Fr.: CH (méthylidine)
The first molecule detected in the interstellar medium. Methylidine radical (CH) was discovered by Walter S. Adams in 1937 using coudé spectroscopy in the direction of the bright star ζ Ophiuchi at the Mount Wilson Observatory (main CH line at 4300 Å).
Chemical term based on Gk. methy "wine," cognate with Pers. mey "wine," from Mid.Pers. mad, may "wine;" Av. maδu- "wine, mead;" cf. Skt. mádhu- "honey, wine, sweet drink," O.E. medu, E. mead, M.Du. mede, Ger. Met "mead;" O.C.S. medu, Lith. medus "honey;" Rus. m'od "honey," m'édved' "bear" (literally "honey-knower"); PIE base *médhu- "honey, sweet drink."