Most Water In the Universe May Come From Young Stars’ Erupting Geyers.

Scientists have observed a proto-star shooting water from its poles. This type of righteous action may continue on for thousands of years, and could account for most of the free-floating water in our good old Universe.


A new star is slowly condensing over in the Perseus constellation. L1448-MM is surrounded by a disk of loose materials. These materials orbit around the star, and slowly getting sucked in. The proto-star builds up its mass, and finally gravity collapses it in enough so that the atoms at the center of the star fuse together, heating it up and making it shine. But not all the material that gets sucked into the star stays there. Some gets shot out of jets that form at either pole of the rotating star.

Scientists don’t know the exact mechanism of those jets of material, but they’ve observed them for years. The material on L1448-MM, however, they managed to observe via infrared. What they found was water. Technically, it doesn’t start out as water. The material is traveling at 80 times the speed of the bullets of on AK-47, and it’s heated to 180,000 degrees, so as it leaves the star itself, it’s just hydrogen and oxygen. Once it gets far enough away to cool down, however, it condenses into water. Lots of water. A hundred million times the water in the Amazon river. Stars don’t do anything small.

I love the image of it being rocketed out so fast and at such a high temperature that it is merely hydrogen and oxygen before it cools down.