Scientists are discovering a new planet with a BREATHABLE AIR that is half a billion light years away
Scientists discover Breathing Oxygen for the first time in a galaxy outside the Milky Way – the only problem is that it is 581 million light-years away
- Researchers analyzed light waves from the Markarian 231 galaxy
- They found signatures that indicate the presence of molecular oxygen
- The galaxy, which is 581 million light-years away, has 100 times the amount of oxygen that has been identified in the Milky Way so far
For the first time, astronomers have identified molecular oxygen in a galaxy outside the Milky Way.
The discovery was made by a team of astronomers at the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, led by Junzhi Wang.
The team identified the presence of molecular oxygen by analyzing light waves that had reached Earth from Markarian 231, a galaxy about 581 million light-years away.
Light wave measurements at the 30-meter IRAM telescope in Granada, Spain (pictured above), helped scientists detect molecular oxygen signatures in the Markarian 231 galaxy, the first time the connection was detected outside the Milky Way
Ironically, the presence of oxygen in our own atmosphere, along with other gases, has traditionally made it difficult to obtain accurate light wave measurements from distant galaxies, according to a report in Vice.
These light waves are usually absorbed or diverted by the various gas elements in our atmosphere, making it almost impossible to get accurate measurements.
However, the light waves from Markarian 231 came from what is called a quasi stellar object or QSO.
QSOs are remote objects that have a star-like appearance, but emit light that has shifted red and travels at a lower wave frequency than conventional.
Because the light readings from Markarian 231 were from a QSO, they had a considerably lower wave frequency than standard light waves, allowing them to pass through the Earth’s atmosphere without distorting effects.
The measurements of the light wave were taken at two different locations: the 30-meter IRAM telescope in Granada, Spain, and the Northern Extended Millimeter Array telescope in the French Alps.
Markarian 231 is a galaxy 581 million light-years away from Earth and is believed to have 100 times as much oxygen as has been detected in the Milky Way so far
Based on the measurements, the team estimates that there may be more than 100 times as much oxygen in the Markarian 231 galaxy as has been observed so far in the Milky Way.
In the past 20 years, molecular oxygen has been detected at two other locations in the Milky Way: the Rho Ophiuchi cloud and the Orion Nebula.
People can breathe in pure oxygen for short periods of time – it is used as a common treatment for some health problems, including those who suffer from bends – but our respiratory systems depend on other elements in the air, such as nitrogen and carbon dioxide, to function normally .
Prolonged inhalation of pure oxygen can cause permanent lung damage and oxygen toxicity, as hemoglobin is overwhelmed in the blood with more oxygen molecules than it can carry.
Nevertheless, it is believed that oxygen is one of the most important elements needed for the development of life.
The team believes that further research could help them understand how oxygen distributions play a role in the development of galaxies and how that can create some of the necessary conditions for life formation.