The universe is unfathomably enormous and busy and it’s filled with petrifying black holes that can tear planets apart.
However, the universe’s very first molecule, which is believed to have been created after the Big Bang, has been discovered for the very first time. Following the Big Bang, the universe was pretty boring and an empty place. The universe was hot, dense and filled with chiefly hydrogen and helium atoms. The first molecule of the universe was created when the hydrogen and helium atoms clashed with each other.
For the first time, NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a telescope that was fastened to the back of a Boeing 747, has noticed the very first molecule in space: Helium hydride. Helium Hydride, a combination of hydrogen and helium, was spotted some 3000-light years from Earth by SOFIA.
The revelation was made after studying planetary nebula NGC 7027, a cloud of gas and dust gushing out from a dying star around 3,000 light-years from Earth. Finding the molecule hidden in the solar system is a crucial step in affirming beliefs about the ancient universe and the interactions that took place post-big bang. The findings were printed in the journal Nature on Wednesday.
Helium hydride is the key to understand the early development of the universe. Scientists have long presumed that the surroundings after the big bang allowed helium hydride to form, providing the base of basic chemistry.
In 1925, helium hydride was first created in the laboratory, but it has evaded discernment in the cosmos, throwing a galaxy-size spanner in the universe works. With helium hydride’s existence in space affirmed, researchers now can finally solve a long-standing cosmic conundrum.