Venus springs ozone layer surprise Skip to main content

Venus springs ozone layer surprise


Venus' night side (Credit:  ESA/AOES) Artist's impression of the detection of ozone on Venus' night side

Related Stories

Scientists have discovered that Venus has an ozone layer.
The thin layer, which is hundred of times less dense than the Earth's, was discovered by the European Space Agency's Venus Express craft, researchers report in the journal Icarus.
Until now, ozone layers have only been detected in the atmospheres of Earth and Mars.
The find could help astronomers refine their hunt for life on other planets.
The European spacecraft spied the ozone layer when focusing on stars through Venus' atmosphere.
The distant stars appeared fainter than expected, because the ozone layer absorbed some of their ultraviolet light.
The paper's lead author Franck Montmessin, of the LATMOS atmospheric research centre in France, explained that Venus' ozone layer sits 100km up; about three times the height of our own.
The ozone - a molecule containing three oxygen atoms - formed when sunlight broke down carbon dioxide in the Venusian atmosphere to form oxygen molecules.
On Earth, ozone, which absorbs much of the Sun's harmful UV-rays preventing them reaching the surface, is formed in a similar way.
However, this process is supplemented by oxygen released by carbon dioxide-munching microbes.
Ozoning in Speaking of the international team's find, Hakan Svedhem, ESA project scientist for the Venus Express mission, said: "This ozone detection tells us a lot about the circulation and the chemistry of Venus's atmosphere.
"Beyond that, it is yet more evidence of the fundamental similarity between the rocky planets, and shows the importance of studying Venus to understand them all."
Some astrobiologists assume that the presence of oxygen, carbon, and ozone in an atmosphere indicates that life exists on a planet's surface.
The new results negate that assumption - the mere presence of oxygen in an atmosphere is now not enough evidence to start looking for life.
However, the presence of large quantities of these gases, as in the Earth's atmosphere, is probably still a good lead, the scientists said.
"We can use these new observations to test and refine the scenarios for the detection of life on other worlds," said Dr Montmessin.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15203281

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Chronology of the Press in Burma

1836 – 1846 * During this period the first English-language newspaper was launched under British-ruled Tenasserim, southern  Burma . The first ethnic Karen-language and Burmese-language newspapers also appear in this period.     March 3, 1836 —The first English-language newspaper,  The Maulmain Chronicle , appears in the city of Moulmein in British-ruled Tenasserim. The paper, first published by a British official named E.A. Blundell, continued up until the 1950s. September 1842 —Tavoy’s  Hsa-tu-gaw  (the  Morning Star ), a monthly publication in the Karen-language of  Sgaw ,  is established by the Baptist mission. It is the first ethnic language newspaper. Circulation reached about three hundred until its publication ceased in 1849. January 1843 —The Baptist mission publishes a monthly newspaper, the Christian  Dhamma  Thadinsa  (the  Religious Herald ), in Moulmein. Supposedly the first Burmese-language newspaper, it continued up until the first year of the second Angl

Thai penis whitening trend raises eyebrows

Image copyright LELUXHOSPITAL Image caption Authorities warn the procedure could be quite painful A supposed trend of penis whitening has captivated Thailand in recent days and left it asking if the country's beauty industry is taking things too far. Skin whitening is nothing new in many Asian countries, where darker skin is often associated with outdoor labour, therefore, being poorer. But even so, when a clip of a clinic's latest intriguing procedure was posted online, it quickly went viral. Thailand's health ministry has since issued a warning over the procedure. The BBC Thai service spoke to one patient who had undergone the treatment, who told them: "I wanted to feel more confident in my swimming briefs". The 30-year-old said his first session of several was two months ago, and he had since seen a definite change in the shade. 'What for?' The original Facebook post from the clinic offering the treatment, which uses lasers to break do

Myanmar Villagers Tell of 150 Homes Burned in Deadly Army Air Attacks

Artillery fire and aerial bombardments by Myanmar forces killed three civilians and burned scores of houses in their communities in mid-March amid fighting between Myanmar forces and the rebel Arakan Army in war-ravaged Rakhine state, villagers recounted Monday at a press conference. Villagers from Kyauktaw township in western Myanmar's Rakhine state discuss the government military's attacks on their communities at press conference in Sittwe, March 30, 2020. They made the comments after traveling from in Kyauktaw township to the state capital Sittwe to give testimony on a series of attacks on civilian dwellings amid a government-imposed internet shutdown in nine townships in Rakhine and neighboring Chin state, cutting off vital information about the fighting. They villagers accused the Myanmar Army of conducting an aerial bombing on civilian communities that destroyed about 150 homes and a monastery in Pyaing Taing village, while government soldiers on the g