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solar water system
A type of water heavier than Earth’s has been found in a star located 1,300 light-years from Earth.

Until a few decades ago, it was thought that the presence of water was unique on Earth. and, in fact, it was used as a biosignal. This term refers to all those objects, substances or temporary variations that require a biological agent.

Until now the presence of water on celestial bodies was considered an indication of lifebecause it was precisely in this liquid that the first organisms on the planet appeared.

Today we know that water is not necessarily a biosignature and that, on the contrary, it is a compound present in many bodies not only in the solar system, but also in deep space.

Planets, asteroids, comets and even our Moon have water on their surface, but the explanation of how this compound was generated in the cosmos remains a mystery to astrochemists and astrobiologists.

The water cycle in the cosmos

Water was known to pass from gas clouds to planet-forming disks in younger stars and then from comets to planets. Although, there is a missing link in this understanding of the water cycle in the cosmos which does not predict how water moves from young stars to comets.

Until now, a part of the water cycle process in the cosmos was unknown. However, a new discovery could have found this “missing link”.

The most recent discovery, made by a team of researchers led by John J. Tobin of the US National Radio Astronomical Observatory, suggests that The “missing link” has finally been found to discover the source of water.

Using the ALMA telescope in Atacama (Chile), the team detected the presence of water in a gaseous state in the planet-forming disk around the Star V883 Orionislocated 1300 light years from Earth.

When a cloud of gas and dust is generated in the universe, it tends to collapse due to gravity, leading to the formation of a star. at its center. The result is a star with a disk around it called a “planetary formation disk” because it is the nest of asteroids and planets that later take shape.

Tobin and his team were analyzing the planet-forming disk of V883 Orionis when discovered particles of a type of gaseous water with a chemical composition similar to water on Earth.

On Earth, water is usually made up of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom, but the version found by Tobin and his team is a little heaviersince one of the two hydrogen atoms has been replaced by deuterium, a heavy isotope of hydrogen.

The water in the planet-forming disc V883 Orionis is slightly heavier than that of our planet, as it formed under different conditions.

This type of chemical composition provides valuable information for astrochemists, since Simple water and heavy water form under different conditions.then it is possible to unravel when and where the compound formed.

Water is older than the Sun!

Water measurements around the V883 Orionis are impressive: according to the researchers, There is enough water to fill our oceans about 1,200 times. But that is not all. Its composition is also similar to that of solar system comets, suggesting that the compound came from freezing in planetary disk clouds and then clumps together as comets.

This team of researchers discovered water in a gaseous state in a star located 1,300 light-years from Earth, which is why they concluded that it is older than our Sun and, consequently, our solar system.

The conclusions of the study are simply surprising, as they show that water is even older than our sun and therefore the solar system itself. The water that gave life to water formed in space and then ended up on Earth through comets.