Nearby planet-forming disk holds water for thousands of oceans

Oct 21, 2011
This is an illustration depicting the sprawling cloud of cold water vapor that astronomers have detected around the burgeoning solar system at the nearby star TW Hydrae. The cold water vapor could could eventually deliver oceans to dry planets that are forming in the system. Credit: Credit: Tim Pyle, Spitzer Science Center, CalTech

(PhysOrg.com) -- For the first time, astronomers have detected around a burgeoning solar system a sprawling cloud of water vapor that's cold enough to form comets, which could eventually deliver oceans to dry planets.

Water is an essential ingredient for life. Scientists have found thousands of Earth-oceans' worth of it within the planet-forming disk surrounding the star TW Hydrae. TW Hydrae is 176 light years away in the constellation Hydra and is the closest solar-system-to-be.

University of Michigan astronomy professor Ted Bergin is a co-author of a paper on the findings published in the Oct. 21 edition of Science.

The researchers used the Heterodyne Instrument for the Far-Infrared (HIFI) on the orbiting Hershel to detect the of water.

"This tells us that the key materials that life needs are present in a system before planets are born," said Bergin, a HIFI co-investigator. "We expected this to be the case, but now we know it is because have directly detected it. We can see it."

Scientists had previously found warm water vapor in planet-forming disks close to the . But until now, evidence for vast quantities of water extending into the cooler, far reaches of disks where comets and take shape had not emerged. The more water available in disks for icy comets to form, the greater the chances that large amounts will eventually reach through impacts.

"The detection of water sticking to dust grains throughout the planet-forming disk would be similar to events in our own solar system's evolution, where over millions of years, these would then coalesce to form comets. These would be a prime delivery mechanism for water on ," said principal investigator Michiel Hogerheijde of Leiden University in the Netherlands.

This image shows an artist's impression of the icy protoplanetary disc around the young star TW Hydrae (upper panel) and the spectrum of the disc as obtained using the HIFI spectrometer on ESA's Herschel Space Observatory (lower panel). By analysing the spectrum, astronomers have detected the emission from cold water vapour in the planet-forming disc. The vapour arises when highly energetic radiation from the central star interacts with icy grains in the disc. The detection thus hints at a copious and otherwise undetectable supply of water ice hidden in the disc's deeper and colder layers. The graph in the lower panel shows the spectral signature of water vapour in the disc. Water molecules come in two "spin" forms, called ortho and para, in which the two spins of the hydrogen nuclei have different orientations. By comparing the relative amounts of ortho and para water, astronomers can determine the temperatures under which the water formed. Lower ratios indicate cooler temperatures, though in practice the analysis is much more complicated. The ratio of ortho to para water observed in TW Hydrae's protoplanetary disc is low enough to point to the presence of cold water vapour. Credits: ESA/NASA/JPL-Caltech/M. Hogerheijde (Leiden Observatory)

Other recent findings from HIFI support the theory that comets delivered a significant portion of Earth's oceans. Researchers found that the ice on a comet called Hartley 2 has the same chemical composition as our oceans.

HIFI is helping astronomers gain a better understanding of how water comes to terrestrial planets---Earth and beyond. If TW Hydrae and its icy disk are representative of many other young star systems, as researchers think they are, then the process for creating planets around numerous stars with abundant water throughout the universe appears to be in place, NASA officials say.

Explore further: 'Perfect storm' quenching star formation around a supermassive black hole

More information: www.sciencemag.org/content/334/6054/338.abstract

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kevinrtrs
1.2 / 5 (36) Oct 21, 2011
Raises some interesting questions, doesn't it:
1. Just how does water vapor and dust coalesce into a comet, all on its own, without some outside interference? If you think it only takes time, please explain the physics involved.

