IT IS a desolate void colder and darker than anywhere on Earth… But at least space has something to offer.
Scientists discovered ALCOHOL there for the first time, using powerful telescopes aimed at the center of our galaxy.
Unfortunately for alcohol-hungry space travelers, however, it’s not the kind that gets you drunk.
Instead, the researchers found propanol – the largest alcohol molecule ever discovered in the cosmos.
The substance is used in hand sanitizer and its discovery could shed light on the composition of stars, comets and other space objects.
The chemical comes in two forms: isopropanol, which is more commonly found in hand sanitizers, and regular propanol.
The research, published in two studies in the journal Astronomy Astrophysics, identified isopropanol using a telescope in Chile.
It was discovered in Sagittarius B2, a huge star-forming region near the center of the galaxy.
B2 is nicknamed the “delivery room” because it is the birthplace of many stars.
Scientists study it to get a better idea of how stars form.
The study was authored by an international team of scientists, including astronomers from the Max Planck Institute in Germany.
Co-author Rob Garrod of the University of Virginia said: “Detecting both isomers of propanol is uniquely powerful in determining the mechanism of formation of each.
“Because they are so similar, they physically behave very similarly.
“This means that the two molecules should be present in the same places at the same time.
“The only open question is the exact amounts that are present – so their interstellar relationship is much more precise than would be the case for other pairs of molecules.
“It also means that the chemical network can be tuned much more carefully to determine the mechanisms by which they form.”
While the discovery of alcohol molecules is important evidence, much remains to be done to understand the role they play in the formation of stars and comets.
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9056707/alcohol-cloud-centre-galaxy-world-first-discovery/ Bottom line! Huge “alcohol cloud” discovered at the center of our galaxy in the world’s first discovery