July 2019

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide (HOOH) is one of the rare astromolecules that is widely known in the workaday human world. A report of its detection was announced in 2011 by Bergman et al. toward the ρ Oph cloud complex, specifically the A core. The observations were made with the APEX 12m telescope, a prototype of telescopes constructed for ALMA. A subsequent search for HOOH in a variety of other sources did not yield any further detections of the molecule.

Researcher Links
P Bergman
B Parise
R Liseau
B Larsson
H Olofsson
KM Menten
R Güsten

Hydrogen peroxide is commonly used as a disinfectant and bleach. It is nonplanar, distorted away from the ideal combination of two 90° H–O–O bond angles and a 90° H–O–O–H torsion angle. The related compound HO2, the hydroperoxyl radical, was discovered in 2012 toward the same source as HOOH by two of the authors of the HOOH detection, Parise and Bergman.

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