A new experiment has shown that atmospheric oxygen can be created without plant life, possibly explaining the presence of small amounts of O2 on Mars.
A team of researchers at UC Davis, California have developed a mechanism for creating oxygen that doesn’t require photosynthesis. Using a vacuum ultraviolet laser – solar light – to irradiate carbon dioxide (CO2) in the lab, the team was able to break the CO2 apart in one step, leaving free carbon and oxygen.
Once the CO2 was broken up into carbon and oxygen, the team used an ion imaging apparatus to track the results.
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