The methoxy radical (CH3O) was identified in 2012 by
Cernicharo et al. toward B1-b, a low-mass
protostar that exhibits complex chemistry. Several
rotational lines were observed with the
IRAM 30 m radio telescope. No confirming
evidence for the presence of CH3O has been reported to date.
The methoxy radical is related to one of the most common astromolecules,
methanol. Removing the H
from methanol's O yields CH3O. Another radical, CH2OH, can be formed
by taking a H off methanol's C instead: it is known as the
hydroxymethyl radical, but it
has not yet been the subject of a search in the ISM.