OCT 29, 2015 07:15 AM PDT

A Sweet, Boozy Surprise From Outer Space


Comets are the rockstars (literally) of the universe. They go zipping through space, trailing spectacular colors, causing meteor showers and making history. The newest performance by a comet is pretty out there though. The comet Lovejoy, named for the Australian amateur astronomer Terry Lovejoy that discovered it in 2011, is dragging some sweet surprises. Lovejoy (the comet, not the astronomer) has also been called the "The Great Christmas Comet of 2011" since it was visible from Earth during the Christmas holidays. And it certainly has brought gifts.

A press release from NASA quotes Nicolas Biver of the Paris Observatory France as saying, "We found that comet Lovejoy was releasing as much alcohol as in at least 500 bottles of wine every second during its peak activity," Biver was the lead author on a paper about the discovery of Lovejoy's 21 different organic molecules which included ethyl alcohol and glycolaldehyde, which is a simple sugar. The paper was published October 23, 2015 in the journal Science Advances. It kind of gives a whole new meaning to bellying up to the bar and ordering a couple of "Cosmos"
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
OCT 31, 2018
Videos
OCT 31, 2018
How many times can you skip a stone?
What's your record for how many times you can skip a stone? Turns out the current world record for Most Consecutive Skips on the Water is 88 skips in o...
NOV 12, 2018
Plants & Animals
NOV 12, 2018
Steaks Aren't the Only Things We Get From Cows
It’s no secret that cows are routinely slaughtered for beef, but what if we told you that only about 60% of the cow gets harvested for food? Fret not...
NOV 17, 2018
Videos
NOV 17, 2018
Using Genetic Research to Improve Animal Conservation and Care
A group of Peters's Angolan colobus monkeys were brought to US zoos from East Africa in the 80s, but little is known about them....
NOV 22, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 22, 2018
Why Are Dandelion Seeds So Good at "Flying"?
The seeds of dandelions, pesky and irritating as they are, bear an extraordinary aerodynamic property that allows them to be carried far by the wind. In co...
NOV 25, 2018
Videos
NOV 25, 2018
Ongoing Ebola Outbreak in DRC Becomes Country's Worst Ever
On August 1, 2018, an Ebola outbreak was declared in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is still ongoing....
DEC 03, 2018
Health & Medicine
DEC 03, 2018
Why Do Some Men Have Trouble Growing Beards?
There are two types of men in this world: those that can grow robust beards, and those that can’t. But why is it that some men get stuck with patchy,...
Loading Comments...