A molecule of oxygen first discovered in another galaxy

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2020-02-23 22:40:06

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In a distant galaxy at a distance of more than half a billion light years astronomers have found molecular oxygen. Despite the high prevalence in the Solar system that are important for the emergence of organic life element, the existence was officially confirmed only three objects located within the milky Way. How exactly occurs the oxygen out of our planet and how it can be detected at a distance of several million light years from Earth?

How is the oxygen?

Markarian Galaxy-231 — a very unusual according to the universal standards object. Fueling the energy of a nearby quasar, the young galaxy is located from us at a distance of 561 million light years and has an extremely bright galactic core with an active supermassive black hole in the center. According to an article published on the portal , in Markarian-231 was found a large quantity of molecular oxygen, previously seen only in a few regions of our galaxy. Thus, the most oxygen-rich place in the entire milky Way, according to the researchers, was the Orion nebula, a well-known presence in it of a large number of young stars whose intense radiation causes sublimation of water ice and the splitting of molecules, releasing oxygen as a by-product.

In order to find oxygen, the researchers used the so-called millimetric astronomy that can detect the tiniest of radio waves emitted by certain molecules. Observe the processes that are currently in the centre of the Markarian-231, directly point out that young galaxy has just two multiple supermassive black holes that revolve around each other at incredible speed.

Galaxy Markarian-231 can have at its center not one, but two black holes

Active nucleus of the galaxy is forcing you to go through the motions of molecular flow, producing a continuous aftershocks, capable of releasing oxygen present in the galaxy water particles. Knowing this, scientists decided to use observations of Markarian-231 30-meter IRAM telescope located in Spain. Based on data obtained during a four-day observation of the galaxy, the researchers found that a valid presence in Markarian-231 spectral signatures of oxygen. It is known that the powerful radiation of oxygen is about 32 615 light years from the galactic center and is the result of the interaction between the active molecular flow and the cloud external drive.

The Measurement of the group also showed that Markarian-231 was approximately 100 times higher than in the already mentioned above of the Orion Nebula, which suggests that the galaxy could be subjected to much more intense version of the same process of splitting molecules. In addition, Markarian is a galaxy with active star formation. It is known that new stars are formed in the object at an average speed of more than 100 solar masses per year. For comparison, our galaxy is able to annually produce only 1-2 stars average mass.

In a distant galaxy discovered oxygen — an important element for the origin of life

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