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Discovery of two new organic molecules in the atmosphere of Jupiter has been announced by a Kitt Peak National Observatory astronomer. Observations of the planet made in the 10-μ wavelength range of the infrared spectrum have revealed the presence in Jupiter's upper atmosphere, above a temperature inversion, of ethane and acetylene.

They are the first new gases to be detected in the Jovian atmosphere since the discovery of molecular hydrogen in 1950. The other two known constituents, methane and ammonia, were identified in the 1930's.