Water vapor detected in a star's planet-forming region

One of the big open questions about Earth and how life formed is the origin of the planet’s water. You can assume that water has existed since the dawn of the Earth, and is one of the ingredients that make up our blue planet. This statement is not entirely correct.

There is another view that is gaining more and more consensus in the scientific world, which is that water on Earth can originate elsewhere and be brought to the planet by comets. Water originates from many complex chemical reactions, and it is also a major component of comets (asteroids) – small bodies floating in or out of the solar system.

Recently, international astronomers have suddenly discovered the existence of water vapor in the planet-forming region of a star, suggesting that the planets born here could approach the planet. water in the first place.

This study used the James Webb Space Telescope to observe the star PDS 70, which has a much cooler and younger surface temperature than our sun. PDS 70 has two gas giant planets orbiting, but the star itself is still in the process of planet-forming, with two protoplanetary dust and gaseous disks swirling around it. In particular, the inner dusty disk, located in an area comparable to the distance from Earth to the Sun, is where water vapor has been detected.

“This is an exciting study that helps explore the region where rocky planets similar to Earth often form, as well as the association and existence of water here,” said Dr Thomas Henning, co-author Dr. research author said.

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Scientists are now particularly interested in where this water comes from, and how it can survive in the chaotic environment near the star. The young star emits ultraviolet light that normally destroys water molecules. In this case, the water vapor in dust and other matter could have protected the water molecules and acted as a shield.

That means the planets that form inside this disk will have water in the first place. The researchers also see clumps of material such as silicates in the inner ring, so one day, it’s possible that Earth-like planets could form here.