The secret is out.
The smoke indicates whether or not a decision on the next pope has been made.
The smoke is black if no pope has been elected. The smoke is white if a pope has been elected.
Yesterday we reported that the white and black smoke is produced from cartridges filled with different chemicals. The practice of using chemicals to color the smoke began in 2005, but until now, the Vatican would not say what those chemicals were.
From the Vatican :
For a black “fumata” the chemical compound is made of potassium perchlorate, anthracene, and sulphur. The white “fumata” is a mixture of potassium chlorate, lactose, and rosin. The rosin is a natural amber resin obtained from conifers. Prior to 2005 the black smoke was obtained by using smoke black or pitch and the white smoke by using wet straw.
The chimney installed on the roof of the Sistine Chapel is connected to two stoves inside the chapel. O ne stove burns the paper ballots. The other stove releases the colored smoke. The colored smoke mixes with the smoke from the paper ballots before it exits the chimney for everyone to see in St. Peter's Square.
The smoke was black on Wednesday, the second day of the papal conclave, meaning a new pope has not yet been elected.
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