November 2012

Sulfur Monoxide

Sulfur monoxide (SO) was detected in seven sources by Gottlieb & Ball in 1973. Two rotational lines were identified using the 36 ft telescope on Kitt Peak. A follow-up study from 1978 found additional confirming lines and expanded the number of sources where SO is present to nearly 20. A detection in the Large Magellanic Cloud was reported by Johansson in 1991.

SO has also been observed in several solar system sources. It was identified in comet Hale-Bopp by Bockelée-Morvan et al., as reported in 2000. Lellouch et al. observed it in the atmosphere of Io, and it's also been detected in the atmosphere of Venus.

SO and O2 are both open shell triplet species that are stable with respect to dissociation into atoms but are very reactive because of their diradical character.


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