Scientists are on a quest to understand how water, the foundation of life as we know it, reaches distant planets. The PDS 70 system, with its inner and outer discs hosting gas-giant planets, holds intriguing clues. Recently, MIRI, part of the James Webb Space Telescope, detected water vapor in the inner disc at distances less than 160 million km from the star – a zone where rocky, Earth-like planets may be taking shape!
This discovery is groundbreaking, as it delves into the region where terrestrial planets typically form. The PDS 70 star is relatively old, yet it surprisingly harbors water vapor, offering the raw materials needed for rocky world construction. But where did the water come from? Could it be forming in place or transported from the outer disc?
The PDS 70 system’s secrets await further exploration, and Webb’s NIRCam and NIRSpec instruments will soon dive deeper into this fascinating cosmic phenomenon. As we unlock the mysteries of water in space, we inch closer to understanding the origins of life beyond our own planet.
📹 ESA – European Space Agency
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