Published: Tue, April 24, 2018
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Uranus Smells Like Rotten Eggs

Uranus Smells Like Rotten Eggs

'Suffocation and exposure in the negative 200 degrees Celsius atmosphere made of mostly hydrogen, helium, and methane would take its toll long before the smell'.

Knowing that Uranus smells like digestive expulsions is hilarious, but the composition of its upper atmosphere also sheds some light on the solar system's history and formation.

"If an unfortunate human were ever to descend through Uranus" clouds, they would be met with very unpleasant and odiferous conditions, ' Irwin.

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.

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That said, Uranus and its associated stink might still do a pretty good job at helping scientists understand the origin story of our stat system and the bodies inhabiting it.

The giant ice planet Uranus's clouds smell like rotten eggs, data from the Gemini Observatory in Hawaii has revealed.

The study, titled "Detection of hydrogen sulfide above the clouds in Uranus's atmosphere", was published April 23 in the journal Nature. According to Fletcher, it is plausible that the difference between of gas content in cloud decks swirling over ice giants, like Uranus and Neptune, and gas giants was imprinted by the temperatures and location of where these bodies came to be.

The research team, led by Patrick Irwin from the University of Oxford, travelled to Maunakea in Hawaii so they could use the Gemini North telescope, which is 26 feet (8 meters) long and contains a specialized tool called the Near-Infrared Integral Field Spectrometer (NIFS). 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.

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"Closer to the sun, ammonia would be preferentially in gas form and thus less easily incorporated into the planetary embryos that became Jupiter and Saturn".

The discovery marks another distinction between the ice giants - Uranus and Neptune - and the gas giants - Jupiter and Saturn.

The planets in our solar system can have dramatically different cloud decks based on how they were formed, the researchers explain.

Hydrogen sulphide was detected in Uranus' cloud tops, reports the BBC. According to Fletcher, when a cloud deck forms by condensation, it locks the cloud-forming gas in a deep internal reservoir, hidden beneath the levels that astronomer can usually see with telescopes. "The superior capabilities of Gemini finally gave us that lucky break".

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While it's always been speculated that Uranus is home to this noxious gas, the composition of its clouds has eluded scientists for decades.

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