Scientists, using Webb, discover water vapor within a planet-forming disk

Using the joint NASA/European Space Agency/Canadian Space Agency James Webb Space Telescope, a team of scientists has discovered, for the first time, water vapor within a planet-forming disk. The water vapor, which was found within the inner disk of two circumstellar disks around star PDS 70, is allowing scientists to research the ways by which water makes its way into rocky, terrestrial planets. Star system PDS 70, located 370 light-years away from Earth, has been the subject of recent discoveries in exoplanet and star system research. In 2018, PDS 70b, which is one of two confirmed exoplanets around PDS 70, became the first protoplanet to ever be directly imaged by a telescope. What’s more, in 2021, a team detected the first-ever circumplanetary disk around PDS 70c — PDS 70b’s sibling planet. PDS 70 has now returned to the spotlight, as a team of scientists using Webb’s Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) has discovered water vapor within a disk of the star system, which is home to two circumstellar disks (an inner and outer disk). The inner disk is made up of gas, dust, and other cosmic material that may be fueling the formation of new exoplanets. The water vapor detected by Perotti…

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Scientists, using Webb, discover water vapor within a planet-forming disk

Updated: July 30, 2023 — 10:27 pm