Argon gas molecule found in Crab Nebula


Argon is a chemical element belonging to the noble gas family. The element is the third most common element found in our atmosphere.

For many years elements in this family were called inert gases because they were not found bound with other elements to form molecules. However chemists in a laboratory are now able to combine certain noble gases with other elements creating molecules.

A form of the element Argon has now been found in the crab nebula combined with hydrogen to form a molecular ion, ArH+.


Barlow, M J., et al. (2013, December 13). Detection of a Noble Gas Molecular Ion, 36ArH+, in the Crab Nebula. Science, 342(6164) DOI: 10.1126/science.1243582

Sonnenberg, M. (2013, December 14). Noble gas molecule discovered in space where astronomers least expected it. The Space Reporter. Retrieved December 14, 2013, from