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Comet carries alcohol, sugar

Lovejoy observations show molecules preserved from solar system’s birth

2:00pm, October 23, 2015
Comet Lovejoy

COMET COCKTAIL  Comet Lovejoy (pictured) is carrying around ethanol and the simple sugar glycolaldehyde, a new study reports.

Like a roving interplanetary cocktail bar, a comet is carting around booze and sugar. The aptly named Comet Lovejoy contains ethanol and the simple sugar glycolaldehyde, researchers report online October 23 in Science Advances. This is the first time these complex organic molecules have been detected on a comet.

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