Photo credit: NASA/ESA/HubbleMore
In the beginning, there was a big bang. And then, around 100,000 years later, helium and hydrogen combined for the first time to create a molecule called helium hydride. For the first time in history scientists have detected helium hydride, offering a direct connection to the earliest days of the universe.
While it may not present the photo opportunities of a black hole, helium hydride has been crucial in the formation of the known universe. When it was first forming, there wasn’t much of a universe yet and it was all extremely hot, with helium and hydrogen constantly bumping into each other. Only when helium hydride started forming could the universe cool down and expand. Later, cooled helium would interact with