Venus Has an Ozone Layer Too


ESA’s Venus Express spacecraft has discovered an ozone layer high in the atmosphere of Venus. Comparing its properties with those of the equivalent layers on Earth and Mars will help astronomers refine their searches for life on other planets. The results are being presented today at the Joint Meeting of the European Planetary Science Congress and the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences.

Venus Express made the discovery while watching stars seen right at the edge of the planet set through its atmosphere.  Its SPICAV instrument analysed the starlight, looking for the characteristic fingerprints of gases in the atmosphere as they absorbed light at specific wavelengths.

The ozone was detectable because it absorbed some of the ultraviolet from the starlight.

Full Story: http://www.europlanet-eu.org/outreach/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=357&Itemid=41

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