What do Uranus's cloud tops have in common with rotten eggs?

24 April 2018

Patrick Irwin, Professor of Planetary Physics (from the Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics group here in the Department of Physics) and global collaborators spectroscopically dissected the infrared light from Uranus captured by the eight-metre Gemini North telescope on Hawaii's Maunakea. They found hydrogen sulphide, the odiferous gas that most people avoid, in Uranus’s cloud tops. The long-sought evidence is published in the journal Nature Astronomy and can be read here.

You can read a non-technical article about this story published on the University of Oxford Science Blog by clicking here.

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If you would like to read more about Prof. Irwin’s research, visit his page here.

* Image top-right: A Voyager 2 image of Uranus taken in 1986 during its flyby. This is at visible wavelengths and is as near as we can say ‘natural’ colour.