Hydrogen Current Affairs - 2019

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NASA Spots 1st Molecule of the Universe

The scientists have detected the first molecule to ever form from stray atoms in the universe. The first such molecule was helium hydride, a combination of helium and hydrogen. The discovery is a first step in unlocking the mystery of the universe’s chemistry.

About the Discovery

  • The research was published in the journal Nature.
  • The researchers used the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA’s) 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.

SOFIA

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

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.

Month: Categories: Science & TechnologyUPSC

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Physicists create a new form of Hydrogen

Physicists from Austria have created new form of Hydrogen i.e. negatively charged hydrogen clusters. It is a previously unseen form of hydrogen.

For the past forty years, existence of hydrogen in ion clusters was known and is positively-charged clusters have already exists.

How negatively charged Hydrogen Clusters were created?
  • Researchers first injected cold liquid helium droplets with hydrogen molecules to form clusters with a neutral charge. Then they exposed these hydrogen-infused droplets to an electron beam.
  • This caused some hydrogen molecules to ionize and be flung out into the surrounding vacuum as negatively charged hydrogen ions.
  • Soon, the nearby hydrogen molecules started clustering around the negatively charged ions to create negatively charged hydrogen clusters that could boast a few, or many molecules each.
  • The newly created negatively charged hydrogen clusters existed only for microseconds (1 microsecond = 0.000001 seconds). But it was enough time for researchers to determine their geometric structures.
  • Significance of Research: It will help researchers to easily identify the clusters in nature.

Month: Categories: InternationalScience & Technology

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