What protects us from harmful radiation of the sun?

1 Answer
Apr 23, 2018

The Ozone layer.


Ozone, which is an allotrope of oxygen, has the chemical formula of #O_3#.

The chemical bonds in Ozone allows for absorption of much of the harmful ultraviolet radiation the sun emits onto earth, by absorbing the energy and using this energy to split its chemical bonds, forming an oxygen molecule and aoxygen free radical- a highly reactive species which has an unpaired electron pair.

#O_3 +#Energy#->##O_2 + O*#

The free radical reacts with another ozone molecule to form two oxygen molecules:

#O_3 + O*->2O_2#

So the net change is that ozone is destroyed- this is fine on its own, but the release of CFC's (Chlorofluorocarbons) into the ozone layers catalyses the destruction of ozone further, resulting in the destruction of ozone outweighing the formation of it- luckily, governments around the world have prohibited CFC's and the ozone layer is recovering.