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Its raining........in Space?

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posted on Sep, 2 2007 @ 12:17 AM
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It's raining.....in space. Found this article and some related links that i thought were really cool and wanted to share.

Supersonic "Hail" Seeds Star Systems With Water



Evidence of water vapor "raining down" on a newly forming star system is offering the first direct look at how water likely gets incorporated into planets, NASA researchers announced........
The water—enough to fill Earth's oceans five times over—falls at supersonic speeds in the form of a hail-like substance from the envelope of dust and gas that gave birth to the star.



Of the 30 embryonic star systems observed with Spitzer, only IRAS 4B showed signs of water vapor.
According to Watson, this is most likely because the protostar's axis points almost directly at Earth.


Related article:
First Proof of Wet "Hot Jupiter" Outside Solar System


A high-powered space telescope has caught what researchers are saying is the first clear sign of water on a planet outside our solar system.
The planet, known as HD 189733b, is a gas giant similar to Jupiter.



The planet's atmosphere absorbs certain wavelengths of the starlight, depending on the particular chemicals—such as water—that might be present.
The wavelengths that are missing from the light that reaches Earth reveal the chemical fingerprint of the exoplanet's atmosphere.


Picture of Star incubator from Spitzer

What i dont understand and isnt explained is how the water vapour forms in space?




posted on Sep, 2 2007 @ 03:20 AM
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That's amazing. From what I understand the water is one of the elements that formed the cloud from which the star system formed in the first place.



posted on Sep, 2 2007 @ 04:34 AM
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Originally posted by DarkSide
That's amazing. From what I understand the water is one of the elements that formed the cloud from which the star system formed in the first place.

Hydrogen would be present. If oxygen was too, they would combine to form water. And I expect oxygen would be present; it's a common enough element, though it's rare in free atomic form because it is so reactive.



posted on Sep, 2 2007 @ 05:50 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 



Maybe i just dont understand the process properly.
How is oxygen present in space to combine with the hydrogen?
How does the oxygen get there in the first place?
Does some sort of chemical reaction take place in the debris for it to form?

Thanks for any answers that may be forthcoming.

mojo.



posted on Sep, 3 2007 @ 04:19 AM
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reply to post by mojo4sale
 
There's oxygen in space. It comes from the same place all elements heavier than hydrogen come: it's expelled from stars, sometimes in massive supernova explosions. Like everything else, it tends to get captured by the gravitational fields of other stars, planets and things that have gravitational fields generally; gravity is the reason why space is so empty. But what we're seeing in this system is the expulsion of material from a star that has formed an accretion disc. Inside that disc the elemental matter thrown out by the star, oxygen included, is forming compounds. If rocky planets like Earth are forming, you can imagine the oxygen combining with carbon, silicon and metals like aluminium and calcium to form the kinds of rock we get on Earth, but it's also combining with abundant free hydrogen to form water, with methane to form nitrogen and so on. I don't really know much about the process; maybe someone who understands it better could explain.



posted on Sep, 4 2007 @ 06:17 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


Thanks Astyanax, i think i've got a picture of how it works in my head. Its falling as a hail like substance, the hydrogen and oxygen as they form water, then freeze to form this hail like substance?
It's falling at supersonic speed as well, wouldnt want to get caught out in that rainstorm without an umbrella.


Cheers.



posted on Sep, 5 2007 @ 01:42 AM
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reply to post by mojo4sale
 

Sorry, there are some awful, basic chemistry errors in my previous post.

Methane is made, of course, from carbon and hydrogen. Nitrogen is an element. Doh!

There'll be other gases in those clouds, too. If there's nitrogen, we can expect to find ammonia. Then, if there's plenty of carbon as there usually is, it would be combining with the oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen to produce all kinds of organic compounds -- methyl and ethyl alcohol, acetic and nitric acid and lots of other organic stuff.

This is pretty much how life starts out; we're watching, if you like, the real-life equivalent of Genesis I taking place round this faraway star.

[edit on 5-9-2007 by Astyanax]



posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 01:15 PM
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Most of the elements that make up our solar system -- especially the heavy elements (gold, iron, etc.) -- came from a star that went super-nova in our galactic neighborhood sometime in the past. ALL elements that are heavier than iron were not created on Earth or the other planets, but were created inside a long-dead star, or created when that star went supernova.

I find it really fasctinating to think that the stuff that makes up all of us, including the elements in my body and the metals that are used in the computer on which I am typing, were part of a long exitnct star -- a star which possibly could have spawned an entire civilization that died 7 or 8 billion years ago.


...and about water being part of the primordial solar disk...well, the water that is present in our solar system (on Earth, Europa, Mars, Jupiter, etc.) had to come from somewhere, just like the gold, and iron, and everything else. I know water is not an element (it is defined as a "chemical substance"), but I don't find it suprising that oxygen and hydrogen got together out there in space to create water.



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