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Scientists Discover That The Milky Way Is Smothered In Gross 'Space Grease'

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Traveling in space will happen in the future, but humans might want to prepare for the carbon in space that could make the experience challenging.

What Was Discovered In The Galaxy?

Scientists from Australia and Turkey released a study that says that there are vast amounts of "space grease" in the Milky Way. It is estimated that there are 10 billion trillion trillion tonnes of it smothered throughout space.

The study was published on June 18 in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Although humans can typically consume some grease, the scientists contend that this "space grease" is not edible and it is gross.

"This space grease is not the kind of thing you'd want to spread on a slice of toast," said Professor Tim Schmidt, a co-author of the study.

As humans dream of traveling through space someday, this study sheds some light on the difficulties of that. A spaceship would have to equip the windscreen with a sticky coating to survive the journey. This grease, which includes soot and silicates, can be described as dust or sand. Solar wind often blows it around the galaxy.

How Did Scientists Research About This Substance In Space?

To determine how much "space grease" there is, the researchers recreated in the lab greasy carbon forms typically found in the discharges of carbon stars. They analyzed the carbon forms to see how it absorbs certain kinds of light.

This process helped determine the quantity of greasy carbon. The researchers concluded a ratio of 100 greasy carbon atoms for every million hydrogen atoms in the galaxy.

Future Implications Of This Space Study

Previously, there was a lot of uncertainty within the scientific community about the amount of carbon within sand around space. This study could be used to determine the quantity of carbon in space. This is important because carbon is essential for life and it incites the creation of stars and planets.

The need to understand the link between carbon and the creation of life is fueling the next steps. Scientists are conducting tests about different types of carbon to understand the amount of it throughout space. They specifically want to learn how much of each type of carbon exists in space.

"It's made in stars, goes through the interstellar medium and gets incorporated into new planetary systems and has ended up incorporated into life," said Schmidt. "It's part of the big story, the biggest story there is."

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