The scientists recently found a new way of generating oxygen for future explorers of Mars. Mars is very far away from earth, so if the astronauts will have some way of creating oxygen on-site then it will save effort and money spent on taking oxygen from earth.
This new reaction of generating oxygen was discovered by are search team while studying the comets. Many of these icy small worlds get originated at distant part of solar system called OortCloud, which is even far way from Neptune’s orbit. If the orbit of comet brings it nearer to the sun then the heat begins to push cometary ice into space. It is this reaction that produces a long tail of comet which can stretch up to thousand miles.
A researcher team from Caltech has found a new way for explaining how comets can generate molecular oxygen. One method which is already known is via kinetic energy. A comet which is sublimating forms a busy environment in solar system. In this environment, solar wind can push the floating molecules of water on to the surface of comet with high speed.
If compounds having oxygen are present on the surface then careening of water molecules will rip the atoms of oxygen and produce the molecular oxygen.
The team of researchers also found that molecular oxygen can be produced by reactions of carbon dioxide. The old postdoctoral fellow of Caltech, Yunxi Yao along with current Caltech professor of chemical engineering, Konstantinos Giapis replicated the reaction by crashing CO2inside the gold foil.
The gold foil does not have the ability to get oxidized that’s why it cannot produce molecular oxygen. However, careening carbon dioxide into the gold foil at a high speed, molecular oxygen is emitted by the gold’s surface.
The representatives of Caltech said that by this reaction we get that both the oxygen atoms come from same CO2 molecule which is effectively getting split.