By means of data sent from the Cassini spacecraft, a group directed by Joshua Sebree, assistant professor at the University of Northern Iowa, in the US, has established a new method that caught the key ‘flavours’ of Titan, Saturn’s biggest moon. The scientists mixed the two most common gases in Titan, nitrogen and methane, and then added benzene and further chemicals. After numerous efforts they accomplished to develop a combination that matched the spectral marks listed by Cassini.
Titan kind of stinks of farts mixed with methane. Melissa Trainer, who works at NASA’ Goddard Centre, clarified that this moon smells of aromatics, a subfamily of hydrocarbons. Benzene goes to this family, and Trainer reflects it has a “sweet, aromatic, gasoline-odour.” The technique used is slightly related to the procedure candy manufacturers go through to make flavours, explained Graham Templeton at Geek, and can be used to smell further planets. Researchers will keep on using this recipe to assemble a list of planetary smells and turn up with what Templeton labeled as an extra-terrestrial smell profile.
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