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Rho Ophiuchi hydrogen peroxide
07/05/11

 

The colourful Rho Ophiuchi star formation region, about 400 light-years from Earth, contains very cold (around -250 degrees Celsius), dense clouds of cosmic gas and dust, in which new stars are being born. The clouds are mostly made of hydrogen, but contain traces of other chemicals, and are prime targets for astronomers hunting for molecules in space. Astronomers using the APEX telescope to observe this region discovered hydrogen peroxide molecules in interstellar space for the first time, in the area marked with the red circle. Credit: ESO/S. Guisard (www.eso.org/~sguisard)



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