Astronomers have theorized that the Big Bang governs the behavior of interstellar dust, particles that comprise the atoms and molecules created in the progenitive explosion and persisting in even the emptiest regions of space.
d) they persiste
e) are persisting
Please explain your choice
A. There are two modifying phrases describing the atoms and molecules: created in the progenitive explosion
and persisting in even the emptiest regions of space
. Parallelism demands that each begin with a participle.
The past participle persisted
would be inappropriate, because atoms and molecules
is the subject, not the object, of persist
. (They were created, but they persist.) The present participle--persisting
--is correct when forming a modifier that specifies an action performed by the modified noun.