A short while ago I heard that the center of the Milky Way smells like rum and tastes like raspberries. Some things in life are just too ridiculous to ignore – and this is certainly one of them! I did a little digging into this ludicrous claim and this is what I found out…
At the heart of the Milky Way galaxy sits a gigantic, swirling ball of dust and gases called Sagittarius B2. Sagittarius B2 has a mass equating to 3 million times that of the sun, and it spans an area of roughly 150 light years. Over the past several years scientists and astronomers have been studying this dust cloud in order to try and identify amino acids, otherwise known as the building blocks of life.
To find amino acids here would be a monumentally huge discovery, as it would raise the chances of life existing on other planets exponentially due to these molecules being ‘seeded’ on other worlds. For years scientists in Spain have been training their 30m IRAM radio telescope on the Milky Way’s central gas cloud in order to try and identify some of these amino-acids.
However, when analysing a stream of data picked up by their equipment, scientists discovered the presence of a substance called ethyl formate. It is this chemical compound that gives raspberries their distinctive and sharp taste, along with giving rum its deep signature smell.
Sagittarius B2 actually contains enough ethyl alcohol to fill 400 trillion, trillion pints of beer. That means to consume all the alcohol in Sagittarius B2, every person on Earth would have to drink 300,000 pints of beer everyday for a billion years!
So there you have it, mankind would be chugging beers until the end of time to make their way through Sagittarius B2, and we now know that center of our universe smells like rum and tastes like raspberries. Yeah Science!