Astronomers detect water molecules swirling around a star

Photo: ESO/L. Calçada (Fair Use)

Astronomers are gaining insights into the origin of water in our solar system billions of years ago, thanks to a neighboring star system, CNN reported.

Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array of telescopes (ALMA) in northern Chile, scientists were able to observe a youthful star named V883 Orionis, which is situated 1,300 light-years away.

Encircling the star is a planetary-forming disk comprising a cloud of gas and dust that remained after the star’s formation. Over millions of years, the matter within the disk coalesces to create planets, asteroids, and comets, as reported by CNN.

Utilizing ALMA, a group of scientists gauged the chemical signals within the planetary-forming disk, identifying the presence of gaseous water, or water vapor. This discovery enabled the astronomers to track the water’s movement from the gas clouds that brought forth the star and will eventually spawn planets.

Written by staff