Webb Telescope Reveals Water in Baby Planets in 2023

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.

FAQs about Webb telescope

Q1: How did scientists use the James Webb Space Telescope to make the discovery about water vapor in distant protoplanetary discs?

A1: Scientists used Webb’s MIRI (Mid-Infrared Instrument) to study four protoplanetary discs around young stars similar to our Sun. The telescope’s results showed extra-cold water in the small discs, confirming the presence of water vapor as expected.

Q2: What are protoplanetary discs, and why are they important in understanding how planets are made?

A2: Protoplanetary discs are like baby planets and are crucial in understanding planet formation. These discs consist of small pebbles covered in ice that move toward the warmer inner region, releasing cold water vapor. This process provides both water and solids, forming the building blocks of young planets.

Q3: How old are the stars around which the four protoplanetary discs were studied using the Webb Telescope?

A3: The stars around which the four protoplanetary discs were studied are very young, only 2 to 3 million years old in cosmic terms.

Q4: What instrument on the James Webb Space Telescope was used to analyze the protoplanetary discs, and what did the results show?

A4: Researchers used Webb’s MIRI (Mid-Infrared Instrument) to study the protoplanetary discs. The results showed extra-cold water in the small discs, confirming the presence of water vapor and supporting the theory about planet formation.

Q5: Why is the discovery of water vapor in protoplanetary discs significant in the study of planet formation?

A5: The discovery of water vapor in protoplanetary discs is significant because it confirms the theory that icy pebbles in these discs release cold water vapor in the warmer inner region. This process provides water and solids essential for the formation of young planets.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.