Oct 29, 2015

Rosetta mission: Comet 67P is surrounded

Posted by in category: space

The air around the comet that Rosetta landed on has plenty of oxygen, scientists say, potentially changing our understanding of the beginnings of the solar system.

In current theories, oxygen shouldn’t be able to exist in high quantities, and should instead have combined with hydrogen and formed water. But oxygen is the fourth most common gas around the comet.

Professor Kathrin Altwegg, project leader for Rosetta’s Rosina mass spectrometer instrument, said: “We had never thought that oxygen could ‘survive’ for billions of years without combining with other substances.”

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