What does a comet smell like? © Getty Images

What does a comet smell like?

Can’t blame this one on the dog…

The European Space Agency’s Philae lander analysed the chemical makeup of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The main constituents were odourless water vapour, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. But there were also traces of particularly pungent (and toxic) substances such as ammonia (which smells like urine), sulphur dioxide (burning matches), hydrogen cyanide (almonds) and hydrogen sulphide (rotten eggs).


In 2016, Dr Colin Snodgrass, a researcher at the Open University, UK, commissioned The Aroma Company to recreate the unpleasant scent to be impregnated in promotional postcards.

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Asked by: Asked by: Grace Packard, Exeter


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