Handyman Chicago News Gallery

Tue, Oct-27-2015 03:05:42

'Happy Hour' Comet

If there's a party going on in outer space, you may want to have it on comet Lovejoy, which has earned the nickname of the "happy hour" comet because it's leaving behind a trail of alcohol and sugar in its journey through the solar system, according to scientists. Formally known as C/2014 Q2, Lovejoy released 20 tons of water per second when it passed close to the sun on Jan. 30, according to a study published by a team including scientists from NASA and several European agencies. In January, the team observed the comet's atmosphere and the glow coming from it to determine what elements were present in the water. Ethyl alcohol, the same found in alcoholic beverages, and glycoaldehyde, a simple sugar, were found, according to the study, making this the first time that these complex organic compounds were observed in a comet. Only when comets are close to the sun, do they evaporate and release materials, making them visible.