Summary #204

Astronomers find oldest type of molecule in space

astronomy.com
  • In a symbolic victory for science, researchers have finally observed the ion which started the chemistry of the Universe - helium hydride (HeH+).
  • Attempts to capture it by combing through nebulae have been going on since the 1970s but failed since HeH+ is too easily absorbed by Earth’s atmosphere.
  • The new study succeeded thanks to the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) - an observatory on an airplane.
  • While not revolutionary, this discovery confirms theories about the early universe and puts an end to a decades-long search.

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