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Complex molecules seen in space - Comments

scottishgeologist's Avatar Comment 1 by scottishgeologist

So God has a drink problem.....


Tue, 21 Apr 2009 10:56:00 UTC | #351037

ThomasBombay's Avatar Comment 2 by ThomasBombay

"So God has a drink problem....."

No wonder Jesus turned water into wine

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 11:00:00 UTC | #351040

clodhopper's Avatar Comment 3 by clodhopper

He has, but doesn't regard it as a problem.

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 11:02:00 UTC | #351042

Koreman's Avatar Comment 4 by Koreman

This age of discoveries is fascinating. Other astronomy news is that the Kepler space telescope has been put in orbit and is about ready to look for rocky planets in other solar systems. The Alpha Centauri system with two sun like stars at about 5 light years from here is a good candidate for planets like earth, calculations have shown.

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 11:08:00 UTC | #351046

aflacgirl84's Avatar Comment 5 by aflacgirl84

Well, that explains all the tirades God went on... he was an angry drunk :)

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 11:36:00 UTC | #351069

Tagred's Avatar Comment 6 by Tagred

maybe he just spilt his drink and hasnt cleaned it up properly.

Seriously though this is great information. It would be good to see if these types of molecules are more common in other areas.

Is it possible that these molecules could also be remnants of organic "life" (i can't think of another word for it really).

Could it be that science is on its first steps to finding that the possibility of organic lifeforms is much more common than presently thought??

I'm not a cosmologist so feel free to ridicule my train of thought

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 11:46:00 UTC | #351075

Divineosaur's Avatar Comment 7 by Divineosaur

Would the discovery of amino acids in space increase the likelihood of life elsewhere in the universe? I realize this would depend on the commonness of the process that produces them and probably many other things I'm incapable of bringing to mind. Which is why I ask. And what are the hurdles that would need to be cleared between the existence of these molecules in space and life on Earth?

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 11:49:00 UTC | #351077

PsyPro's Avatar Comment 8 by PsyPro

AS Tom Waits says: ``I don't have a drinking problem---'less I run out of booze.''

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 11:57:00 UTC | #351080

Rikitiki13's Avatar Comment 9 by Rikitiki13

Ahhh, NOW the 10 commandments make sense:

God, being the angry drunk, really, really hated 12-step stuff so went with 10. The idea of rounding it up to 12 with no child abuse, etc, didn't sit well with him.

(or maybe he was just hungover that day...and on the 7th day, god recovered...)

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 11:59:00 UTC | #351083

PsyPro's Avatar Comment 10 by PsyPro

Or another Waits lyric (from Heartattack and Vine:

``Don't you know there ain't no devil?
That's just god when he's drunk.''

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 12:05:00 UTC | #351086

Izates The Nazarite's Avatar Comment 11 by Izates The Nazarite

I expect at any moment for some believer to say this how god put Fossils inside rocks .

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 12:07:00 UTC | #351089

ridelo's Avatar Comment 12 by ridelo

Better than Pigs In Space?

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 12:43:00 UTC | #351106

bluebird's Avatar Comment 13 by bluebird

Also from European Week of Astronomy & Space Science:

"Where the blue of the night, meets the gold of the day"...
Here's hoping for clear skies Wed. morn!

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 12:44:00 UTC | #351108

bendigeidfran's Avatar Comment 15 by bendigeidfran

I wouldn't say amino acids are essential for life.

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 12:53:00 UTC | #351116

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 14 by Steve Zara

Comment #367622 by Divineosaur

Those are good questions. I think that this increases the likelihood of life elsewhere dramatically. We need not just amino acids, but also nucleotides, the building blocks of RNA and DNA. Fortunately, they also seem to be easily formed in space too.

Increasingly, we are finding mechanisms for the polymerisation these molecules. The formation of long RNA molecules does not seem to be something that is unlikely; indeed, it may well be that RNA polymers were formed in vast numbers on the early Earth. Given that, the appearance of self-replicating systems which can mutate and evolve (RNA is good at this) seems pretty much inevitable. There are some major steps before we get to life as we know it: the coding system in which RNA specifies proteins, and the take-over of DNA, but I think that it is likely that the universe is saturated with life, at least equivalent to bacteria.

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 12:53:00 UTC | #351115

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 16 by Quetzalcoatl


Perhaps it would be better to say "life as we know it".

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 12:57:00 UTC | #351119

epeeist's Avatar Comment 17 by epeeist

Comment #367582 by scottishgeologist:

So God has a drink problem.....
Yep -

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 13:03:00 UTC | #351123

ridelo's Avatar Comment 18 by ridelo

It's an interesting scientific problem to detect organic molecules in space but I ask myself what's so important about it. If during formation around a planet in the Goldilocks zone water, CO2, ammonia, and al the other necessary ingredients condensate, the most probable way lays open to the origin of life. A Miller Urey experiment on a massive scale. A witch brew in a planetary cauldron. Who could wish for more?

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 13:43:00 UTC | #351146

ridelo's Avatar Comment 19 by ridelo

So God has a drink problem.....