2. Given that all the basic ingredients will be in place, just how does life suddenly get started all on it's own, without any outside interference? How does cell membranes form and stay in place at the right temperatures, all by themselves? How does the ports in the cell-wall get to form with the right signalling pathways - all by itself. Come to think of it, those ports consists of some amino acids - just where do those come from all on their own?
How does the horrendously complex DNA and RNA molecules get started, all on their own without some outside protection or manipulation? Say nothing about the enzymes required to perform the vital functions of life. Oh, and so by the way, those need the DNA and RNA to exist - bummer! How to gen. the right chirality?
hush1
4.3 / 5 (22) Oct 21, 2011
Were you happier before you learned to read, write, and talk?
Just curious.
PinkElephant
4.9 / 5 (17) Oct 21, 2011
1. Just how does water vapor and dust coalesce into a snowflake, and build up mile-thick glaciers, without some outside interference? If you think it only takes time, please explain the physics involved.

2. Given that all the basic ingredients will be in place, just how does any physical process whatsoever get started all on it's (sic) own, without any outside interference?

All that complex biochemistry you're referring to, was EVOLVED. Modern, sophisticated cells didn't just pop into existence ex nihilo, replete with RNA, DNA, cell walls, ion channels, signalling pathways, enzymes, and all manner of organelles. What you fail to understand (because you fail to perceive basic facts due to your chronic state of denial) is that it took life about 3 Billion years of evolution to progress to a point where the first primitive multi-cellular organisms could emerge. That's 3 Billion years of simply building up single-celled sophistication. How many generations does that amount to?
omatumr
1.1 / 5 (19) Oct 21, 2011
Thanks for the story and the picture.

Water consists of two elements, H and O, that are dominant in the outer and inner layers of supernova debris.

That is why the outer and inner parts of the solar system are made of

a.) Outer Layer: H, He, C, N made giant gaseous planets and carbonaceous inclusions of diamonds.

b.) Inner Layer: Fe, O, Ni, Si, S, Mg and Ca made inner planets, FeS inclusions of meteorites, and Sun's iron-rich mantle.

These two layers were not completely separate, but water consists of elements from each.

See: www.omatumr.com/Origin.htm

"Terrestial-type xenon in meteoritic troilite",
Nature 299, 807-810 (1982)

Terrestrial-type xenon in sulfides of the Allende meteorite",
Geochemical Journal 30, 17-30 (1996)

www.terrapub.co.j...0017.PDF

O. Manuel
http://myprofile....anuelo09
http://dl.dropbox...reer.pdf

www.nature.com/na...7a0.html

Deadbolt
4.6 / 5 (9) Oct 21, 2011
Interesting questions?

No. Kevin isn't really interested in the answers to these questions, he just wants to stick his desert God in there and be done with it.
omatumr
1 / 5 (16) Oct 21, 2011
a.) Outer Layer: H, He, C, N made giant gaseous planets and carbonaceous inclusions of meteorites - graphite and diamonds.

See: www.omatumr.com/Origin.htm

and www.omatumr.com/D...Data.htm

"Terrestial-type xenon in meteoritic troilite",
Nature 299, 807-810 (1982)
www.nature.com/na...7a0.html
Dichotomy
5 / 5 (5) Oct 21, 2011
Kevin, the physics you're asking for are a combination of time and gravity to the tune of many many many years. Imagine each particle is like a miniature magnet due to its own gravitational pull. Eventually many magnets come together from different directions and velocities to form celestial bodies like comets, moons, planets, etc... When many bodies are flying around they inevitably fly into eachother creating more mass from the sum of the individual colliding parts or in extreme cases additional celestial bodies break off from the larger body (like the the case of our moon).
Ryan1981
2.5 / 5 (2) Oct 21, 2011
Hmm i'd like a small addition to the opening sentence:

