Scientists have Discovered the Earliest Molecule in the Universe
German scientists have discovered in space the earliest molecule formed after the Big Bang, DPA and AFP reported.
The appearance of the henel hydride hen H + molecule marks the "beginning of chemistry".
Rolf Gustin's team at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy has been searching for decades of helium hydride ions in space. Although the existence of the ionic compound of ionized hydrogen and helium has been established in laboratory since 1925, it remains undetectable in space.
"Then there were just no such detectors," explained Gustav, quoted by BTA.
For over 10 years, the team has been working to create a high-resolution spectrometer capable of recording the individual infrared radiation of a molecule in space. The measurements were made by Boeing 747, equipped as a flying observatory. The molecule is found in the planetary nebula NGC 7027 about 3000 light-years from Earth.
The discovery can help to better understand the initial evolution of the universe. Scientists hope to be able to better model chemical reactions in the early phase of the universe shortly after the Big Bang about 13.8 billion years ago.
An article about the study was published in the journal Nature.