The Trouble with Hydrogen

The trouble with hydrogen is that space is "filled" with it-not filled as we conceive of "filled," as we fill a glass with water, but too "filled" to fit into most astronomers' theories about the universe and how it began.

You see, hydrogen is the fundamental building block in the cosmos. The astrophysicists and astrochemical theorists believe that literally everything began with hydrogen-from water (H2O) to the densest substances we know (think of armor plating, for instance) to the giant stars which populate the Milky Way, our "local neighborhood" in space.

And given the number of island galaxies, each with uncountable millions of stars, which our super-telescopes are finding by tens of thousands and possibly millions as they probe for the edges of space, they argue for a truly enormous amount of elemental hydrogen. According to any rational theory our experts have come up with to account for how it all began, free hydrogen atoms should by now be almost non-existent. 

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