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Atomic Oxygen Found On Mars! What Does It Mean?


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 Astronomy   |   Chemistry   |   Science
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When an oxygen atom exists as itself, chemists call it atomic oxygen. But why should we be so excited to find this in Mars' atmosphere?

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Atomic Oxygen on Mars Detected by Flying Telescope
"The airborne SOFIA telescope has measured atomic oxygen in Mars' atmosphere, the first such measurement in 40 years, providing a new way to monitor the vital element and gain more data to calculate the oxygen atoms' effect on the planet's surface."

Science Behind SOFIA
"Studying the universe using only visible light results in a very limited view, as you can see from the two images on the right. Visible light -- the light you see with your eyes -- reveals only part of the universe. Astronomers observe many other types of "light" to expand our views of the universe. SOFIA is designed to observe the infrared universe."

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