Words related to sphere

asthenosphere (n.)
layer of the Earth's upper mantle, 1914, literally "sphere of weakness" (by comparison with the lithosphere), from Greek asthenes "weak" (see asthenia) + sphere.
atmosphere (n.)

1630s, atmosphaera (modern form from 1670s), "gaseous envelop surrounding the earth," from Modern Latin atmosphaera, from Greek atmos "vapor, steam" (see atmo-) + sphaira "sphere" (see sphere). In old science, "vaporous air," which was considered a part of the earth and a contamination of the lower part of the air (n.1).

Þe ouer partye of þe eyr is pure and clene, clere, esy & softe, ffor mevynge of stormys, of wynde and of wedir may nat reche þerto; and so it perteyneþ to heuenlych kynde. And þe neþir partye is nyʒe to þe spere of watir and of erþe, and is troubly, greet and þicke, corpulent and ful of moyst erþy vapoures, as longiþ to erþy partyes. Þe eyr strecchiþ hym kyndely al aboute fro þe ouer partye of þe erþe and of watir anon to þe spere of fire. [Bartholomew Glanville, "De proprietatibus rerum," c. 1240, translated by John of Trevisa c. 1398 ]

First used in English in connection with the Moon, which, as it turns out, practically has none.

'Tis Observed, in the Solary Eclipses, that there is some times a great Trepidation about the Body of the Moon, from which we may likewise argue an Atmo-sphaera, since we cannot well conceive what so probable a cause there should be of such an appearance as this, Quod radii Solares a vaporibus Lunam ambientibus fuerint intercisi, that the Sun-beams were broken and refracted by the Vapours that encompassed the Moon. [Rev. John Wilkins, "Discovery of New World or Discourse tending to prove that it probable there may be another World in the Moon," 1638]

Figurative sense of "surrounding influence, mental or moral environment" is c. 1800.

biosphere (n.)

"Earth's surface and lower atmosphere as the realm of living organisms," 1899, from or modeled on German Biosphäre (1875), which was coined by German geologist Eduard Suess; see bio- + sphere.

chromosphere (n.)

"gaseous envelope around the sun," 1868, coined by English astronomer Sir Joseph Norman Lockyer (1836-1920), from chromo-, from Greek khrōma "color" (see chroma) + sphere. So called for its redness. Related: Chromospheric.

ecosphere (n.)
region around a star where conditions allow life-bearing planets to exist, 1953; see eco- + sphere. Apparently coined by German-born U.S. physician and space medicine pioneer Hubertus Strughold (1898-1986).
hemisphere (n.)

late 14c., hemysperie, in reference to the celestial sphere, from Late Latin hemisphaerium, from Greek hēmisphairion, from hēmi- "half" (see hemi-) + sphaira "sphere" (see sphere). Spelling reformed 16c. Of the Earth, from 1550s; of the brain, 1804.

hydrosphere (n.)
"the waters of the Earth's surface," 1870, from hydro- + sphere.
ionosphere (n.)
region of the outer atmosphere, 1926, from ion + sphere. Coined by Scottish radar pioneer Robert A. Watson-Watt (1892-1973). So called because it contains many ions.
lithosphere (n.)
"crust of the earth, solid part of the earth's surface," 1881, from or modeled on German Lithosphäre (1870s); see litho- "stone" + sphere.
magnetosphere (n.)

coined 1959, from magneto- + sphere. So called because it is the region around the earth (and some other planets) in which the magnetic field of the planet plays a dominant role in the motion of particles.