Scientists announced that for the first time in space, they discovered a mythical particle called HeH +, which could be the first molecule formed in the universe, which, as they say, is "the birth of chemistry."
According to the generally accepted theory, the universe was created 13.8 billion years ago by the Big Bang. It was full of uniform gas and was made by light elements such as hydrogen and helium. According to this theory, about 100,000 years after temperatures began to fall, the HeH molecule formed from the helium and proton atoms.
This landmark is "the first step in a long evolution that lasted billions of years and eventually created molecules as complex as DNA," explains David Nofield of Jones Hopkins University in the United States, co-author of a study published in Nature.
Although the existence of the HeH + molecule was demonstrated in the laboratory in 1925, it was never discovered in the universe.
And for the reason, because it eventually disappeared from our environment, transformed into hydrogen molecules and helium atoms.
"The absence of definitive proof of its existence in interstellar space before astronomy made a real dilemma," explained Rolf Gisten of the Max Plank Institute for Radio Astronomy in Germany.
Gisten is the lead author of the study published on Wednesday.
The molecule finally appeared in the young planetary nebula NGC 7027, whose conditions reflect the early universe.
The mythic molecule was identified by SOFIA, which is the English abbreviation of the Stratosphere Observatory for infrared astronomy, with the word Boing 747 transformed into a flying observer.