02 Aug '11, 11pm

European telescope finds first confirmed evidence of oxygen in space

European telescope finds first confirmed evidence of oxygen in space

The European Space Agency's Herschel telescope has found the first confirmed evidence of oxygen molecules in space. -- PHOTO: AFP WASHINGTON - THE European Space Agency's Herschel telescope has found the first confirmed evidence of oxygen molecules in space, according to a report published this week in the Astrophysical Journal. The traces, which have long eluded astronomers, were found in the star-forming region of the Orion constellation. 'Oxygen gas was discovered in the 1770s, but it's taken us more than 230 years to finally say with certainty that this very simple molecule exists in space,' said Dr Paul Goldsmith, Nasa's Herschel project scientist at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. Astronomers say the oxygen is contained in ice that covers the surface of tiny dust granules, which release water and oxygen when warmed. 'This explains where some of ...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/TechandScience/S...

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