Water is an essential ingredient for life --> as we know it <--

Apart from that this nicely amends this theory: http://www.physor...ike.html
iiibogdan
5 / 5 (3) Oct 21, 2011
These are awesome times to be a scientist!
petercz75
3.7 / 5 (10) Oct 21, 2011
to the people who keep ringing the God bell....listen, you really make others who believe in god feel silly. There is nothing wrong with the believe in God...but I am not sure following the creation story word for word is accurate. I believe in God, and I believe all of our science, our research is a part of Gods work because it explains to us the mystery of the universe...I am not sure God plopped adam and eve here...I do believe god made it so evolution, science, chemistry, physics could create....God or no god the universe, its creation are amazing and it needs to be studied further than the bible or any religious belief. Believe in God's glory not your own interpretation of who and what god is...
hush1
1 / 5 (1) Oct 21, 2011
The link is a good supplemental to this thread commentary and the article. Good catch for assimilation of co-mutual support.
rubberman
2.7 / 5 (6) Oct 21, 2011
I believe the Universe is a massive scale version of the circle life on earth....we as humans would likely be pretty low on the galactic food chain, somewhere out in the vastness there are beings that to us would be godlike in stature, and if we ever run into the galactic versions of ourselves...we had better hope they don't see any use for us. Of course if they do want our planet and have to justify it to galactic NATO, they can use the LHC as proof of a weapon of mass destruction and then obtain sanctioning to squash us like bugs...
hush1
1 / 5 (1) Oct 21, 2011
Comment about 'assimilation and good catch' directed @Ryan
tkjtkj
4 / 5 (4) Oct 21, 2011
Raises some interesting questions, doesn't it:

Sure does , eg: how does a faux-intellectual such as yourself manage to slither your way (with your religious views) into a SCIENCE site?
hanieh
5 / 5 (1) Oct 21, 2011
this is wonderful,thank you
Au-Pu
3.7 / 5 (6) Oct 21, 2011
What is of particular interest is that this is current information. What we are seeing happening only happened 176 years ago.
In other words what they are observing is happening NOW not millions or billions of years ago as is the case with most of such observations.
Deesky
4.9 / 5 (8) Oct 21, 2011
@kev
Raises some interesting questions, doesn't it:

1. Just how does the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit coalesce into a single god, all on its own, without some outside interference? If you think it only takes time, please explain the physics involved.

2. Given that all the three basic god ingredients will be in place, just how does life suddenly get started all on its own, without any outside interference?

How does the horrendous god of the bible get started, without some outside protection or manipulation? Answer: it doesn't - it's a manipulation by ignorant insiders under protection by organized religion.

Say nothing about the magic required to create life and the world in its current form 6000 years ago. Oh, and so by the way, those need magic to exist - bummer!
Parsec
5 / 5 (6) Oct 22, 2011
@kev -

If God created everything, what created God in the first place? Did he just spontaneously pop into existence? If he just existed forever, please explain the physics involved.

Why is hypothesizing an infinite God and infinite time a simpler answer than having life start spontaneously and evolve as all scientific evidence points to? Do you think science is the work of the devil trying to convince people that your so called creator is superstitious nonsense?
GDM
3.7 / 5 (3) Oct 22, 2011
People, please don't feed the kevin troll. He is just p.o'd because he missed the rapture back in May and missed yesterday's one as well. I guess he wasn't invited. Maybe the 3rd time will be the charm and he will ascend to the hidden flying saucer in the sky and begone.
randith
1 / 5 (1) Oct 22, 2011
Does this mean there are full circle rainbows? That would be a cool effect in sci-fi.
rproulx45
3 / 5 (2) Oct 22, 2011
I believe in God, I also believe what I see. I do not see God, but I'm willing to cut him some slack. Science, on the other hand, I hold to a much higher standard.
Pirouette
1 / 5 (5) Oct 22, 2011
I think it's so cool that they have found a disk with cold water vapor ringing a star that has no planets as yet. It's only logical that the water vapor would be warmer closer to the star and colder far from it, but what I fail to see is just what chemical reaction in a vacuum would create the water vapor in free flight in the first place. I understand how H and O atoms in a vacuum could come together within a comet and become water, then ice. Steam is water vapor, whether cold or warm. The cold vapor would crystallize into ice, but would the warm water vapor coalesce in a vacuum into globules of water, much like liquid floating in a space capsule that's halfway to the moon? The article doesn't mention H and O atoms, just water vapor. Is it a combo of radiation from that sun and a chemical reaction with H and O that combines the H and O to build molecules of water? I don't see that there would be any other catalyst to make it happen. Or is there something else?
Ethelred
3.7 / 5 (3) Oct 23, 2011
Naked H and O atoms are highly reactive and monatomic oxygen is rare. When it is blasted out a of a star there is bound to be plenty of H and other Os in the neighborhood. And more hydrogen than oxygen by a considerable degree. So water is the most likely molecule to form.

