Ten thousand light years from earth, a massive cloud of space alcohol was found.
Astronomers have found vast quantities of pure alcohol in an interstellar cloud some 10,000 light years from Earth.
This breakthrough occurred in 1995 when researchers at Ohio State University collected data for astronomers. Thus, making this interesting discovery near the constellation Aquila in Sagittarius B2 Cloud.
No, there wasn’t a party going on an Exoplanet. New stars heat up, formed as clouds of gas and dust collapse. Thus, ethyl alcohol can attach to specks of floating dust. As the dust moves toward the budding star, the alcohol heats, separates, and turns to gas. For astronomers, these alcohol clouds can help us understand how our biggest stars form and how life might arise elsewhere in the cosmos.
Is it drinkable?
Unfortunately, it is ethyl alcohol (ethanol), so it isn’t suitable for drinking.
It might seem strange that there are alcohol clouds in space. But a great deal of complex molecular chemistry goes on between the molecular clouds and dust in outer space. Thus, all sorts of chemical compounds exist there. Alcohol is a relatively simple molecule. It’s made of relatively abundant elements (hydrogen, carbon, oxygen), so it shouldn’t be surprising that it exists in large quantities in space.
How can astronomers observe this cloud?
Astronomers can only observe Ethyl alcohol in its gaseous phase. So, to observe the frequencies of ethanol, De Lucia and Herbst used a laboratory microwave spectrometer developed by De Lucia, a tabletop apparatus that shoots waves of radiation through a gaseous molecular sample. The molecule absorbs the radiation at selected radio frequencies, which are identical with the frequencies emitted by the molecules in space. A detector on the spectrometer records the frequencies for study.
However, here are some interesting facts
-Some statistics say that gulping down all that alcohol, every person on earth would have to drink 300,000 pints each day, for one billion years.
-Another interesting fact is that because of the abundance of similar simple molecules, adding a bit of energy to the mix can lead to a stimulated emission of light, known as an astrophysical maser. The term maser stands for Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.
Cheers to the Space Pub.