Researchers Explain the Smell of Rain by Watching Raindrops in Slow-Motion
MIT researchers filmed rainfall to understand the smell that lingers after a rain storm, otherwise known as petrichor. Apparently, raindrops release bursts of aerosols, or fine particles of liquid suspended in gas, which then create "signature smells" that get carried away in the wind. It's the same phenomenon that causes champagne bubbles to distinguish wine by taste and smell. Surprisingly, more aerosols were produced after light rain or drizzles than heavy rainfalls. Further research is needed to tell whether petrichor is also affecting soil microbes.
By Jordan Moses
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