So it's definitely not Allah who created the universe. He wouldn't have used alcohol.

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 13:54:00 UTC | #351156

Koreman's Avatar Comment 20 by Koreman

14. Comment #367662 by Steve Zara on April 21, 2009 at 1:53 pm
That's philosophy: what is life.

I particulary like this one, you can't get closer to a hypothetical god:

Mind the flaw.

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 14:07:00 UTC | #351164

Koreman's Avatar Comment 21 by Koreman

This just came in from National Geographic. A discovered planet may be in the habital zone and in the same system an Earth sized planet (twice our mass) has been confirmed very closely to its star.

It probably wouldn't feel exactly like home. But the planet known as Gliese 581d has a lot more in common with Earth than astronomers first thought.

New measurements of the planet's orbit place it firmly in a region where conditions would be right for liquid water, and thus life as we know it, astronomer Michel Mayor, from Geneva University in Switzerland, announced today.

"It lies in the [life-supporting] habitable zone, and it could have an ocean at its surface," Mayor said during the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science conference, being held this week at the University of Hertfordshire in the U.K.

First discovered in 2007, Gliese 581d was originally calculated to be too far away from its host star—and therefore too cold—to support an ocean.

But Mayor and colleagues now show that the extrasolar planet, or exoplanet, orbits its host in 66.8 days, putting it just inside the cool star's habitable zone.

At the same time, Mayor and colleagues announced that they have spotted a fourth planet orbiting in the Gliese 581 star system—and it's the lightest exoplanet found so far.

The planet, dubbed Gliese 581e, is only about twice the mass of Earth and is the closest planet to the star, completing its orbit in about 3.15 days.

"It brings down the mass [of the lightest known exoplanet] by more than a factor of two. The previous smallest was around five Earth masses," said Andrew Collier Cameron, an astronomer at the University of Saint Andrews in the U.K. who was not involved in the find.

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 14:10:00 UTC | #351168

TheLordHumungus's Avatar Comment 22 by TheLordHumungus

21. Comment #367716 by Koreman

Reading that article has me feeling like when you first walk into a really nice house that you like and want to buy only to find out it is way out of your price(time) range. :(

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 14:22:00 UTC | #351177

Damien White's Avatar Comment 23 by Damien White

As Jim White (no relation) once sang:

"God was drunk when he made me,
But that's okay,
'cause I forgive him."

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 19:21:00 UTC | #351341

quantum_flux's Avatar Comment 24 by quantum_flux

I don't know how scientists would overlook the prospects of plasma formation for these amino acids. Interstellar dust in the midst of galactic scale photonic radiation, my ass! Dark Matter (WIMPS and MACHOS) and Dark Energy (Perpetual Virtual Cassimere Pressures on entire galaxies), also my ass! But that's for a different debate.

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 22:12:00 UTC | #351370

bendigeidfran's Avatar Comment 25 by bendigeidfran

Comment #367666 by Quetz

Ha! Yes. Romance is dead. The magic has gone from abiogenesis if we're having complex molecule space soup croutons sprinkled on us daily like manna from heaven.

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 22:30:00 UTC | #351374

bendigeidfran's Avatar Comment 26 by bendigeidfran

Comment #367923 quantum_flux

5 microm. of meteorite powder keeps the rays out.

edit - can't find where I got that from...I think it was from MIR...I'd use 10 for long journeys just to be on the safe side.

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 23:10:00 UTC | #351382

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 27 by Quetzalcoatl


Are you ever going to justify the comment you made here?

I'de be very interested.

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 23:42:00 UTC | #351384

Simonw's Avatar Comment 28 by Simonw

I thought that Glycine had already been detected in space. A quick Google shows that Snyder claimed to have found Glycine twice, once in 1994 which is discounted, and again in 2002. Both in the same cloud as this discovery (Sagittarius B-2).

The relevance is simply that space is big, and if the organic chemistry that gave rise to life can take place in space rather than a planet, it both increases the chances of finding life, both because there is more chance of it starting, and the bit of space we are in may have had life (or proto-life) hanging around waiting for a nice planet to grow on.

Anyone care to explain what happened to the earlier claims, and fill in the gaps in this BBC article?

Wed, 22 Apr 2009 00:12:00 UTC | #351394

bendigeidfran's Avatar Comment 29 by bendigeidfran

Comment #367951 by Simonw

Carbon chains twice the molecular weight of glycine have been found - if I glanced at this correctly. There is also the suggestion that some meteoric amino acids are the result of interstellar photochemistry, rather than formation in liquid water on a parent body.

Wed, 22 Apr 2009 02:06:00 UTC | #351418

Anaximander's Avatar Comment 30 by Anaximander

quantum_flux: "Dark Matter (WIMPS and MACHOS) and Dark Energy (Perpetual Virtual Cassimere Pressures on entire galaxies..."

I'm not sure what the Cassimere pressure is. Casimir effect? But can the (possible) annihilation of WIMPs inside a comet have some effect on the organic chemistry there?

Wed, 22 Apr 2009 07:10:00 UTC | #351543