Comet Lovejoy C/2014 Q2, photographed on 22 Feb. 2015 by Fabrice Noel Astronomy 

Comet Lovejoy Delivers Free Alcohol

By Kate Stone Comet Lovejoy recently released large amounts of alcohol and sugar into space, according to new observations by an international team. This is the first time we have found ethyl alcohol, the same type in alcoholic beverages, in a comet. The finding adds to the evidence that comets could have been a source of the complex organic molecules necessary for the emergence of life. Cocktails in Space “We found that comet Lovejoy was releasing as much alcohol as in at least 500 bottles of wine every second during…

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Astronomy Biology 

Comet Carries Building Blocks of Life

Many of us learned in school that comets were lifeless balls of frozen gas and dust hurtling through space. In recent years, however, we have changed the way we think about comets, which are now thought to be the couriers that delivered life to a young Earth. Boosting the courier theory, the European Space Agency’s comet-chaser craft named Rosetta has found complex organic molecules, the building blocks of life, on a comet. These are the exciting initial results of the data analysis using the information returned by Rosetta’s lander, Philae,…

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