A comet that spreads alcohol and sugar is dubbed Lovejoy and offers key evidence that comets can contain and carry organic molecules with them. This also proves that travelling comets can carry “life” with them when impacting a planet, as delivering the aforementioned molecules may have helped with the origin of life even on Earth.
It was believed that organic molecules appeared on Earth by accident but recent discoveries have provided proof that the tail of the comet now known as Lovejoy contains the same type of chemicals which helped first initiate life on Earth.
Scientists have been observing the comet since its discovery by astronomer Terry Lovejoy last year. It seems to be emanating both alcohol and a type of sugar and the analysis of the gases it leaves in space may help researchers find out more about the chemicals that first helped form the solar system we now call home.
Many scientific communities and teams have been scrambling to study the comet because of the rarity of the opportunity. According to NASA the appearance and proximity of Lovejoy make it unusual as most comets orbit far away from the sun in cold. This one however seems to be within observation range and came as close as it will get to the Sun on January 30th 2015.
Aside from the alcohol and the simple form of sugar it emanates, the comet has also been found to release 21 other forms of gas. This find comes from the same Paris based research team that first discovered the fact that Lovejoy is releasing alcohol into the solar system, a team of astronomers at the Paris Observatory.
The discovery can offer an important additional argument supporting the Big Bang theory, as it proves that heavenly bodies can contain and transport these complex organic chemicals throughout space. As comets are one of the first and earliest type of residue in the solar system, they could have helped transport these organic elements to Earth and might have prompted the appearance of life on the blue planet.
Scientists are now working hard at finding out whether the elements found in the comets are part of the same elemental cloud from which the solar system was created billions of years ago. If this turns out to be true, it will confirm once and for all that the Big Bang theory was accurate in explaining how the universe was first created.
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