Ethelred
Beard
5 / 5 (3) Oct 23, 2011
That's 3 Billion years of simply building up single-celled sophistication. How many generations does that amount to?


One-hundred and fifty-seven Trillion, six-hundred and eighty Billion. Assuming a ten minute reproduction speed.

If I tapped Mt. Everest with a pin and chipped off a cubic grain measuring six micrometers in one dimension (naked eye can't see anything smaller than 30m); I would have completely removed Mt. Everest after this many taps.
Beard
5 / 5 (4) Oct 23, 2011
That's 3 Billion years of simply building up single-celled sophistication. How many generations does that amount to?


One-hundred and fifty-seven Trillion, six-hundred and eighty Billion. Assuming a ten minute reproduction speed.

If I tapped Mt. Everest with a pin, once an hour, and chipped off a cubic grain measuring six micrometers in one dimension (naked eye can't see anything smaller than 30um); I would have completely removed Mt. Everest after this many years.

Please delete my previous post.
Skepticus_Rex
2.4 / 5 (7) Oct 23, 2011
Kevin, it is the same basic physics involved in both planetoid and planet formation, which involves spinning disks of dust and water-ice. Further out where large amounts of water and ice would be found, these would form and then collide with one another to break up into fragments in many cases. We already see in a number of comets the signs of violent beginnings. Pretty elementary, actually.

On the amino acids, 'left-handed' chirality seems to be the default in nature. ('Right-hand' chirality on the other hand, is founded in artificiality. Mankind synthesizes all kinds of molecules with 'right-handed' chirality).

Amino acids and their building blocks have been detected in space. This is very old news which has been substantiated by additional and recent observations. Comets have been detected as having them as well so the mechanism for getting the amino acids to earth (or, whatever other planet lucky enough to get pelted with them) along with water finds expression in comets as well.
Pirouette
1.8 / 5 (5) Oct 23, 2011
Just wondering now. . .we know that water molecules can be formed within/on a world through volcanic action. . .and we know how water molecules can come through comet splashdowns or crashes. . .but was it possible for water vapor in the Sun's disk, if so thick as to fall onto a planet (early Earth, for example) and increase the presence of water there? Would a WALL of water have been able to fall through the early atmosphere without boiling away?
I don't know if I'm phrasing this correctly.
T0 ethelred: Thanks for the lesson in chemical reaction.
omatumr
1 / 5 (10) Oct 23, 2011
Water consists of two elements, H and O, from the outer and inner layers of supernova debris, respectively.

a.) Outer Layer: H, He, C, N made giant gaseous planets and carbonaceous inclusions of meteorites - graphite and diamonds.

b.) Inner Layer: Fe, O, Ni, Si, S, Mg and Ca made inner planets, FeS inclusions of meteorites, and Sun's iron-rich mantle.

Water consists of elements from each layer.

www.omatumr.com/Origin.htm

"Terrestial-type xenon in meteoritic troilite",
Nature 299, 807-810 (1982)

Terrestrial-type xenon in sulfides of the Allende meteorite",
Geochemical Journal 30, 17-30 (1996)

www.terrapub.co.j...0017.PDF


Outer Layer contained "strange" xenon, Xe-2

Inner Layer contained "normal" xenon, Xe-1

www.omatumr.com/D...Data.htm

www.omatumr.com/D...Data.htm

This video shows the chemical layers with Xe-1 and Xe-2 labeled

www.youtube.com/w...QSSHIe6k

O. Manuel

Ethelred
3.7 / 5 (6) Oct 24, 2011
.but was it possible for water vapor in the Sun's disk,
No. Its all ions. No molecules.

Would a WALL of water have been able to fall through the early atmosphere without boiling away?
How early in the Earth's history AND where the heck is it going to boil away too? If it boiled, which means vaporized, it would still have to reach escape velocity to leave the Earth.

I don't know if I'm phrasing this correctly.
Don't know where you are trying to go on this.

T0 ethelred: Thanks for the lesson in chemical reaction.
I entered college as a chem major. Turned out I don't really like chemistry. Too many, what I call, Millard Filmore's Birthday Rules. I only took the first year of it.

