July 14, 2024

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Exoplanet discovered to smell like a cage egg and produce rain of… glasses

Exoplanet discovered to smell like a cage egg and produce rain of… glasses

Codenamed HD 189733 b (image above via NASA), it is located 65 light-years from Earth in the constellation Alopex. Discovered in 2005, the planet is similar or close to the size of Jupiter in our solar system.

It is very close to its parent star and the temperatures that develop there are particularly high. From the observations made on this exoplanet, the strange conditions prevailing on it have been determined that in addition to the high temperatures there are winds moving at speeds of more than eight thousand kilometers per hour. In addition, the rain looks like falling glasses.

Its warm atmosphere and glassy clouds give it a calming blue and white appearance that is quite deceptive.

Discovery

The latest we’ve learned about this distant planet, using data from the James Webb Space Telescope, is that it smells like trapped eggs.

Finding hydrogen sulfide here is a step toward understanding how planets form.

James Webb has detected hydrogen sulfide, the molecule that produces the foul odor, in the exoplanet’s atmosphere, a group of astronomers reported in a publication in the journal Nature.

“If your nose could operate at 1,000 degrees Celsius, the atmosphere would smell like trapped eggs,” said Guangwei Fu, an astrophysicist at Johns Hopkins University in the United States, who led the research team.

“Hydrogen sulfide is an important molecule that we didn’t know existed. We expected it to happen, and we know it exists on Jupiter, but we haven’t found it with any certainty outside our solar system,” he added. “We’re not looking for life on this planet because it’s too hot, but finding hydrogen sulfide is a stepping stone to finding this molecule on other planets and gaining a better understanding of how different types of planets form.”

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