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Scientists find oxygen in space


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#1    E.B.E.

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 08:30 PM

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An international team of researchers has discovered molecular oxygen in space, which appears to be surprisingly rare in the universe.
The oxygen molecule was found in a gas cloud called rho Oph A in the Ophiuchus constellation, about 500 light years from Earth.
The element's abundance is 1,000 times lower than can be explained by today's chemical models, according to the research team, which includes Canadian astronomers and scientists from Sweden, France and Finland.
Molecules are structures composed of atoms.
Two atoms of the element oxygen form an oxygen molecule.
A light year is the distance light travels in a year, or about 9.461 trillion kilometres.
Their discovery and findings made with the Swedish Odin space observatory satellite developed collaboratively by the countries and launched in 2001 to find the oxygen are reported in the scientific journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.


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#2    War-Junkie

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 08:48 PM

thats where i put it


#3    dabas_10

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 09:01 PM

whoa , i didn't knew that thumbsup.gif


#4    JoshB

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 12:54 AM

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whoa , i didn't knew that thumbsup.gif

Know*  laugh.gif


#5    aussiemermaid

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 01:07 AM

Yeah i heard about that a littel while ago- the difference is that we humans and other living animals etc required O2- 2 atoms of Oxygen to breath, where as in space they are a single atom so just O, which we cant breathe in as a source of oxygen...


#6    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 01:30 AM

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Yeah i heard about that a littel while ago- the difference is that we humans and other living animals etc required O2- 2 atoms of Oxygen to breath, where as in space they are a single atom so just O, which we cant breathe in as a source of oxygen...


It's not so much that we can't breath atomic oxygen (O) but that it is so reactive it simply does not remain in existence for long, if there are other atoms and molecules for it to react with (hence the reason why you find diatomic oxygen {O2} in the atmosphere and even triatomic {ozone, O3}. Only in space where there is sufficient distance between atoms and molecules will you find atomic oxygen surviving.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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