Venus surprised scientists presence of the ozone layer


10/10/2011

Recently, scientists have been able to establish that it turns out that the planet Venus also has its own ozone layer. A thin layer of ozone, which is hundreds of times less dense than the Earth ozone layer was discovered spaceship Venus Express, a European Space Agency (ESA), as the researchers reported in the journal "Icarus".

Until now it was known that the ozone layer is only present in the atmosphere of the Earth and Mars, so the discovery of Venus was an incredible surprise to the researchers. The new discovery could help astronomers who have long been in the tireless search for life on other planets. The European spacecraft observed ozone layer at the time of observation of the stars through the atmosphere of Venus. Shine distant stars was weaker than expected, because the ozone layer absorbs a certain amount of ultraviolet light.

The main author of the research paper Montmessin Frank (Franck Montmessin), from the atmospheric research center LATMOS in France, explained that Venus’ ozone layer is located 100 kilometers to the above, which is about three times higher than the location of the ozone layer of our planet.

Ozone is a molecule which contains three oxygen atoms formed when the sunlight destroying carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of Venus for the subsequent formation of oxygen molecules. On Earth, ozone, which absorbs a large amount of harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun, preventing them from reaching the surface, is formed in a similar manner. Nevertheless, this process is completed generation of oxygen, which occurs due to microbes that eats carbon dioxide.

Speaking about the discovery of the International Space Group, Hakan We reduce (Hakan Svedhem), ESA project scientist for the mission Venus Express, said: "This ozone detection tells about many things concerning the circulation and the chemical composition in the atmosphere of Venus. Moreover, it is also another confirmation of the fundamental similarity between the rocky planets, and emphasizes the importance of studying Venus to a better understanding of all aspects. "

Some of astrobiology admit the idea that the presence of oxygen, carbon, and ozone in the atmosphere indicated directly on the existence of life on a planetary surface. New results have denied various suggestions that the presence of only the oxygen in the atmosphere is not strong enough evidence to start looking for life on the planet.

Nevertheless, the presence of these gases in large quantities, as in the atmosphere is likely to be good evidence of the existence of any life form, as noted by researchers. "We can use these new observations to test and refine the scenarios developed for the detection of life on other worlds" - concluded Dr. Montmessin.

Original: BBC Translation: M. Potter


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