Oxygen Detected Outside Milky Way

  • 17 Mar 2020

  • Molecules of oxygen have been tracked for the first time to a strange and distant galaxy - Markarian 231, millions of light-years away.
  • This is only the third time trails of oxygen molecules have been detected beyond the solar system. Earlier, in the span of the last 20 years, the molecules were found only in the Orion Nebula and the Rho Ophiuchi, both part of our milky way galaxy.
  • Oxygen is the third most abundant element in the Universe, behind hydrogen (naturally) and helium. So its chemistry and abundance in interstellar clouds are important for understanding the role of molecular gas in galaxies.