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    What Can Be Learned From Alcohol in Space

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    A 288 billion mile long cloud of gaseous methanol, a kind of alcohol found in antifreeze and some kinds of moonshine, was found floating in space a few years back. The chemical reaction is made possible by a scientific phenomenon called quantum tunneling, which is counter to the accepted laws of physics.

    A 288 billion mile long cloud of gaseous methanol, a kind of alcohol found in antifreeze and some kinds of moonshine, was found floating in space a few years back.

    Chemical reactions are more difficult in the cold temperatures of space, but complex organic molecules are still able to form, including the methanol cloud.

    A study by researchers from the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom found that methanol actually reacted with another chemical 50 times faster at negative 346 degrees Fahrenheit than it would have at room temperature.

    Dwayne Heard from the University of Leeds, who worked on the study said: “If our results continue to show a similar increase in the reaction rate at very cold temperatures, then scientists have been severely underestimating the rates of formation and destruction of complex molecules, such as alcohols, in space.”

    The chemical reaction is made possible by a scientific phenomenon called quantum tunneling, which is counter to the accepted laws of physics.

    What do you think this discovery means for chemistry in space?