A new study revealed that the upper atmosphere of the planet Uranus comprises hydrogen sulfide. This is one of the major constituents that contribute to the stinky smell of the rotten eggs. Therefore, Uranus is supposed to be smelling dreadful. Patrick Irwin, a study lead of the Oxford University in England, in one of his statements said that if ever a human had to pass through the Uranus’ clouds he would probably meet highly unpleasant and odiferous condition.
Further, he added that it is not only the smell which would cause him an unpleasing sensation, but he had to encounter a lot more significant problems. The suffocation due to the exposure in the negative 200 degrees Celsius atmosphere which is mostly made of methane, helium, and hydrogen would do more harm and take its toll before encountering the smell.
Studies are conducted time to time about the composition of clouds floating high up in the sky of Uranus. It is a matter of research whether they comprise ammonia ice like Jupiter and Saturn or just the hydrogen sulfide ice. Different studies have given different conclusions as only a little information is available about the distant Uranus. Also, it is quite difficult to make observations on the planet.
Making use of Near-Infrared Integral Field Spectrometer (NIFS), which is an instrument on the 26-foot (8 meters) Gemini North telescope in Hawaii was used by Irwin and his teammates to study the Uranus and its atmosphere. NIFS scrutinized sunlight reflected from the atmosphere just above Uranus’ cloud tops — and spotted the signature of hydrogen sulfide.
As per Leigh Fletcher who is the co-author of the study stated that “Only a tiny amount remains above the clouds as a saturated vapor due to which it becomes highly challenging to capture the presence of ammonia and hydrogen sulfide above the cloud decks of Uranus. However, the Gemini with its superior capabilities helped in endowing that lucky break.”
Later adding to the statement, Fletcher told that when the solar system was formed a balance between nitrogen and sulfur was maintained. Therefore ammonia and the newly found hydrogen sulfide of the Uranus got detected with the help information about the temperature and location of the planet.
All these studies by Irwin and his colleagues have revealed that Uranus comprises obnoxious smell and the primary reason behind it is the presence of hydrogen sulfide.