Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

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ROSINA finds Comet 67P/C-G to be smelly

Posted: October 30, 2014

ROSINA finds Comet 67P/C-G to be smelly

ESA's ROSINA (Rosetta Orbiter Sensor for Ion and Neutral Analysis) sniffed Comet 67P/C-G and picked up an unpleasant odor.

“The ROSINA instrument is the most sensitive mass spectrometer ever flown in space. It has a very sensitive nose. It is now blushing in disgust,” Professor Tamas Gombosi, a co-investigator for ROSINA, states.

Gombosi describes the smell, based on the gases detected, to be similar to rotten eggs and horse urine.

The detected gases include ammonia, hydrogen sulphide, formaldehyde and methanol.

To read more, please visit blogs.esa.int. The news was also reported on npr.org.

(Image Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team)

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