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Hydrogen sulfide gas discovered on an alien planet similar to Jupiter

10 July 2024 [22:51] - TODAY.AZ

A strong-smelling hydrogen sulfide gas has been found in the atmosphere of an alien planet similar to Jupiter, smelling of scattered eggs. This is the first terrestrial chemical found on any exoplanet, Azernews reports.

The planet known as HD 189733b, discovered in 2005, is already a very extreme place: a red-hot gas giant slightly larger than Jupiter, with a bright cobalt blue color and a violent atmosphere, with a rain of molten glass blowing away.

New data from the James Webb Space Telescope has revealed hydrogen sulfide, the chemical compound responsible for the smell of eggs, scientists have discovered. This is the only case for celestial bodies outside our Solar system called planets.

"Yes, smelly gas is a rare phenomenon for exoplanets," wrote Guangquai Fu, an astrophysicist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, in an article published in the journal Nature. "This is not the planet that we humans want to visit, but it is a valuable discovery that contributes to our understanding of planetary science."

This planet is called "hot Jupiter". Scientists believe that the largest gas giants of the Solar system, similar to planets, are hotter because they are closer to their stars. HD 189733b orbits its star 170 times closer than Jupiter's distance from the Sun. Unlike Jupiter, which takes 12 years to orbit the Sun, it makes a complete revolution around the Sun every two days.

In fact, this planet orbits 13 times closer to its star than Mercury does to the Sun, and the temperature of the planet facing the star is about 930 degrees Celsius.

This planet is located 64 light-years from Earth, in the vicinity of the Milky Way galaxy, in the constellation Chanterelles. A light—year is the distance that light travels in one year, and it is equal to 9.5 trillion kilometers.

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