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Saturday, June 14, 2014

NASA Can Smell other Distant Planets now!

So what if NASA can't reach out to distant planets, but they have found out a way to smell them. A recent interplanetary smell-o-scope experiment was conducted by NASA to smell Titan, the moon of the planet Saturn.

The experiment involved a series of spectroscopic tests to be performed on the data collected by the spacecraft Cassini. Eventually from this virtual test this data is able to show chemical composition of a target's atmosphere, which in this case was Saturn's moon Titan.

The research team was led by Joshua Sebree, Assistant Professor at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. Also, he was a former postdoctoral fellow at NASA Goddard.
While testing for the odor of the various planets, the NASA team took detailed readings of the atmosphere on Saturn's moon Titan. Sebree stated that they have "created a new recipe that captures key flavors of the brownish-orange atmosphere around Saturn's largest moon," enabling us "to classify previously unidentified material discovered by NASA's Cassini spacecraft in the moon's smoggy haze".

This sniff of Titan formulated by the experiment was almost like a mixture of passed gas and gasoline. The description of the smell by Melissa Trainer, planetary scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland was, "it has a strong aromatic character".

This smell most likely is like the odor that comes from Benzene, which is actually one of the most dangerous elements in cigarettes. The smell can be further described as a sweet, aromatic and gasoline-like. Further, we can expect NASA creating smell profiles of the atmospheres of other planets as well.

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