comet sugars, alcohol

23 October 2015
Astronomy

Comet Lovejoy released large amounts of alcohol and sugars into space late last year according to new observations by an international team – see http://phys.org/print364829979.html ( and published in Science Advances, Oct 23rd 2015).

Quite apart from the Velikovskian parallel of food arriving out of space in association with a comet it also suggests comets could indeed have seeded life, or some forms of life, on Earth. The team actually found 21 different organic molecules in the gas associated with the comet.

When Lovejoy went round the Sun it was shedding water at a rate of 20 tons a second. The team also observed a microwave glow using a radio telescope in Spain (in January of 2015). Sunlight energises molecules in the comet's atmosphere causing them to glow at microwave frequencies.

The Rosetta Mission to Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko this year also detected 16 organic compounds, some of which play key roles in the creation of amino acids, nucleobases and sugars. See also www.advances.sciencemag.org/content/1/9/e1500863

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