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Space smells of rum, tastes like raspberries

 

If a long term research by astronomers is anything to go by, then the centre of our of galaxy tastes like raspberries and smells of rum. 

 

According to a report in the Guardian, astronomers searching for the building blocks of life in a giant dust cloud at the heart of the Milky Way have concluded that it contains the chemical ethyl formate, which gives raspberries their flavour and smells of rum.

 

The unanticipated discovery follows years of work by astronomers who trained their radio telescope on the enormous ball of dust and gas in the hope of spotting complex molecules that are vital for life.

 

Finding amino acids in interstellar space is a Holy Grail for astrobiologists, as this would raise the possibility of life emerging on other planets after being seeded with the molecules.

 

In the survey, astronomers sifted through thousands of signals from Sagittarius B2, a vast dust cloud at the centre of our galaxy.

 

While they failed to find evidence for amino acids, they did find a substance called ethyl formate, the chemical responsible for the flavour of raspberries.

 

“It does happen to give raspberries their flavour, but there are many other molecules that are needed to make space raspberries,” Arnaud Belloche, an astronomer at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, told the Guardian.

 

Curiously, ethyl formate has another distinguishing characteristic: it also smells of rum.

 

The astronomers used the IRAM telescope in Spain to analyse electromagnetic radiation emitted by a hot and dense region of Sagittarius B2 that surrounds a newborn star.

07/25/2012



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