Astronomers detect water molecules swirling around a star

Astronomers detect water molecules swirling around a star

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A nearby star system is helping astronomers unravel the mystery of how water appeared in our solar system billions of years ago.

Scientists observed a young star, called V883 Orionis, located 1,300 light-years away using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array of telescopes, or ALMA, in northern Chile.

The star is surrounded by a planet-forming disk of cloud of gas and dust leftover from when the star was born. Eventually, material in the disk comes together to form comets, asteroids and planets over millions of years.

A team of researchers used ALMA to measure chemical signals in the planet-forming disk, and they detected gaseous water, or water vapor. Their detection allowed the astronomers to trace the water’s journey from the gas clouds that formed the star and will eventually

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