Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Detection of Hot CH3-CH2-OH in G34.3+0.15

This post is a departure from global warming, but it illustrates the need for science and specifically the space program. This article is an interesting review of how we look at molecules in space. In it the authors go looking for a particular molecule (CH3-CH2-OH) and find it.

Not only did they find it, but they found it in very large quantities - roughly 11.4 × 10^(16) cubic meters. Or to put it into simpler terms 11.4 trillion trillion litres of pure drinking alcohol.

Think about it! The average Canadian beer has about 5% alcohol, so this is enough for - roughly speaking - 228 trillion trillion litres. To put it into context, this is enough for every Canadian to have about 17 litres of beer every day for the next billion years. That is enough to forget the problems of the Harper Government and every government - Conservative, Liberal and even NDP - for the next while.

Can you come up with a better argument for funding a space program!

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