Forces of Change

What’s colorless, odorless, and tasteless? Surrounds and protects us throughout our lives? Makes Earth habitable? Is so fragile it needs our care and protection?


But what can you see in an exhibit about the air?

It’ll take your breath away!

This web site is an on-line exhibit produced by the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and funded by a NASA REASoN grant. This virtual exhibit is an adaptation of the Change is in the Air exhibition, which was on display at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History from until November 2006.

a one-percent decrease in the ozone layer allows two percent more UVB to reach the Earth's surface.

Meet Your Atmosphere

thin blue line of earth's atmosphere as seen from space

Explore the invisible envelope that surrounds us.

My, How You’ve Changed

artist's rendering of early earth

Learn how the composition of the atmosphere has changed throughout Earth's history.

Atmosphere Transports

dust storm in Africa

See how our ever-changing atmosphere transports substances around the globe.

Atmosphere Protects

meteor impact crater in Arizona

Find out why we need our atmosphere for protection.

Atmosphere Reacts

exhaust from automobile

Take a look at the impact people have had on the atmosphere.

Visit the Oxygen Theater

cartoon rendering of an oxygen atom

Journey into the cartoon world of an Oxygen atom.