Is the moon below, in or above Earth’s atmosphere?

At its closest point of orbit, the Moon is 363,300 kilometres (225,700 miles) from Earth, while at its furthest point it is over 384,400 kilometres (238,900 miles) away.

The exosphere is the uppermost layer of Earth’s atmosphere and marks a transitional zone between the atmosphere’s lower layers and interplanetary space. The exosphere is comprised of various light gases, which include hydrogen, helium, carbon dioxide and atomic oxygen.

At its lowest point, which lies at the upper boundary of the thermosphere and is referred to as the exobase, the exosphere is about 480 kilometres (300 miles) above the terrestrial surface of Earth. The beginning of the exosphere varies, however, and no fixed point can be remarked, leading to the exosphere being roughly characterised by a reading of negligible atomic particle collisions, which reduce continuously the further the exosphere extends into space.

At the exosphere’s upper boundary, which is technically theoretical, its altitude above our planet is approximately 190,000 kilometres (120,000 miles), which is toughly half the distance to the Moon.

As such, regardless of where the Moon is in its orbit of Earth, it always lies outside and above our planet’s exosphere.