What is Ozone?

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An international team of scientists, including from India, has discovered strong evidence indicating the presence of ozone on Jupiter’s moon Callisto.

About Ozone

  • It is a gas composed of three atoms of oxygen. It is both a natural and a man-made product that occurs in the Earth's upper atmosphere (Stratospheric ozone) and lower atmosphere (the troposphere).
  • Stratospheric ozone is formed naturally through the interaction of solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation with molecular oxygen (O2).
  • The "ozone layer," approximately 6 to 30 miles above the Earth's surface, reduces the amount of harmful UV radiation reaching the Earth's surface.

Key facts about Callisto

  • It is one of Jupiter’s largest moons and the third-largest moon in the Solar System after Ganymede and Titan.
  • Composition: It is primarily composed of water ice, rocky materials, sulphur dioxide, and some organic compounds. These substances make the moon a potential candidate for supporting life in the Solar System beyond the earth.

Its surface is heavily cratered, indicating a long history of being struck by asteroids and comets. It also lacks the extensive seismic activity seen on some of Jupiter’s other moons, such as Io and Europa.

Q1: What is Ultraviolet (UV) radiation?

It  is a form of non-ionizing radiation that is emitted by the sun and artificial sources, such as tanning beds. The beneficial effects of UV radiation include the production of a vital nutrient, vitamin D; however, overexposure may present risks. Sunburn, premature aging, and skin cancer are all risks to overexposure.

Source: Team led by PRL Ahmedabad finds ozone on Jupiter’s moon Callisto