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Ozone Layer Lesson for Kids: Definition & Facts

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  • 0:02 What is the Ozone Layer?
  • 1:18 The Ozone has a Hole?
  • 2:17 Repairing the Hole
  • 3:01 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor
Rebecca Gillaspy

Dr. Gillaspy has taught health science at University of Phoenix and Ashford University and has a degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic.

Expert Contributor
Jamie Lawton

Jamie has a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Northeastern University and has taught college chemistry.

You can't see the ozone layer, so how does it protect you? In this lesson, you'll learn about this important layer that covers the earth and how it keeps you safe from the harmful rays of the sun.

What Is the Ozone Layer?

Have you ever gotten sunburned? Ouch! For some people - especially those with lighter skin - playing outside in the sun for too long without sunscreen can turn your skin red and make it painful to touch.

Sunscreen is a protective coating that you put on your skin to block the sun's harmful rays. Did you know that the earth wears sunscreen? Earth's sunscreen is called the ozone layer.

Let's travel to the ozone layer to see it up close. Up, up we go. We had to fly many miles into the sky, but we finally reached the ozone layer. What? You don't see anything? Well, that's because the ozone layer is an invisible layer of protective gases that circle the earth.

The ozone layer is found between the Sun and Earth
ozone layer

The ozone layer sits between the Sun and us. Without the Sun's warmth, it would be too cold to live on Earth, but the Sun also gives off harmful ultraviolet rays, or UV rays for short. These rays are what cause sunburn. They can also hurt your eyes, cause skin cancer, and make it hard for plants to grow.

Luckily for us, the ozone layer stops most of the harmful UV rays from hitting Earth, while letting the warm sunshine pass through.

The Ozone Has a Hole?

Oh no, what's that? It looks like someone poked a hole in the ozone layer! Let's fly over there and take a look. Phew, now that we have a closer look, we can see that the ozone layer is not a complete hole, but it is a thinner-than-normal area of the ozone layer. The thinning of the ozone is a problem because it lets more UV rays hit the earth.

A picture of the ozone hole over Earth
ozone hole

We'd better fly back down to Earth and find out what's causing the ozone hole. There's a garbage dump - let's land there to see if we can spot any problems.

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Ozone Layer

Temperature Regulation

The Sun is the source for heat on the Earth as well as for the other planets in our solar system. Planets that are closer to the Sun are generally hotter than the Earth. Planets that are farther from the Sun are generally colder than the Earth. However, the Moon, which is a satellite of the Earth, is about the same distance from the Sun as the Earth is.

A big difference between the Earth and the Moon is the Earth has an ozone layer and the Moon does not. The ozone layer plays an important role in regulating the temperature on the Earth.

Questions

1. Look up the average temperature on the Moon during the Moon's day time. How does this compare to the temperature near your home during the day?

2. Look up the average temperature on the Moon during the Moon's night time. How does this compare to your local night time temperature?

3. Does the Earth or the Moon have a greater difference between nighttime and daytime temperatures?

4. What do you think it would be like to live on the Earth if there were no ozone layer?

5. How important is it to continue to protect the ozone layer?

6. What are some things we can do to help make sure the ozone layer is healthy and continues to protect us?

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