NASA Scientists Detect First Molecule of Universe

Published on April 23, 2019
The scientists of NASA have detected the first molecule which is Helium Hydride that was formed from stray atoms in the universe.
NASA Scientists Detect First Molecule of Universe
  • Helium Hydride is a combination of helium and hydrogen.

About the Discovery:

  • The research was published in the journal 'Nature'.
  • The researchers used the National Aeronautics and Space Administrations SOFIA, the world's largest airborne observatory, to detect helium hydride in NGC 7027, a planetary Nebula about 3,000 light-years away from Earth.

What is SOFIA?

  • Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a Boeing 747SP jetliner modified to carry a 106-inch diameter telescope.

Significance of this discovery:

  • Scientists for long had held that around 100,000 years after the big bang, helium and hydrogen combined to make a molecule called helium hydride for the first time.
  • But scientists could not find HeH+ in space and it was unproven.
  • The discovery brought a long search to a happy ending and eliminates doubts about our understanding of the underlying chemistry of the early universe.

Question:

Q. The scientists of NASA have detected which molecule which is the first molecule that was formed from stray atoms in the universe?
a. Sodium Hydride
b. Hydrogen Hydride
c. Helium Hydride
d. Potassium Hydride

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