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Uranus stinks: Top scientists say planet smells like rotten eggs

In this image provided by NASA, this false-color Voyager picture of Uranus shows a discrete cloud seen a bright streak near the planet's limb. The picture is a highly-processed composite of three images obtained, Jan. 14, 1986, when the Voyager spacecraft was 12.9 million kilometers-(8.0 million miles) from the planet. The cloud visible here is the most prominent feature seen in a series of Voyager images designed to track atmosphere motions. The occasional doughnut-shaped features, including one at the bottom, are shadows cast by dust in the camera optics. Three separate images were shuttered through violet, blue and orange filters. Each color image showed at exactly the same time, the images were processed to give a correction for a good spatial match. In a true ?color image, the cloud would be barely discernable. The Voyager project is managed for NASA by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (AP Photo/NASA)

WASHINGTON — No, this isn’t a schoolyard joke: Top scientists have discovered the planet Uranus really does reek.

Due to “clouds of hydrogen sulfide” — the chemical compound that smells similar to a rotten egg — Uranus isn’t exactly the most habitable planet for humans, according to the study.

“If an unfortunate human were ever to descend through Uranus’ clouds, they would be met with very unpleasant and odoriferous conditions,” Patrick Irwin, first author of the study and a physics professor at the University of Oxford, told The Register.

There’s also the minor issue of temperatures reaching below 392 degrees below zero on the planet.

Scientists hadn’t found clear evidence of the planet’s chemical composition until now.

A Near-Infrared Integral Field Spectrometer (NIFS), a device in Hawaii, was used to filter sunlight reflected above the clouds to describe what the gas molecules are made of, The Register reported.


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