Ethelred
Ethelred
4 / 5 (8) Oct 24, 2011
Water consists of two elements, H and O, from the outer and inner layers of supernova debris, respectively.
Yes, except for that layer parts as hydrogen exists throughout suns, even in supergiants that have just created a high concentration iron core. And oxygen is also produced in stars that do not supernova.

a.) Outer Layer: H, He, C, N made giant gaseous planets and carbonaceous inclusions of meteorites - graphite and diamonds.
No. But hydrogen and Helium don't hang around in inner solar systems after the new star lights up.

b.) Inner Layer: Fe, O, Ni, Si, S, Mg and Ca made inner planets, FeS inclusions of meteorites, and Sun's iron-rich mantle
Utter nonsense. Those made up most of the inner planets material because they can form solids in the inner solar system unlike hydrogen and helium. The oxygen is only there because it can bond with the other elements or it two would only have been in the outer system.>>
Ethelred
4 / 5 (8) Oct 24, 2011
Supernova blast much of their debris out at very high velocities. ESCAPE velocities. As I have been pointing for a while now. And you have been evading this and are pretending it will go away. Your older Oliver. I think I can outlive you.

Its about time you started dealing with my questions.

How do the supernova debris remain in the Solar System? No observed supernova fits your theory.

What separates Neutron Repulsion from the Pauli Exclusion Principle? Keeping in mind that there is no evidence for a long range force which WOULD separate it from the PEP, but such evidence does not exist.>>
Ethelred
4.2 / 5 (10) Oct 24, 2011
Since you CLAIM that neutron repulsion is a long range force, unlike the PEP, AND the force is strong enough to stop the formation of Black Holes and strong enough to disrupt galaxies then there is a serous problem for you theory that the Sun has a Pulsar in it. Pulsars couldn't form because a force that stops Black Holes would also have to stop the formation of pulsars, galaxies, planets, meteorites, comets and pretty much anything that wasn't held together by short range electro-magnetic forces that clearly outweigh Neutron Repulsion even in your magical havewaved form.

Please explain how these gravity formed bodies could form if Neutron Repulsion is what you claim. Magical passes of hands need not apply as this is physorg and not the Harry Houdini site.

Ethelred
omatumr
1 / 5 (9) Oct 25, 2011
In the central, high temperature region of massive stars, light elements are depleted by fusion. The charge on the nucleus of light elements is not high enough to precent them being pushed together.

This was first observed as the depletion of the lightweight noble gases, He and Ne, from heavier noble gases (Ar, Kr, Xe) in the interior of a star.

The experimental data are shown in these manuscripts:

"Strange xenon, extinct superheavy elements and the solar neutrino puzzle", Science 195, 208-209 (1977)

www.omatumr.com/a...enon.pdf

"Noble gas anomalies and synthesis of the chemical elements", Meteoritics 15, 117-138 (1980)

www.omatumr.com/a...lies.pdf

"Composition of the solar interior," ESA SP-517 SOHO/GONG, 345-348 (2003)

http://arxiv.org/...410717v1

"Origin and operation of the Sun", AIP Proceedings 822, 206-225 (2006)

http://xxx.lanl.g.../0510001

jsdarkdestruction
5 / 5 (3) Oct 25, 2011
i thought you said neutron stars exist at the center of all stars and neutron repulsion deep inside leads neutrons to decay into hydrogen and helium. now the light elements are at the center? get your story straight before you spout nonsense.
So how does neutron repulsion cause the expansion of the universe if its not strong enough to overcome the charge between simple light elements?
jsdarkdestruction
3 / 5 (2) Oct 27, 2011
Oliver Manuel's recent efforts to plaster Physorg.com and other public news sites with his theories and personal URLs are a bit puzzling, as scientists have a variety of publications available to communicate directly to each other in. My best guess is that he is desperately trying to prop up his legacy in light of his arrest in his university office on 7 charges of rape and sodomy based on allegations by 4 of his own children. The charges have been reduced to one count of felony attempted sodomy, not necessarily because of his innocence, but because of the statute of limitations. One can only guess how the recent charges and decades of family strife have affected his ability to reason rationally and to remain objective while defending his unpopular theories.

http://mominer.ms...hildren/

http://www.homefa...uel.html

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