Ilmuwan dari Swedish Space Corporation melaporkan adanya molekul oksigen pada rasi bintang baru Ophiuchus! Observasi ini dah sejak Agustus 2002 dilakukan.
Skrg ini Ophiuchus, jaraknya sekitar 500 tahun cahaya, lagi berkembang bintang2 dan planet2 baru. Penemuan ini penting karena kita bisa mempelajari bagaimana awalnya benda-benda langit ini terbentuk.
Wah... siapa yang bintangnya Ophiuchus nih
Situs SSC : ssc.se/?id=5104&cid=8089
Astrochemists have long argued that the Life molecules, water (H2O) and oxygen (O2), are highly abundant in the denser regions of the interstellar medium. One of the primary goals of the Odin astronomy mission was to use spectral line data from molecular oxygen (O2) and water H2O) to study processes of star formation. Models at the time predicted that these molecules would be abundant enough to assist the formation of stars by radiating away excess energy produced when clouds collapse to form new stars. The cloud collapse results in compression of the gas which is therefore heated. Unless this excess heat can be radiated away stars will not be able to form. Many attempts have been made from the ground, balloons and space to detect O2 but have, until now, all failed. Molecular oxygen has now finally, for the first time, been detected by a group of scientists from Sweden, Canada, Finland and France. The molecule was found in a dense (astronomically speaking) gas cloud (called rho Oph A) in the constellation of Ophiuchus at a distance of about 500 light years. The O2 abundance is a thousand times lower than can be explained by today's chemical models. This discovery is important as it will lead to new insight into the complex development of interstellar clouds forming stars and planets.
The importance of molecular oxygen led to the inclusion in the Odin five-channel microwave radiometer of a dedicated radio receiver tuned to the ground state transition of O2 at 118.75 GHz. (This frequency is about a factor 1000 higher than the typical FM radio band). Following intense technical development, at the Swedish Chalmers University, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and TRW, the Finnish Ylinen-built receiver could be equipped with a three-stage transistor-based pre-amplifier. Due to the very high frequencies, new materials such as InP substrates and methods to build Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuits (MMIC) had to be developed. In order to reduce the noise, amplifiers and mixers are cooled by a Stirling cooler to about 140 C.