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Astronomers have discovered water vapor in a disk forming a planet “near” Earth

Astronomers have discovered water vapor in a disk forming a planet “near” Earth

The disk in question orbits the star HL Tauri, located in the constellation Taurus

Astronomers have discovered water vapor in a planet-forming disk surrounding a young, sun-like star located 450 light-years from Earth, the European Southern Observatory (OES) announced today.

According to the work published in the scientific journal Nature Astronomy, water, in addition to being a basic requirement for life as we know it, also plays an important role in the formation of planets.

The disk in question is located around the star HL Tauri, located in the constellation Taurus.

“Our results show how the presence of water can influence the evolution of a planetary system, as happened about 4.5 billion years ago in our solar system,” said astronomer Stefano Facchini from the University of Milan. In Italy, who led the research.

Images obtained from observations made in Chile using the ALMA radio telescope, operated in part by OES, “reveal a large amount of water vapor over a range of distances from the star that include an area where a planet may currently be forming,” perhaps influencing On its chemical composition, according to Facchini.

The dust grains that make up the disk are the seeds of planet formation, colliding and clumping together to form larger objects orbiting the star.

Astronomers believe that cold enough regions, where water freezes in the form of dust grains, are the ideal place for planets to form.

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