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Comet in space smells like rotten eggs and horse pee

Press Trust of India  |  London 

A comet in space smells of rotten eggs, horse urine, formaldehyde, bitter almonds, alcohol, vinegar and a hint of sweet ether, Swiss scientists have found.

Researchers at the University of Bern, in Switzerland, determined the odour of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet by analysing the chemicals in its coma, the fuzzy head surrounding the nucleus.

For the study, researchers used one of the instruments aboard the European spacecraft Rosetta that is preparing to drop a lander onto the comet's icy surface on November 12, 'metro.Co.Uk' reported.

Project leader Kathrin Altwegg from the University of Bern said the aroma will get stronger as 67P gets closer to the Sun, causing it to release more gas and form the coma characteristic of comets.

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First Published: Sun, October 26 2014. 13:10 IST