Opinion

Giant gas cloud, made entirely of alcohol, found in space

OPINION: There was great excitement in scientific communities recently when a giant gas cloud, made up entirely of alcohol, was found in space.

This boozy nebula is about 463 billion kilometres long and would contain enough alcohol to make the equivalent of 400 trillion trillion pints of beer.

That wasn't what got people excited, though (among other reasons why drinkers shouldn't start looking into astronaut courses, the cloud is about 10,000 light years away, and the form of alcohol is methyl rather than ethanol).

No, the reason the cloud caused a stir is because the astronomers who found it believe it provides a glimpse of how a star is created.

Dr Lisa Harvey-Smith, who is the principal investigator for the study, said they had measured physical properties of the gas such as temperature, pressure and the strength and direction of the magnetic fields.

This information is vital when testing theories about how stars are born from the primordial gas in what is termed a "stellar nursery".

The team studied an area called W3 (OH), a region in our galaxy where stars are being formed by the gravitational collapse of a cloud of gas and dust.

I don't know about you, but I think that is pretty amazing.

It is official; we are living in the future promised to us by science fiction writers for decades.

We have not one but two roaming robotic laboratories presently on another planet (Mars).

They are collecting data and looking to see if any evidence exists as to whether life ever existed on the Red Planet.

NASA is building a probe that will fly to the exterior layers of the sun.

Astronomers are finding new planets and moons that contain the necessary building blocks to support life as we know it, as well as finding giant clouds of alcohol floating around.

Last year, we had an astronaut visit Maryborough to tell us about the work of the International Space Station that's helping us learn how humans can live and thrive in space for long durations.

The Space Station has six astronauts living in it, conducting research, learning how to live and work in space over long periods of time.

Across the world, the hardy souls who make up a club called The Adventurists are looking into how to get amateur travel and excitement enthusiasts on an expedition to the moon.

To use a Bill Lawry quote: "It's all happening".

Whenever life starts to seem a little mundane or dull, take a moment to consider how amazing the universe is, and how the human race is advancing to continue unravelling its many mysteries.

For more information on the cloud of alcohol, visit phys.org/news.

Topics:  alcohol, astronomers, discovery, roderick makim, scab, science




Cars collide in the Stockland Hervey Bay car par

This car was damaged to an undriveable state, following a minor traffic incident in the Stockland Hervey Bay car park on July 31.

FOUR cars were involved in a crash in shopping centre car park.

Where exactly is Migaloo right now?

QPWS rangers have been keeping an eye out for Migaloo since he was seen near Fraser Island on Friday.

The minister has responded to questions about Migaloo's whereabouts

Are the Balk brothers the first twins to play for Wallaroos?

DOMINANT: Wallaroos twins Sjaak Balk and Hendrikus Balk are playing rugby league for the first time. They joined the club in June after 10 years of football.

Sjaak and Hendrikus Balk will play in Wallaroos' last home game.

Latest deals and offers

Elm Street is far from a nightmare

Elm street's new album is making waves. Photo Contributed

Elm Street talks about drumming studios, power metal and the album.

What's on the small screen this week

Keira Maguire and Richie Strahan in a scene from The Bachelor.

SEVEN gears up for the Rio Olympics while The Bachelor continues.

Drowning Pool gig review at Max Watt's

Drowning Pool played Brisbane with A Breach of Silence and She Cries Wolf at the Max Watt's House of Music.

Drowning Pool prove that 'bodies' hit the floor when they play

#SaveMarinaJoyce: How ISIS theory took over youtube channel

One young Youtuber accidentally gave rise to a conspiracy theory

Talking whiskey with Jack Daniel’s master distiller

It all comes down to the distillery

SIXTY MILES AHEAD sign with Eclipse Records, prepare new album 'Insanity'

Sixty Miles Ahead sign with Eclipse. Photo Contributed

Sixty Miles Ahead to release new album on Eclipse

Queensland's $1 town goes under the hammer today

The township of Yelarbon is up for sale.

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles