The Professor’s Smell-O-Scope is doing the good lord’s work.
we-are-star-stuff:

Astronomers searching for the building blocks of life in a giant dust cloud at the heart of the Milky Way have concluded that it would taste vaguely of raspberries.
The unanticipated discovery follows years of work by astronomers who trained their 30m 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 latest 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.
Radiation from the star is absorbed by molecules floating around in the gas cloud, which is then re-emitted at different energies depending on the type of molecule.
While scouring their data, the team also found evidence for the lethal chemical propyl cyanide in the same cloud. The two molecules are the largest yet discovered in deep space.
Dr Belloche and his colleague Robin Garrod at Cornell University in New York have collected nearly 4,000 distinct signals from the cloud but have only analysed around half of these.
“So far we have identified around 50 molecules in our survey, and two of those had not been seen before,” said Belloche.
Last year, the team came tantalisingly close to finding amino acids in space with the discovery of a molecule that can be used to make them, called amino acetonitrile.
The latest discoveries have boosted the researchers’ morale because the molecules are as large as the simplest amino acid, glycine. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and are widely seen as being critical for complex life to exist anywhere in the universe.
“The difficulty in searching for complex molecules is that the best astronomical sources contain so many different molecules that their ‘fingerprints’ overlap and are difficult to disentangle,” Belloche said.
The molecules are thought to form when chemicals that already exist on some dust grains, such as ethanol, link together to make more complex chains.
“There is no apparent limit to the size of molecules that can be formed by this process, so there’s good reason to expect even more complex organic molecules to be there,” said Garrod.

The Professor’s Smell-O-Scope is doing the good lord’s work.

we-are-star-stuff:

Astronomers searching for the building blocks of life in a giant dust cloud at the heart of the Milky Way have concluded that it would taste vaguely of raspberries.

The unanticipated discovery follows years of work by astronomers who trained their 30m 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 latest 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.

Radiation from the star is absorbed by molecules floating around in the gas cloud, which is then re-emitted at different energies depending on the type of molecule.

While scouring their data, the team also found evidence for the lethal chemical propyl cyanide in the same cloud. The two molecules are the largest yet discovered in deep space.

Dr Belloche and his colleague Robin Garrod at Cornell University in New York have collected nearly 4,000 distinct signals from the cloud but have only analysed around half of these.

“So far we have identified around 50 molecules in our survey, and two of those had not been seen before,” said Belloche.

Last year, the team came tantalisingly close to finding amino acids in space with the discovery of a molecule that can be used to make them, called amino acetonitrile.

The latest discoveries have boosted the researchers’ morale because the molecules are as large as the simplest amino acid, glycine. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and are widely seen as being critical for complex life to exist anywhere in the universe.

“The difficulty in searching for complex molecules is that the best astronomical sources contain so many different molecules that their ‘fingerprints’ overlap and are difficult to disentangle,” Belloche said.

The molecules are thought to form when chemicals that already exist on some dust grains, such as ethanol, link together to make more complex chains.

“There is no apparent limit to the size of molecules that can be formed by this process, so there’s good reason to expect even more complex organic molecules to be there,” said Garrod.

  1. mindsandbrains reblogged this from eatgeekstudy
  2. vasisdas reblogged this from thescienceofreality
  3. helmsinki reblogged this from thescienceofreality
  4. passport-mid reblogged this from thescienceofreality
  5. lessthanexciting reblogged this from kevinallenblog
  6. apostate-sassmaster reblogged this from we-are-star-stuff
  7. poidekaipothen reblogged this from we-are-star-stuff
  8. thirsties reblogged this from cakefucker and added:
    um lol
  9. anecdotaldarling reblogged this from imagineatoms
  10. rossansguil reblogged this from miggylol
  11. mosbius--designs reblogged this from cracked
  12. burstingwithadequatulence reblogged this from miggylol
  13. zoddamnit reblogged this from greenglowsgold
  14. greenglowsgold reblogged this from miggylol
  15. veraciouslymendacious reblogged this from miggylol
  16. fal-cxn reblogged this from scarletjedi
  17. amiddleearththemedbarinhogsmeade reblogged this from pinkplasticpen
  18. lapseinjudgment reblogged this from miggylol
  19. rannisuta reblogged this from miggylol
  20. pinkplasticpen reblogged this from miggylol and added:
    I thought this was one of those “I’m so clever and sarcastic” memes, but no… SCIENCE. I take back what I said about you...
  21. oh-amsie reblogged this from miggylol
  22. scarletjedi reblogged this from miggylol
  23. miggylol reblogged this from cracked
  24. adventuresinnerdland reblogged this from thecriminalcupcake
  25. thecriminalcupcake reblogged this from eatgeekstudy
  26. madam-eglentyne reblogged this from we-are-star-stuff
  27. namastephoenix reblogged this from thescienceofreality
  28. iki-teru reblogged this from cracked
  29. little-twists reblogged this from cracked