The new finding suggests the oxygen molecules were incorporated into the Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko during its formation.European Space Agency (ESA)'s Rosetta spacecraft has been studying the comet for over a year and has detected an abundance of different gases pouring from its nucleus which includes Water vapour, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide are the most prolific, with a rich array of other nitrogen-, sulphur- and carbon-bearing species, and noble gases.The amount of molecular oxygen detected showed a strong relationship to the amount of water measured at any given time, suggesting that their origin on the nucleus and release mechanism are linked. In addition, no ozone was detected.
Facts about Rosetta spacecraft
1. Rosetta is a space probe built by the European Space Agency launched on 2 March 2004.
2. Along with Philae, its lander module, Rosetta is performing a detailed study of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko (67P).
3. On its 10 year journey towards comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the spacecraft has passed by two asteroids: 2867 Steins (in 2008) and 21 Lutetia (in 2010).
4. Next phase of the mission- Rosetta will accompany the comet through perihelion (August 2015) until the nominal end of the mission.
Facts about Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko :
1. Like all comets, Churyumov-Gerasimenko is named after its discoverers.
2. It was first observed in 1969.
3. Comet 67P is one of numerous short period comets which have orbital periods of less than 20 years and a low orbital inclination.
4. Since their orbits are controlled by Jupiter's gravity, they are also called Jupiter Family comets.