Interstellar crybaby: Nearby star shoots huge water jets

By Archean
Jul 22, 2011
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    For as long as we’ve been searching for potentially life-supporting exoplanets, we’ve looked for one specific characteristic: water. Water was once thought to be exceedingly rare, but Earthlings have come to understand that water is one of the most abundant molecules in the universe. It turns out to be so abundant, in fact, that the ESA’s Herschel Space Observatory recently spied a nearby star positively spewing it out into space. Just 750 million light-years away (practically next door in universal terms), a sunlike star is shooting massive quantities of water out of its poles and into the vast emptiness of the universe at 124,000 miles per hour – or about 80 times the velocity of a bullet coming out of a machine gun.

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