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Space Booze: Researchers Find Alcohol in Cosmic Clouds

on 08/07/13 at 12:35 pm

Booze News

orionScientists have discovered vast space clouds with billions of gallons of alcohol floating within them.

Ethanol, which is used in various concentrations in beer, wine, vodka, and whiskey, is being made among many other types of lethal alcohol in frigid, low-energy environments in space. According to a new study published in Nature Chemistry,┬áthe phenomenon “quantum tunneling” is responsible for the interstellar booze.

As it gets colder in outer space, the study says, there is “less energy and fewer collisions between molecules to rearrange chemical bonds.” Since space is so cold, and chemical reactions slow down in low temperatures, there is less energy to make the reaction. This is why interstellar alcohol is confusing to scientists. How can organic molecules collide and react in low-energy conditions?