Believe it or not, we’ve been spending the last 230 years searching for a certain molecule in deep space. Now, the search is finally over, and we have proof — Yes, oxygen molecules do exist in space.
The European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Observatory detected the molecules in the Orion nebula, which is about 1,500 light years away from Earth.
You might not know this, but “atomic oxygen” (the term for an individual oxygen atom) is common in space, and it can usually be found around gigantic stars. However, molecular oxygen is made of two bonded oxygen atoms. This is the same type of oxygen that allows us to breathe air on Earth.
For those of you who flunked science in middle school — no, this does not mean that we can now breathe in space.