Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso


  • Francis AlbaredeEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_1142-3


Ozone, O3, is an important trace constituent of the stratosphere, where it forms the ozone layer. It consists of three atoms of oxygen arranged as an open triangle. Ozone is produced in the three-body reaction O + O2 + M = O3 + M, where M represents a stabilizing molecule (N2 or O2) and O is produced by the photochemical dissociation of O2. Some other components (NO, Cl, CFCs) catalyze the reaction of ozone destruction O3 + O = 2O2. The importance of ozone for life preservation lies in its unique capability to block solar UV radiation in a range particularly harmful to organic macromolecules (230–290 nm). It is also a greenhouse gas.

See Also


Bioorganic Chemistry Open Triangle Ozone Layer Stratospheric Ozone Life Preservation 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ecole Normale Supérieure de LyonLyonFrance