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April 17, 2019

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HeH+ is the most acid molecule there is!
It protonizes anything with which it comes into contact.

Next worst chemical is chlorine trifluoride, which even melts glass and sets fire to asbestos etc!

Thanks for the warnings, Stu. I'll try to stay away from both! (I seem to recall having let a few drops of sulfuric acid get away from me in my first chem lab in college. From then on, I had a holy skirt - which, some years later, a young neighbor kid was appalled to find me wearing with patches. (She was sweet but a bit spoiled - an only and adopted child.)

I am just amazed by the things they can detect so far away. It would be amazing to be able to understand the science behind the theory of the the first molecule formed. (I would think it would be something easier - not involving a noble gas that is reluctant to make commitments.)

Bogie--Ah, yes, H is reluctant. We're told that it took even longer for that noble gas to combine with its own to form the neutral H2 molecule than to form HeH. What's a mother to do? (P.S. And it took over 370,000 years for the first molecules to form, they postulate.)

@Bogie,
In the beginning, there was only hydrogen (H+ is a proton). Density variations and thus gravity caused the hydrogen to condense. As the density rose, so did the temperature until the hydrogen started to fuse into Helium. The first stars.
So the first molecule could only be H2 or HeH or He2.

As the star ran out of hydrogen, it collapsed (suddenly) further, the temperature rose until Helium could fuse, e.g. into Carbon, later nitrogen and oxygen, the most common elements in us.
More complex molecules became possible...

Later heavier elements were formed too, until no more fusion was possible.
The star then collapsed and exploded in a supernova, scattering all these elements.

You are stardust.

(Carl Sagan explained it better).

Ah, that explains it - and actually makes sense to me.

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