Photo: Supersonic "Hail" Seeds Star Systems With Water



An embryonic star and its dusty planet-forming disk are showered with material—including hail-like water ice—in this artist's conception.

New data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope suggest that water ice "rains" on the disk at supersonic speeds and vaporizes when it hits. The find offers the first direct look at how water likely gets incorporated into planets.

Image courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech


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