Universe’s first molecule detected in space after Helium hydride ion (HeH+)

Helium hydride ion (HeH+) was the first molecule that formed when, almost 14 billion years ago, falling temperatures in the young universe allowed recombination


0
crispbot

Helium hydride ion (HeH+) was the first molecule that formed when, almost 14 billion years ago, falling temperatures in the young universe allowed recombination of the light elements produced in the Big Bang.

Scientists have detected the most ancient type of molecule in our universe in space for the first time ever.

Helium hydride ion (HeH+) was the first molecule that formed when, almost 14 billion years ago, falling temperatures in the young universe allowed recombination of the light elements produced in the Big Bang.

Operating the GREAT far-infrared spectrometer onboard the flying observatory SOFIA, an international team reported unambiguous detection of the molecule towards the planetary nebula NGC 7027.

During the dawn of chemistry when the temperature in the young universe had fallen below 4000 Kelvin, the ions of the light elements (hydrogen, helium, deuterium and traces of lithium) produced in Big Bang nucleosynthesis recombined in reverse order of their ionisation potential.

At that time, ionised hydrogen and neutral helium atoms reacted to form HeH+, said researchers from The Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR) in Germany.

Helium combined first with free electrons to form the first ever neutral atom, according to the study published in the journal Nature.

At that time hydrogen was still ionised or present in form of bare protons.

Despite its importance in the history of the early Universe, HeH+ has so far escaped detection in astrophysical nebulae — cloud of gas and dust in outer space.

Helium atoms combined with these protons into the helium hydride ion HeH+, the universe’s first molecular bond.

As recombination progressed, HeH+ reacted with then neutral hydrogen and created a first path to the formation of molecular hydrogen — marking the beginning of the modern universe.


Like it? Share with your friends!

0

What's Your Reaction?

confused confused
0
confused
fail fail
0
fail
fun fun
2
fun
geeky geeky
1
geeky
hate hate
0
hate
lol lol
1
lol
love love
0
love
omg omg
0
omg
win win
1
win

0 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Choose A Format
Personality quiz
Series of questions that intends to reveal something about the personality
Trivia quiz
Series of questions with right and wrong answers that intends to check knowledge
Poll
Voting to make decisions or determine opinions
Story
Formatted Text with Embeds and Visuals
List
The Classic Internet Listicles
Countdown
The Classic Internet Countdowns
Open List
Submit your own item and vote up for the best submission
Ranked List
Upvote or downvote to decide the best list item
Meme
Upload your own images to make custom memes
Video
Youtube, Vimeo or Vine Embeds
Audio
Soundcloud or Mixcloud Embeds
Image
Photo or GIF
Gif
GIF format