One comment on “This Week in Science Oct 26-Nov 1”

  • First Detection Of Molecular Oxygen At A Comet

    For example, oxygen atoms can combine with hydrogen atoms on cold dust grains to form water, or a free oxygen split from O2 by ultraviolet radiation can recombine with an O2 molecule to form ozone (O3).

    The amount of molecular oxygen detected showed a strong relationship to the amount of water measured at any given time, suggesting that their origin on the nucleus and release mechanism are linked. By contrast, the amount of O2 seen was poorly correlated with carbon monoxide and molecular nitrogen, even though they have a similar volatility to O2. In addition, no ozone was detected.

    There may well be a clue here!
    Free oxygen can be split from O2 by ultraviolet, so perhaps it can also be split from H20, and in the vacuum of space may take some time to collide with any other molecules with which to react!

    There would certainly be plenty of UV as the comet approached the Sun at perisol.

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