a nearly colorless (but faintly blue) gaseous form of oxygen, with a characteristic odor like chlorine; has a formula of O3 and a molecular weight of 48; found in trace quantities in the earth's atmosphere at all times, primarily in the stratosphere between heights of about 10 to 50 kilometers (6 to 31 miles; the ozonosphere or ozone shield) where its production results from photochemical processes involving ultraviolet radiation; its maximum concentration occurs between 20 to 25 kilometers (12 to 16 miles); in the lower atmosphere, ozone is commonly formed as a product of electrical discharges through the air.