Mmmm Raspberries and Rum - sounds like dessert to me

That is the smell and the taste of the Center of the Universe. From the UK Guardian:
Galaxy's centre tastes of raspberries and smells of rum, say astronomers
The hunt for chemicals in deep space that could seed life on other planets has yielded a large, fruity molecule

Astronomers searching for the building blocks of life in a giant dust cloud at the heart of the Milky Way have concluded that it tastes vaguely of raspberries.

The unanticipated discovery follows years of work by astronomers who trained their 30m radio telescope on the enormous ball of dust and gas in the hope of spotting complex molecules that are vital for life.

Finding amino acids in interstellar space is a Holy Grail for astrobiologists, as this would raise the possibility of life emerging on other planets after being seeded with the molecules.

In the latest survey, astronomers sifted through thousands of signals from Sagittarius B2, a vast dust cloud at the centre of our galaxy. While they failed to find evidence for amino acids, they did find a substance called ethyl formate, the chemical responsible for the flavour of raspberries.

"It does happen to give raspberries their flavour, but there are many other molecules that are needed to make space raspberries," Arnaud Belloche, an astronomer at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, told the Guardian.

Curiously, ethyl formate has another distinguishing characteristic: it also smells of rum.
And who said the science was dull... One of my favorite early summer desserts is to take fresh berries, angel food cake and make my own whipped cream. I get pure cream from a local dairy, none of that crap with the additives -- you do not need them if you have the real stuff. Add some powdered sugar and a couple tablespoons of a good single-malt or rum and you have a very tasty toping! Takes about five minutes to prepare.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on April 22, 2009 8:06 PM.

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