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Scientists accidentally designed an incredibly accurate ozone detector

Scientists accidentally designed an incredibly accurate ozone detector

Science
April 30 (UPI) -- Researchers originally designed the ROZE instrument to detect hydroxyl, which rids the atmosphere of methane. But tests showed the instrument was surprisingly good at measuring ambient levels of ozone -- better than the best available commercial ozone detectors. "When we started this development effort, ozone was the farthest thing from our minds," NASA research scientist Tom Hanisco said in a news release. In his attempts to track hydroxyl levels, Hanisco deployed a technique known as gas filter correlation spectroscopy, which works by filtering out the wavelengths that interact with -- or, are absorbed by -- hydroxyl. An air leak in the device's cavity, which scientists intended to fill with hydroxyl, caused technical difficulties. Instead of producing hydroxyl, the i...