Astrobiologists find a watery solar system
An artist’s rendering illustrates an icy planet-forming
Turning its gaze toward a star known as TW Hydrae — a comparatively cool orange dwarf just 10 million years old — the telescope recently found a vast disk of dusty material moving in a solar orbit about 200 times as far from the star as Earth is from our own sun. Dust is just dust in the visible spectrum, but operating in the extreme infrared, Herschel was able to spot the surprising signal of water — lots and lots of water — created as ultraviolet light from the star knocked individual water molecules free from the traces of ice that cling to the dust grains.
- A Watery Solar System Offers Clues to Earth’s Creation (time.com)
- Infant Star System With “Thousands of Oceans'” Worth of Water (maboulette.wordpress.com)
Posted on October 25, 2011, in Government Trough and tagged Cosmic dust, Earth, European Space Agency, Herschel, Herschel Space Observatory, Solar System, TW Hydrae, Ultraviolet. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.