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Scientists: Comet Contains Alcohol and Sugar

(Photo: Jazz Guy)

Don't break out your cocktail shakers yet, though.

Scientists using a radio telescope at the Institut de Radioastronomie Millimetrique in Sierra Nevada, Spain found that Comet Lovejoy contains two basic building blocks of life: alcohol and sugar. Specifically, ethyl alcohol and glycolaldehyde.

Comets often contain the earliest identifiable materials from the formation of a solar system, so these findings give us important information about the early history of our solar system. Astrophysicist Dominique Bockelée-Morvan told the AFP:

"The presence of a major complex organic molecule in comet material is an essential step toward better understanding the conditions that prevailed at the moment when life emerged on our planet," she told AFP.

"These observations show a possible explanation for its (life's) origin on our planet," she added.

-via Marilyn Terrell

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