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Because of certain chemicals (ethyl formate) found in a big dust cloud in the middle of our galaxy, Saggitarius B2, is it true that the Milky Way would technically smell like rum and taste like raspberries?
Question Date: 2012-03-21
Answer 1:

I never heard that, about our galaxy. That's interesting.

We wouldn't be able to smell, if we were out in the galaxy, because the air pressure would be so low that we'd explode, without a spacesuit or space ship to protect us from space.

But if we had something that could concentrate the tiny numbers of molecules in space, then, yes, we might find familiar smells out there. And scientists can tell us what those smells would be, because they know what those chemicals smell like, here on earth.

Keep asking questions! Best wishes,

Answer 2:

I suppose it would! Fantastic!

Answer 3:

Um, well, no, in a word. The chemicals that would trigger our sense of smell are present, but are they in large enough quantities to matter, especially when you consider all of the other stuff there is out there as well? Also, these chemicals probably aren't in the form that we would smell them in anyway: if they're gasses, then we could smell them, if there were an atmosphere dense enough to smell in (which space isn't). If they're ices (probably more likely), then we couldn't smell them at all!

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