Glossary term: Ozone

Description: Ozone is a blue-colored gas consisting of three oxygen atoms; it has the chemical formula O₃ and it is poisonous to humans. Its proportion in the atmosphere is small, and in some areas it may not exceed one part in a million. Depending on where the ozone is, it can protect or harm life on Earth. Most of the ozone is located in the stratosphere, where it acts as a shield that protects Earth's surface from ultraviolet radiation from the Sun. As this armor continues to weaken, our risk of skin cancer, cataracts, and a weakened immune system increases. Near Earth's surface and within the troposphere, ozone is a very harmful pollutant and can cause damage to lung tissue and plants.

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Term and definition status: This term and its definition is still awaiting approval

The OAE Multilingual Glossary is a project of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) in collaboration with the IAU Office of Astronomy Outreach (OAO). The terms and definitions were chosen, written and reviewed by a collective effort from the OAE, the OAE Centers and Nodes, the OAE National Astronomy Education Coordinators (NAECs) and other volunteers. You can find a full list of credits here. All glossary terms and their definitions are released under a Creative Commons CC BY-4.0 license and should be credited to "IAU OAE".