to pronounce ionosphere (audio) \

Kids Definition of ionosphere

: the part of the earth's atmosphere beginning at an altitude of about 30 miles (50 kilometers) and extending outward that contains electrically charged particles

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More from Merriam-Webster on ionosphere

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ionosphere

Spanish Central: Translation of ionosphere

Nglish: Translation of ionosphere for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ionosphere

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