ScienceIQ.com

Two Face? Absolutely!

During the Viking missions to Mars in the mid 1970s, the planet was imaged from orbit by the Viking 1 and 2 Orbiters. These spacecraft returned images of regions of the planet that, while similar to geological features on Earth, are vastly different. One of the areas viewed by the Viking 1 Orbiter as it searched for potential landing sites was a ...

Continue reading...

TwoFaceAbsolutely
Astronomy

Introduction to Constellations

'Constellation' is the name we give to seeming patterns of starsin the night sky. 'Stella' is the Latin word for star and a constellation is a grouping of stars. In general, the stars in these groups ... Continue reading

IntroductiontoConstellations
Chemistry

Turning Oil Into Gas

When you see all those cars at the gas station filling up with unleaded, you may not stop to think about how that gasoline got there. It wasn't pumped out of the ground in that form. The same goes for ... Continue reading

TurningOilIntoGas
Biology

Now You See It, Now You Don't

What we call light is simply a narrow band of electromagnetic radiation that our eyes are sensitive to. This radiation enters our eyes and is conveyed to the brain by the process we call sight. While ... Continue reading

EMRadiation
Astronomy

What Is Microgravity?

Gravity is a force that governs motion throughout the universe. It holds us to the ground and keeps the Earth in orbit around the Sun. Microgravity describes the environment in orbital space flight, ... Continue reading

Microgravity

The Hole Scoop on Ozone

OzoneHoleOzone is a molecule containing three oxygen atoms. It is blue in color and has a strong odor. Normal oxygen, which we breathe, has two oxygen atoms and is colorless and odorless. Ozone is much less common than normal oxygen. Out of each 10 million air molecules, about 2 million are normal oxygen, but only 3 are ozone. However, even the small amount of ozone plays a key role in the atmosphere. The ozone layer absorbs a portion of the radiation from the sun, preventing it from reaching the planet's surface. Most importantly, it absorbs the portion of ultraviolet light called UVB. UVB has been linked to many harmful effects, including various types of skin cancer, cataracts, and harm to some crops, certain materials, and some forms of marine life.

At any given time, ozone molecules are constantly formed and destroyed in the stratosphere. The total amount, however, remains relatively stable. The concentration of the ozone layer can be thought of as a stream's depth at a particular location. Although water is constantly flowing in and out, the depth remains constant. While ozone concentrations vary naturally with sunspots, the seasons, and latitude, these processes are well understood and predictable. Scientists have established records spanning several decades that detail normal ozone levels during these natural cycles. Each natural reduction in ozone levels has been followed by a recovery. Recently, however, convincing scientific evidence has shown that the ozone shield is being depleted well beyond changes due to natural processes.