Periodic table of (weather) elements: Hydrogen and interstellar clouds
Wednesday, May 28, 2014, 3:28 PM -
Neublae may be one of the most beautiful phenomenons in the universe.
These interstellar clouds of dust are largely comprised of hydrogen, helium and ionized gases. They often act as star-forming regions -- and sometimes even planets.
You can scroll down to learn a bit more about nebulae -- but before you do, here's some background on an element that helps make them possible.
WHAT ROLE DOES HYDROGEN PLAY IN OUR UNIVERSE?
Hydrogen is the first element on the periodic table and it is the simplest atom there is, composed of one proton on the nucleus and orbited by one electron.
It's also one of the oldest elements on existence.
The Big Bang that gave birth to our universe only produced a limited number of elements initially, and hydrogen was one of them.
It still exists in outer space – and we can see evidence of it in interstellar clouds.
But you don't have to go that far to find evidence of hydrogen.
It's everywhere – in our sun, in the water we drink and in the amino acids that keep us strong and healthy. In fact, hydrogen makes up about 75% of all the matter in the universe.