Scientists from the University of Queensland have made an astonishing and incredible discovery — the first Helium discoveries in our universe.
Helium is an incredibly important element, essential for many processes in various atomic systems. It is the second most abundant element in the observable universe, and its presence helps with the formation of stars, planets, galaxies, and even life itself. But until now, researchers had not been able to actually detect Helium in the form of regular matter.
The scientists discovered the presence of Helium in two separate systems—the stellar black hole Cygnus X-1 and an active galactic nucleus. In the former, emissions of ultraviolet light were detected while in the latter, there was an ionized gas jet. The presence of Helium was confirmed and is now being referred to as the Helium Evolution Confirmation.
The findings have far-reaching implications regarding our understanding of the universe. For starters, it signifies a shift in what we once believed to be true about Helium. While we have known of its presence in the universe in the form of cosmic radiation, this is the first time Helium has been discovered in two different places in the form of regular matter. What’s even more impressive is that the scientists were able to detect Helium in such a tiny amount — the emission lines from the two sources, combined with the gas discovered in Cygnus X-1, amounted to only a few parts per trillion of the total Helium content.
This breakthrough will likely be used in the future to understand the presence of other elements in our Universe, and maybe even reveal the workings of dark matter and dark energy. Furthermore, this major discovery will help our understanding of astrophysical processes and the evolution of our cosmos.
To sum up, the recent Helium Evolution Confirmation marks a major milestone in astrophysical research. It proves that we are just beginning to understand the incredible secrets of our Universe — secrets that Helium is eager to reveal.