I have obtained permission from Haley Gomez to geek out over the internet about something in her talk at this conference today – which is possibly the most exciting thing I’ve ever seen at an astronomy conference! Specifically, none other than a noble gas compound detected in a supernova remnant! I know, right?
Noble gas compounds, supernova chemistry, supernova remnants generally, and identifying mysterious astronomical spectroscopic lines are already some of my favourite things, but all of those things together? Just fantastic.
Without going into too much detail about the specifics, which are presently being kept under wraps, a certain popular supernova remnant★ has had a couple of unidentified spectroscopic lines in it for quite some time. However, with a little careful examination, it seems that those lines are in fact due to the Argon Hydride molecule, ArH+. Which would be the first firm detection of a noble gas compound astronomically. Seriously, I knew it was only a matter of time (any long time readers of mine may recall me musing about noble gas compounds before…). I’m going to be eagerly waiting for the paper to be published on this.
Interestingly enough, another talk yesterday said something about evidence for krypton depletion in cold diffuse interstellar environments too. Which makes me wonder…
★ Yes, supernova remnants can be popular. Most of them have more fans than I do.