Wednesday, October 5, 2022

A Giant Cloud of Alcohol Floating in Space

There is a huge cloud of alcohol 10,000 light-years away in a distant constellation. It’s space booze.

The cloud, which was found in 1995 close to the constellation Aquila, is 1000 times bigger than the solar system's diameter. It contains 400 trillion trillion trillion pints of beer's worth of ethyl alcohol. Every individual on earth would need to consume 300,000 pints of alcohol each day for a billion years in order to consume that much alcohol.

Sadly, the cloud is 58 quadrillion miles distant for those of you who were hoping to go on an interplanetary bar crawl. There are 32 different chemicals in it, some of which are just as harmful as carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, and ammonia.

The Sagittarius B2 Cloud (the bright, orange-red point in the picture above), which has 10 billion billion billion litres of cosmic booze, is the galaxy's second intergalactic liquor store. However, much of it cannot be drunk.

Methanol, the same alcohol found in antifreeze and windshield washer fluid, makes up the majority of the cloud. Similar to this, a stellar nursery is surrounded by a foggy methanol bridge close to the Milky Way's core. The width of the alcohol bridge is 288 trillion miles.

After some kind of Martian keg party, it wasn't spilt. Ether may cling to bits of circling dust when new stars heat up and develop from collapsing clouds of gas and dust. The alcohol warms, separates, and transforms to gas as the dust travels in the direction of the forming star. These ethanol clouds may provide astronomers with important information on the formation of our largest stars.

Not to add that alcohol is an organic substance, which are the components of life. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory's Barry Turner claims that these alcohol clouds might "help us better grasp how life can develop elsewhere in the universe."

Now, Sagittarius B2 can tell you what these cosmic spirits could taste or smell like. Ethyl formate, an ester that contributes to the flavour of raspberries and is said to smell like rum, is present in the cloud. Therefore, it seems that the galactic centre may have a flavour and aroma similar to raspberry rum.

Reference(s): Phys.org

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