It's not every day that scientists get to say they've found something in space for the first time ever, but astronomers working with the European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory announced just such a discovery today, and it's a big one. They've made the first confirmed finding of oxygen molecules in space (found hiding in the Orion nebula), and suggest that the oxygen is likely released when the water ice surrounding dust grains is melted by the heat from nearby stars forming. Of course, one discovery only leads to more questions, and the scientists note that they still haven't found large amounts of oxygen, and "still don't understand what is so special about the spots where we find it."


Herschel telescope finds first evidence of oxygen molecules in space