This distant and deadly planet smells like rotten eggs, scientists say

As if the deadly weather wasn't bad enough, scientists reported this week that a Jupiter-sized planet 64 light-years from Earth stinks of rotten eggs.

HD 189733 b is an exoplanet, meaning it is outside our solar system. Its atmosphere has clouds “permeated with glass”and that glass falls like rain, according to NASA. In a study published Monday in the journal NatureAccording to researchers, the atmosphere also contains traces of hydrogen sulfide, which is what causes the smell.

Dangerous wind, temperature and rain on “hot Jupiter”

HD 189733 b is what is known as a hot Jupiter planet, which are gas giants with extremely high temperatures. They orbit close to their stars, making them “hellishly hot,” according to NASA.

According to scientists, HD 189733 b takes just 2.2 days to orbit its star, and because of its proximity to its star, it has a surface temperature of 1,700 degrees Fahrenheit. For comparison, Jupiter — which is in our solar system — takes about 12 Earth years to orbit the sun.

NASA calls HD 189733 b a “nightmare world” and a “killer you never see coming.”

“To the human eye, this distant planet appears bright blue. But any space traveler who mistakes it for Earth's friendly skies would be sorely mistaken,” the space agency said. wrote in a 2016 post. “The weather in this world is deadly.”

Winds are blowing up to 5,400 miles per hour. That howling wind is blowing over the dangerous glass rain, with NASA writing that “getting caught in the rain on this planet is more than an inconvenience; it's death by a thousand cuts.”

Study HD 189733 b

The James Webb Space Telescope has been used to study the deadly exoplanet, which was discovered in 2005. According to researchers, the discovery of the new smelly atmosphere gives scientists new clues about how sulfur can affect both the interiors and atmospheres of gas worlds outside Earth's solar system.

“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 more insight into how different types of planets form,” said Guangwei Fu, an astrophysicist at Johns Hopkins University who led the research. in a statement.

By studying the sulfur, scientists can learn more about how planets are made and what they're made of, Fu said. In the future, Fu and his research team want to track sulfur in other exoplanets.

“We want to know how these kinds of planets got there. Understanding their atmospheric composition can help us answer that question,” Fu said.

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