Scientists Discover Water in Space with Webb Telescope
Scientists made an important discovery about how planets are made using the James Webb Space Telescope. They found water vapor in distant protoplanetary discs, which are like baby planets. This discovery supports a theory scientists have talked about for a long time.
Scientists believed that small pebbles covered in ice were the building blocks of planets. According to this idea, these icy pebbles, usually found in the outer parts of protoplanetary discs, move toward the warmer inner region. There, they release a lot of cold water vapor. This process is thought to provide both water and solids to young planets.
According to this theory, scientists made a big guess: when these icy pebbles move to the warmer area in the discs, they should release a lot of cold water vapor. And that’s exactly what the Webb telescope saw.
How Webb Telescope Found Water
Researchers used Webb’s MIRI (Mid-Infrared Instrument) to study four protoplanetary discs around stars similar to our Sun. These stars are very young, only 2 to 3 million years old in cosmic terms. Two discs were small, and two were big. The telescope’s results showed extra-cold water in the small discs, just as expected.
Scientists wanted to find out if small discs have more water in the inner part where rocky planets form. This would be true if the movement of these icy pebbles was better at bringing solid stuff and water to inner planets.