What is the chemical formula for ozone?

Question: What is the chemical formula for ozone?

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Ozone is a unique and important form of oxygen that exists naturally in Earth’s atmosphere. Its chemical formula is O3, meaning each molecule of ozone consists of three oxygen atoms.

Unlike the oxygen we breathe (O2), which consists of two oxygen atoms, ozone possesses different properties due to its triatomic structure. This difference manifests itself in its color (blue) and smell (similar to chlorine), which can be noticed during electrical storms when lightning discharges generate ozone.

Ozone is found in two layers of the atmosphere: the troposphere (the layer closest to Earth’s surface) and the stratosphere (the next layer up). In the troposphere, ozone is considered a pollutant that contributes to smog and air pollution. However, in the stratosphere, it forms the crucial ozone layer that protects life on Earth by absorbing the majority of the Sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation.

Ozone is both created and destroyed in the stratosphere by natural processes. Human activities releasing substances containing chlorine and bromine have caused the depletion of the ozone layer, known as the ‘ozone hole.’ This issue has been addressed through international efforts, such as the Montreal Protocol, aiming to phase out the production of ozone-depleting substances.