The scientific curiosity reached the maximum point with the new question that seemed to have intrigued researchers. A comet perfume was replicated by using samples taken by Rosetta, the spacecraft that orbited the flying object.
The actual comet perfume has a quite powerful and foul scent.
The comet that sourced the samples is known as 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and it was discovered in 1969. The Rosetta probe reached the comet on August the 6th, 2014, and since then it had sent to Earth samples from its atmosphere. Rosetta came as close as 19 miles to the comet, and it mapped the surface for the first time.
During the orbiting, the spacecraft identified five potential landing sites, and a Philae lander was sent to the surface of the comet. In two days, ESA lost contact with the lander. However, Rosetta already reached Mars, the 2867 Šteins asteroid, and the 21 Lutetia asteroid.
The project had been initiated by the astronomers participating in the Rosetta mission, in order to interpret the compounds detected in the micro-atmosphere of the comet.
The smell is a mix of bitter almonds, cat pee, and rotten eggs. However, some say that a few floral notes are emerging from the full aroma blend. The person said the flowers seemed to be lilies.
The astronomers detected a possible emergence of an unusual smell when Rosetta flew over the comet’s trail. The mission did not include humans on the board of the spaceship, and scientists agree that the actual comet smell would be difficult to be sensed as in space, people would need to wear a costume separating them from the outer space and its ingredients.
The instruments detected volatile compounds such as hydrogen cyanide, ammonia, methane and hydrogen sulfide, which were blending with other odorless chemical substances like water vapor, carbon dioxide, and monoxide.
The scientists hired a company from Oxfordshire, UK, to replicate the smells produced by the comet’s mixed atmospheric ingredients. As the real components of the atmosphere are toxic, the company used similar odors to create the comet perfume.
The comet perfume will be available to the public at the Summer Science Exhibition in London that will be held in July. Organizers say they impregnated postcard with the special scent, and people will be able to buy them and mail real comet smelling wishes to their friends and families.