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ionosphere

[ahy-on-uh-sfeer]
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noun
  1. the region of the earth's atmosphere between the stratosphere and the exosphere, consisting of several ionized layers and extending from about 50 to 250 miles (80 to 400 km) above the surface of the earth.
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Origin of ionosphere

First recorded in 1925–30; iono- + -sphere
Related formsi·on·o·spher·ic [ahy-on-uh-sfer-ik] /aɪˌɒn əˈsfɛr ɪk/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ionosphere

Historical Examples

  • Then we were able to modify that to heave sand and to let it tap the ionosphere.

    Sand Doom

    William Fitzgerald Jenkins

  • They struck the Earth's ionosphere, and their numbers diminished.

    Out Like a Light

    Gordon Randall Garrett

  • The ionosphere of Eisberg was much deeper and, although the intensity was less, the duration was much longer.

    Unwise Child

    Gordon Randall Garrett

  • Without the landing grid and the power it took from the ionosphere, they could not receive supplies from the rest of the universe.

    Sand Doom

    William Fitzgerald Jenkins

  • It was not the intensity of the ionosphere that cracked the drive of the Brainchild; it was the duration.

    Unwise Child

    Gordon Randall Garrett


British Dictionary definitions for ionosphere

ionosphere

noun
  1. a region of the earth's atmosphere, extending from about 60 kilometres to 1000 km above the earth's surface, in which there is a high concentration of free electrons formed as a result of ionizing radiation entering the atmosphere from spaceSee also D region, E region, F region
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Derived Formsionospheric (aɪˌɒnəˈsfɛrɪk), adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for ionosphere

n.

1926, from ion + sphere. Coined by Scottish radar pioneer Robert A. Watson-Watt (1892-1973). So called because it contains many ions.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ionosphere in Science

ionosphere

[ī-ŏnə-sfîr′]
  1. A region of the Earth's upper atmosphere, extending from a height of 70 km (43 mi) to 400 km (248 mi) and containing atoms that have been ionized by radiation from the Sun. The ionosphere lies mostly in the lower thermosphere and is subdivided into three regions, the D region (70 km to 90 km; 43 to 56 mi), the E region (90 km to 150 km; 56 to 93 mi), and the F region (150 km to 400 km; 93 to 248 mi). The concentration of ionized atoms is lowest in the D region, intermediate in the E region, and highest in the F region. The ionosphere is useful for radio transmission because radio waves, which normally propagate in straight lines, are reflected off the ionized gas particles, thereby being transmitted long distances across the Earth's curved surface. See more at D region E region F region.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

ionosphere in Culture

ionosphere

[(eye-on-uh-sfeer)]

A region of the atmosphere that begins at an altitude of about thirty miles.

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Note

In this region, free particles carrying an electrical charge, atoms ionized (see ionization) by radiation from the sun, reflect radio waves. “Bouncing” radio waves off the ionosphere makes communication possible over long distances of the surface of the Earth.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.