Gas Around Uranus Smells Rotten – Scientists Debates


Yes, it does sound amusing to even consider this to be the truth but scientists have just discovered that the gas around Uranus is actually hydrogen sulphide, which, for those of you that do not know, is the gas that gives rotten eggs that mouth gagging smell that drives us mad.

How was this found out

For a long time scientists debated whether or not this gas was really present but it looks like with the help of the telescope from Hawaii they now have the proof to back up their claims. This gas is important since it could pinpoint the process through which outer planets were formed.

This finding done by a team of researchers was just published in the Journal Nature Astronomy. The data collected to support these claims was gathered with the help of the Near-Infrared Integral Field Spectrometer, or NIFS for short, which is present at the Gemini North telescope that is in Hawaii.

The fact that Uranus has hydrogen sulphide part of its cloud deck contrasts with other planets such as Saturn or Jupiter since their cloud deck is made up primarily of ammonia ice. Just like the co-author of this study pointed out, Dr. Leigh Fletcher, these differences show that the change in the cloud deck must have happened in the early stages of the formation of these planets.

On a lighter note, scientists have decided to crack one or two jokes on this matter, stating that is someone were ever to travel through Uranus’s clouds they would be met with a very unpleasant smell. However, the fact that the atmosphere there is at minus 200 degrees Celsius and that it has little to no oxygen in it would mean that the person would meet a darker end than just having to bear through a cloud of bad odor.


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