It seems there is a party up in the space as Comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) is throwing up 500 bottles of wine every single second. Well, not literally!! According to researchers this comet is spewing huge amount of ethanol (a type of alcohol) and glycoaldehyde, a type of sugar at its peak activity.
This interesting piece of information was disclosed by lead author Nicolas Biver of Paris Observatory, France in a paper published on Science Advances. Biver wrote,
We found that comet Lovejoy was releasing as much alcohol as in at least 500 bottles of wine every second during its peak activity.
This is the first time when such matters have been found on any comet. About the implication of this finding co-author Stefanie Milam of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland says,
The result definitely promotes the idea the comets carry very complex chemistry.
This finding of Comet Lovejoy further strengthens the evidence that comets can carry the organic molecules that are necessary for creation of life. One of the popular hypotheses is that life on earth could have been created by such molecules carried and delivered on the planet by comets.
In fact, this is not the first time when researchers have found alcohol in space. In 2006, UK researchers revealed that they found methyl alcohol cloud spread over 463 billion kilometres.
Comet Lovejoy was discovered last year on the month of August and was visible with naked eyes from December last year to early this year. Currently, it is moving away from earth.
Story Inputs: cnet.com
Cover Image Courtesy: skyandtelescope.com