Comets Smell Like Rotten Eggs and Urine

#Space

Thu, Oct 30th, 2014 20:00 by capnasty NEWS

Using its mass spectrometers, the Rosetta spacecraft got a whiff from the coma of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, discovering that comets smell pretty awful.

"The perfume of 67P/C-G is quite strong, with the odour of rotten eggs (hydrogen sulphide), horse stable (ammonia), and the pungent, suffocating odour of formaldehyde. This is mixed with the faint, bitter, almond-like aroma of hydrogen cyanide," said ROSINA principal investigator Kathrin Altwegg.

"Add some whiff of alcohol (methanol) to this mixture, paired with the vinegar-like aroma of sulphur dioxide and a hint of the sweet aromatic scent of carbon disulphide, and you arrive at the 'perfume' of our comet."

  1354

 

You may also be interested in:

"We’re going to need a rocket engine that doesn’t need rocket fuel." #EmDrive
"The best is yet ahead for space exploration."
New U.S. Spy Satellite Features Logo Reminiscent of a James Bond Villain Organization
TED ED Animation Explaining the Life of an Astronaut
View of the turbulent heart of our Milky Way galaxy