Since we have an plenty of water here on Earth, with some of it being undrinkable, it is hard to really fancy how dry our galaxy – and the cosmos in general – is as a whole. Though, we have perceived quite a few unusual bodies of water situated in some astonishing places, so it’s only normal to speak of this one, dubbed L1448-MM. Situated only 750 light years from Earth, astrophysicists have observed this young protostar “shoot” massive jets of water from its north and south poles. Even more surprising is how rapidly the water bullets are traveling away from the star into the intergalactic medium, at speeds beyond 200,000 kilometres (124,000 miles) per hour, making them nearly 80 times quicker than a bullet speeding away from an AK-47 assault rifle.
Using the modern in infrared technology, the Herschel Space Observatory (which was sadly discharged very recently) has found telltale light signs of hydrogen and oxygen atoms – the building blocks of water – from a star that is so young, it’s still covered in its astronomical cocoon. These so-called cocoons are usually made up of any residual bits of dust and gas left over from the star’s creation. After astrophysicists found the path of the hydrogen and oxygen atoms, they determined that water was forming *on* the star.
After which, the droplets enter the outward-spewing jets of gas (visualized in the pictured above), where the high temperatures discharge the water back into a gaseous state — the state it remains until it reaches the cooler nearby material, which can be found at a distance 5,000 times bigger than the space among Earth and the sun.
At that point, they slow down and cool down very quickly before condensing and reforming as water molecules. To put it in simple expressions, the high pressures -with help from the powerful gravity – experienced near the star’s surface would condense the h20 into a supercritical fluid, which is a type of plasma.
As it becomes ejected at a high speed with the nearby gravity decreased, it would turn from supercritical fluid, into steam. The steam would slowly turn into liquid as the temperature cooled and ultimately, it would freeze into Ice, concluding the four phases of water.
How much water are we talking about? Well, if we image these jets as massive hoses – with the water droplets as bullets – the quantity shooting out is equivalent to a hundred million times extra water than that at present flowing through the Amazon River per second. Maybe the most thrilling feature of this finding is that it could be a rite of passage for all young and active sun-like stars. Since we know that water is a major constituent for life as we know it, this find could shed some light on the initial stage of life in our solar system.
It may also help us comprehend how water fits into that equation. Since these protostars are pushing plenty of water into space, this could also mean that water is even more plentiful in the universe than formerly believed! Which could have thrilling implications for life as well?
This post was written by Usman Abrar. To contact the writer write to email@example.com. Follow on Facebook