From: Stig Agermose <stig.agermose.nul> Date: Sat, 5 Nov 2011 22:05:56 -0700 (PDT) Archived: Sun, 06 Nov 2011 18:24:06 -0500 Subject: Embryonic Solar System Brimming With Water http://www.world-science.net/othernews/111020_TWHydrae.htm Best Stig Agermose *** Embryonic solar system seen to be brimming with water Oct. 20, 2011 Courtesy of NASA and World Science staff New findings suggest an embryonic solar system contains thousands of oceans' worth of water - so water-covered planets like Earth may be common, astronomers say. The researchers, using data from the European Space Agency's Her--schel Space Observatory, detected cold water vapor enveloping a dusty disk around a young star. Disks of this nature are believed to be the ma--terial from which planets eventually form, orbiting their central star. Scientists previously found warm water vapor in planet-forming disks close to a central star. But they hadn't before now detected plentiful water extending out into the cooler, far reaches of disks, where comets form. Scientists consider water in that region to be important because growing evidence suggests a key way that oceans fill up is thanks to icy comets that slam into a young planet. "Our observations of this cold vapor indicate enough water exists in the disk to fill thousands of Earth oceans," said astronomer Michiel Hogerheijde of Leiden Observatory in The Netherlands. Hogerheijde is the lead author of a paper describing the findings in the Oct. 21 issue of the journal Science. The central star, called TW Hydrae, is an estimated 10 million years old and located about 175 light-years away from Earth, in the constellation Hydra. A light-year is the distance light travels in a year. Astronomers believe TW Hydrae and its icy disk may be representative of many other young star systems, providing new insights on how planets with abundant water could form throughout the universe. Hogerheijde and his team reported detecting a frigid watery haze that they believe originates from ice-coated dust grains near the disk's sur--face. Ultraviolet light from the star is theorized to break some water mo--lecules off this ice. That creates a thin layer of gas with a light signature detected by an instrument on the satellite, a mission in which NASA is also involved. TW Hydrae is an orange dwarf star, somewhat smaller and cooler than our yellow-white sun. The disk of material encircling is almost 200 times as wide as the distance between Earth and the Sun. Over the next few million years, astronomers believe matter within the disk will collide and grow into planets, asteroids and other cosmic bodies. Dust and ice particles are expected to assemble as comets. * * * Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast At: http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/sdi/program/ These contents above are copyright of the author and UFO UpDates - Toronto. They may not be reproduced without the express permission of both parties and are intended for educational use only.
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