Uranus Clouds Smell Like Rotten Eggs, We're Not Joking!

Uranus Clouds Smell Like Rotten Eggs, We're Not Joking!

Uranus Clouds Smell Like Rotten Eggs, We're Not Joking!

There is likely a more-concentrated reservoir of hydrogen sulfide beneath the cloud deck, the researchers said, but this likely lies beyond Earth-bound telescopes' detection abilities.

A recent study analyzing data collected more than 30 years ago by the Voyager 2 spacecraft has found that the Uranus's global magnetosphere is nothing like Earth's, which is known to be aligned almost with our planet's spin axis.

The new results demonstrate how the atmospheric compositions of the outer gas giants differ from those of the inner gas giants-Jupiter and Saturn-shining a light on the formation and evolution of planets in the Solar System.

For some time, scientists had presumed that the planet's clouds contained hydrogen sulfide and ammonia.

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New research has confirmed that the atmosphere of Uranus smells like rotten eggs. The discovery has always been in the controversies, but didn't prove itself conclusively, which recently probed by the astronomers through the spectroscopic observations using Gemini North telescope. The team directly detected hydrogen sulfide at 0.4-0.8 parts per million as ice in its cloud tops. It's interesting to note that Gemini's Near-Infrared Integral Field Spectrometer (NIFS) was created to study explosive environments around the supermassive black holes found at the center of far-away galaxies.

But faint as it might be, it was conclusive - these "absorption lines" they found were spots where the foul-smelling gas had absorbed infrared light from sunlight.

"If an unfortunate human were ever to descend through Uranus's clouds, they would be met with very unpleasant and odiferous conditions", said study co-author Patrick Irwin of the University of Oxford, according to the BBC. Apart from the poetic significance of knowing Uranus basically smells like farts, the discovery might actually help astronomers understand how our early solar system formed and evolved. As for the atmosphere of Uranus, he pointed out that when a cloud deck is formed by condensation, it tends to lock away the gas that formed the said cloud deep inside it, making it impossible to see with land-based telescopes, says the report. "The superior capabilities of Gemini finally gave us that lucky break", concludes Fletcher. That smell of the gas resembles that of the rotten eggs.

Of course, it wouldn't be possible for a human to take a whiff of the planet's atmosphere before he or she died in the extremely cold temperatures, exceeding minus 300 degrees Fahrenheit, in addition to the unwelcoming atmosphere that's made mostly of helium, hydrogen and methane, Irwin also said.

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