In space, finally found the traces of the first molecules of the Universe

Scientists have long suspected that after about 100 000 years after the Big Bang, helium and hydrogen United to form the first molecule is the helium hydride. This helped the Universe to begin to cool, which led to the formation of stars. However, despite decades of searching, scientists could not find the helium hydride in space. Up to the present moment. Now hydride helium found in the nebula NGC 7027 with the help of most ingenious invention.

The helium hydride: witness the birth of the first stars

NASA used its Stratospheric Observatory for infrared astronomy (SOFIA) to find this ancient molecule. Scientists found it in NGC 7027, a planetary nebula (the remains of stars like our sun) to 3000 light years from us. The discovery proves that the helium hydride can exist in space, and it confirms the theory about the chemistry of the early universe and its evolution. The results were published in Nature.

This discovery demonstrates the power of the latest technologies NASA. SOFIA is the world’s largest air Observatory. In fact, it is a modified aircraft Boeing 747SP that is returned after each flight. This allows NASA to add new tools as they emerge. A recent update to the receiver at THz frequencies (GREAT) has helped to open, in fact, the presence of helium hydride in space. Scientists have set up a tool on the frequency of molecules and conducted a search of NGC 7027 is that the molecule may be in this nebula, began to suspect back in the 1970-ies. As said in the press release, Director of the research center SOFIA Harold York, a molecule were always there — we just lacked the right tools to find it.

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