Acenaphthyne dicarboxylate (12) was transferred into the gas phase from solution via electrospray ionization and subsequently was sequentially fragmented in a Fourier transform mass spectrometer to afford acenaphthyne radical anion (9). Structural confirmation of 9 was achieved by converting it to acenaphthenone enolate (13) and demonstrating that this species is identical to the ion produced upon deprotonation of acenaphthenone (5). The reactivity of 9 was explored, and since an electron can serve as a protecting group, we were able to measure the heat of hydrogenation (98 ± 4 kcal mol-1) and the heat of formation (160 ± 4 kcal mol-l) of acenaphthyne (1) via the application of a thermodynamic cycle. Its strain energy (68 kcal mol-1) and acenaphthylene's (10H) first and second C-H bond dissociation energies (117 ± 4 and 84 ± 2 kcal mol-1) also were obtained. Ab initio and density functional theory calculations were carried out on the species of interest to explore their geometries and energetics. Our results were interpreted in comparison to cyclopentyne, and its predicted heat of formation (98 kcal mol-l) and strain energy (59 kcal mol-1) are reported.