PerspectiveEARLY UNIVERSE

First molecule still animates astronomers

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  16 Aug 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6454, pp. 639
DOI: 10.1126/science.aay5825

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Summary

The reason why astronomers find the helium hydride ion (HeH+) so intriguing is simple: This light, highly reactive molecule with strong acid character binds together hydrogen and helium, the first and most abundant elements in the Universe. The first clear detection of HeH+ in a nebula, earlier this year, has only intensified interest in the primordial molecule. On page 676 of this issue, Novotný et al. (1) studied HeH+ under conditions designed to mimic those of the early Universe. Their work offers insight into the chemical composition of the Universe before formation of the first stars.

View Full Text