`` Respirable oxygen molecules '' are found 500 million light years away from the earth, the first ever found outside the galaxy


ESO / M. Kornmesser

Oxygen is the third most common element in the universe after helium and hydrogen, but many of them exist as molecules of water associated with hydrogen. For this reason, 'oxygen molecules' as if breathing by humans have not been found outside the Milky Way galaxy where the solar system exists. The existence of such oxygen molecules was first confirmed in galaxies more than 500 million light years away.

Molecular Oxygen in the Nearest QSO Mrk 231-IOPscience

The first molecular oxygen has been spotted beyond the Milky Way | Science News

Scientists Found Breathable Oxygen in Another Galaxy for the First Time-VICE

Astronomers Have Detected Molecular Oxygen in Another Galaxy For The First Time

For the First Time, Molecular Oxygen Was Spotted Outside the Milky Way

Oxygen, which exists in a molecular state, has been found in the Lob Nebula and the Orion Nebula located in the Milky Way Galaxy. For example, in the Orion Nebula, it is speculated that water molecules are decomposed by the action of extremely hot stars shortly after birth, generating hydrogen and oxygen molecules. However, even in the Orion Nebula, which is also called the 'cradle of stars', the ratio of hydrogen molecules to oxygen molecules is one million to one, and oxygen molecules are extremely rare.

Meanwhile, the research team of Shanghai Astronomical Observatory astronomer Junzhi Wang et al. Succeeded in detecting the first extragalactic oxygen molecule in history. The research team used the IRAM 30 m telescope installed at the Sierra Nevada Observatory in Spain and the northern extended millimeter array (NOEMA) operated by the French Millimeter-wave Radio Astronomy Laboratory in France to mark the Orion on the `` Markarian 231 '' galaxy. It has been determined that oxygen molecules are present in concentrations more than 100 times that of the constellation Nebula.

Markarian 231 is a type of

Seyfert galaxy discovered in 1969, located 561 million light-years away from Earth. 'The abundance of molecular oxygen cannot be explained by known methods,' said Gary Melnick, astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysical Center.

However, some predictions have been made. According to a 2015 study, it is likely that the center of Markarian 231 is a black hole binary consisting of a black hole 150 million times the mass of the Sun and a black hole 4 million times the mass of the Sun It has been found that a large amount of gas per year, equivalent to 700 suns, is spewing out at high speed. This gas may break down water molecules in the galaxy and create oxygen molecules.

In addition, when oxygen molecules emit enough radiation, the interstellar gas is cooled and condensed, so it is thought that the oxygen molecules also help to form nearby galaxies. The researchers say, 'Molecules of oxygen appear to play an important 'coolant' role in areas of the universe affected by active galaxies . However, molecular oxygen is only a few parsecs away from the center of the galaxy. New astrochemical models will be needed to explain that abundance exists. '

The research team plans to conduct further observations in the future to identify other areas where oxygen molecules are present. It is hoped that this will deepen the understanding of the process of release of molecules from active galaxies and the process of formation of galaxies and stars.

in Science, Posted by log1l_ks