Ozone

A blue horizontal table with white balls, a red lever and the letters 'A', 'B', 'C' and 'D' displayed.
A blue and green exhibiti with a vertical information panel at the back and a horizontal table with white balls, a red lever and the letters 'A', 'B', 'C' and 'D' displayed.

Ozone is a gas in our atmosphere that prevents too much ultraviolet radiation (UV) from reaching the Earth's surface.

How it works

Read the quiz questions and place a ball against the response that you think is correct, then check your answers when the balls fall through or stay in place.

Things to try or ask around the exhibit

Ozone is a gas in our atmosphere, mostly found 20 kilometres above Earth. Here, ozone prevents too much ultraviolet radiation (UV) from reaching the Earth’s surface.

Living things need some UV, but too much UV can damage living tissue. Different chemicals destroy ozone, including chemicals called CFCs found in some older spray cans and plastic foam. People call this loss of ozone the 'ozone hole’, although it is really a 'thinning’ of ozone, not a large, gaping hole. Ozone thinning occurs all over the world, but the greatest ozone loss happens over Antarctica between September and February.

Background

Ozone is a gas in our atmosphere, mostly found 20 kilometres above Earth. Here, ozone prevents too much ultraviolet radiation (UV) from reaching the Earth’s surface.

Living things need some UV, but too much UV can damage living tissue. Different chemicals destroy ozone, including chemicals called CFCs found in some older spray cans and plastic foam. People call this loss of ozone the 'ozone hole’, although it is really a 'thinning’ of ozone, not a large, gaping hole. Ozone thinning occurs all over the world, but the greatest ozone loss happens over Antarctica between September and February.

Finding the science in your world

Ozone is also generated by car exhausts and at ground level, ozone can cause respiratory problems. Some old fashioned electrical appliances also generate ozone when their electricity supply reacts with surrounding oxygen to create ozone.