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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

'A mixture of rotten eggs and a horse stable'

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Saturday, October 25, 2014/Categories: natural history, space science

Here's a pleasant thought: a place smelling like "a mixture of rotten eggs and a horse stable."

Data gathered by the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft has determined that the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenkowould would smell like this if you were there to take a sniff. The icy block is surrounded by a wispy cloud of chemicals consisting of hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, formaldehyde, and hydrogen cyanide. The stuff of rotten eggs and barnyards.


Rosetta probe on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (artist concept: ESA)

Rosette's photographic imagery at the comet have been been more fascinating and otherworldly than the new chemistry it has just discovered.

WHB

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