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Star Shooting Intense Water Jets Into Space Spotted By Herschel Telescope

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Jenna Bluehut
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« on: June 19, 2011, 02:40:40 am »

Star Shooting Intense Water Jets Into Space Spotted By Herschel Telescope

Dean Praetorius  First Posted: 06/17/11 05:53 PM ET Updated: 06/18/11 04:31

A star shooting water is almost an oxymoron.

But a young sun-like star seems to have been spotted 750 light-years from Earth doing just that, as researchers have apparently discovered, according to PopSci. Their findings indicate that the proto-star is shooting water from its poles at about 124,000 miles per hour.

Essentially, it's creating water bullets that it shoots deep into interstellar space, according to National Geographic. This star is no more than 100,000 years old, and is located in the northern constellation Perseus.

The star was found by ESA’s Herschel Space Observatory, which was able to see through a dense layer of gas that surrounded it. According to PopSci, the telescope picked up the light signature of both hydrogen and oxygen which are coming together as liquid water before vaporizing near the massive jets of gas that spew from the the star's poles.

It's not until the water vapor is far from the star that it returns to a liquid state. At that point the water is moving at about 124,000 miles per hour, writes National Geographic. As Lars Kristensen, lead author of the study -- which has been accepted for publication in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics -- points out, that's "about 80 times faster than bullets flying out of a machine gun."

The really interesting part of this discovery however, is just how far the water is propelled and the possibility that this stage may be a part of the life of many more protostars. If this is the case, the prospect of stars like these distributing water throughout the universe is incredible, considering the implications for life that water brings.
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