'Young stars blast water into space at 200,000 kmph'

'Young stars blast water into space at 200,000 kmph'

The scientists at the Leiden University in The Netherlands said their discovery could shed new light on the early stages of the Sun's life, the Daily Mail reported.

The Dutch scientists who were focusing on a protostar, located in the constellation Perseus which is around 750 light years from earth, found the star could be aged not more than 100,000 years but still surrounded by a large gas-cloud and dust from which it was born.

The scientists then used an infrared instrument at the European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory to look through the cloud.

In doing so they detected both hydrogen and oxygen atoms moving on and around the star. They then traced the path of these atoms and concluded that water forms on the star at a few thousand degrees Celsius.

As they are blasted out of the star's north and south poles they face temperatures of 100,000 degrees Celsius which turned the water back into gaseous form.
Once these gases hit the surrounding material they cool quickly and condense, reforming as liquid water.

"If we picture these jets as giant hoses and the water droplets as bullets, the amount shooting out equals a hundred million times the water flowing through the Amazon River every second," lead researcher Lars Kristensen was quoted as saying.

"We are talking about velocities reaching 200,000 kilometres (124,000 miles) per hour, which is about 80 times faster than bullets flying out of a machine gun," he said.

Kristensen and his team are particularly excited by the discovery as it could shed new light on the early stages of the Sun's life.

"We are only now beginning to understand that sunlike stars probably all undergo a very energetic phase when they are young," Kristensen said.

"It's at this point in their lives when they spew out a lot of high-velocity material—part of which we now know is water."

The phenomenon seen in Perseus may be a short-lived phase all protostars go through, Kristensen said.

"But if we have enough of these sprinklers going off throughout the galaxy—this starts to become interesting on many levels," he added.

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