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What is outer space?

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June 01, 2009 3:56PM

Outer space is the near-vacuum beyond the Earth's atmosphere. It has no air to scatter the light and so what we observe is a black emptiness spangled with stars and other extraterrestrial matter. People sometimes use the term "space" to describe this region beyond the Earth. However, space does include everything within the Earth's atmosphere as well as all of the land and water on its surface. A more accurate definition of the term "space" would be the continuous extension in all directions in which all matter exists.