Scientists assert that they’ve discovered alcohol molecules in space. However, unfortunately, it’s not the type that can get someone drunk.
A team from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Germany has found a cloud of propanol alcohol molecules. According to the experimenters, it is the giant alcohol molecule discovered in space. It is located near the heart of the Milky Way, and a finding they think could assist them in better understanding how stars are formed.
The team detected isopropanol, also known for its potency in making hand sanitizer, and normal propanol, the other type of propanol alcohol that is chemically very similar, near Sagittarius B2. It is an interstellar region not far away from Sagittarius A*, the enormous black hole lurking at the heart of our galaxy.
The region is also called the “delivery room” because it is the birthplace of a lot of stars. The finding of these chemicals in interstellar space is part of a lengthy effort to better comprehend star incubator regions like Sagittarius B2.
“The detection of both isomers of propanol is uniquely powerful in determining the formation mechanism of each,” announced Rob Garrod from the University of Virginia, co-author of one of the two new papers published in the journal Astronomy Astrophysics.
“Because they resemble each other so much, they behave physically in very similar ways, meaning that the two molecules should be present in the same places at the same times,” Garrod added.