Crab Nebula noble gas: Researchers have determined that the Crab Nebula has a noble gas molecule. Prior to this latest development, scientists didn't believe noble gas molecules occurred in space. The noble gas molecule was argon hydride. Epoch Times reported Dec. 14 that researchers worked with Europe’s Herschel Space Observatory in learning this information.
Cardiff University's press release said that before this “discovery, molecules of this kind have only been studied in laboratories on Earth.”
The Crab Nebula is the remaining parts of giant star that exploded 1,000 years ago.
The Crab Nebula noble gas study reveals that helium, argon, radon, and krypton were in the gases found. These forms of chemicals don't typically react well with others. They predominately exist by themselves and hardly ever form molecules. Certain circumstances will allow gases to become molecules with other chemicals, but they've been found only in laboratories on Earth, the report said. Scientists have assumed for a long time that molecules don't exist in space.
Dr. Haley Gomez of Cardiff University’s School of Physics and Astronomy said this:
“Not only is it very young in astronomical terms, but also relatively close, at just 6,500 light years away, providing an excellent way to study what happens in these stellar explosions. Last year, we used the European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Observatory to study the intricate network of gas filaments to show how exploding stars are creating huge amounts of space dust.”
Professor Mike Barlow from University College London said the Crab Nebula noble gas finding was on "accident."
“At first, the discovery of argon seemed bizarre. With hot gas still expanding at high speeds after the explosion, a supernova remnant is a harsh, hot and hostile environment, and one of the places where we least expected to find a noble-gas based molecule,” Prof. Barlow said.