Since August, the interplanetary station "Rosetta» (Rosetta) uses scientific instruments, including ROSINA (Rosetta Orbiter Sensor for Ion and Neutral Analysis) to determine the chemical composition of the gases from the nucleus of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
Despite the fact that the comet is still at a distance of 400 million kilometers from the Sun, the gases coming out of the nucleus is quite active. At the same time, scientists surprised by the variety of the chemical composition of gaseous substances, which have been analyzed "Rosetta".
previously thought that now most actively evaporate carbon dioxide | (CO2) and carbon monoxide (carbon monoxide, CO). But ROSINA caught a lot more chemicals. More of September 11 were detected:
- The carbon monoxide;
- Carbon dioxide;
- Ammonia (NH3);
- Methane (CH4 );
- Methanol (CH3OH).
Now discovered also substances such as:
- Formaldehyde (CH2O);
- Hydrogen sulfide (H2S);
- Hydrogen cyanide (HCN);
- The sulfur dioxide (SO2); < /
- Carbon disulfide (CS2).
If someone would have caught the scent of a comet, in normal circumstances, the first wish would never it is no longer smell.
Smell coming from the comet - the smell of rotten eggs (hydrogen sulfide), "flavor", similar to the smell of vinegar from sulfur dioxide, sweat horse (ammonia), suffocating smell of formaldehyde and the smell of almonds (from hydrocyanic acid, which, by the way, is extremely poisonous) .
However, now the concentration of these compounds is still very low, Now, the highest concentrations of water and carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.
A key goal of the current set of tests is to determine the composition of the comet. Further work will show how the composition of the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko is similar to the composition of other comets. This will help identify the primary structure of the near-solar nebula, from which, according to the currently accepted theory, the entire solar system was formed, and life arose.