Meteor Showers Online

Cocktails In Space

The giant clouds, which can span hundreds of light years, contain enough ethanol to produce 1028 bottles of the spirit.

However, there is no reason to worry that future astronauts will face the problem of alcoholism on an interstellar level. Even if the spacecraft had a huge one-kilometer diameter funnel capable of capturing alcohol as it moved through such a cloud at the speed of light, collecting enough to create one standard martini cocktail would take approximately a thousand years.

Astronomers have discovered alcohol molecules in cosmic clouds, and they come in two forms: methanol (otherwise known as wood alcohol) and ethanol (the kind used in drinks). Ethanol, with the formula C2H5OH, is a relatively complex molecule and occurs in significant quantities in space. In those places where ethanol was discovered, there is one alcohol molecule for every cubic meter.

In addition, water molecules H2O are abundant in the same star clouds. The funnel, of course, will collect them, too, and there will be much more water since water molecules are more straightforward in structure and form more easily.

Banner image: Photo illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast
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