The mesosphere (/ˈmɛsoʊsfɪər/; from Greekmesos = middle and sphaira = ball) is the layer of the Earth's atmosphere that is directly above the stratosphere and directly below the thermosphere. In the mesosphere temperature decreases with increasing height. The upper boundary of the mesosphere is the mesopause, which can be the coldest naturally occurring place on Earth with temperatures below 130 K. The exact upper and lower boundaries of the mesosphere vary with latitude and with season, but the lower boundary of the mesosphere is usually located at heights of about 50 km above the Earth's surface and the mesopause is usually at heights near 100 km, except at middle and high latitudes in summer where it descends to heights of about 85 km.
The stratosphere, mesosphere and lowest part of the thermosphere are collectively referred to as the "middle atmosphere", which spans heights from approximately 10 to 100 km. The mesopause, at an altitude of 80–90 km (50–56 mi), separates the mesosphere from the thermosphere—the second-outermost layer of the Earth's atmosphere. This is also around the same altitude as the turbopause, below which different chemical species are well mixed due to turbulent eddies. Above this level the atmosphere becomes non-uniform; the scale heights of different chemical species differ by their molecular masses.