NEWS AI: JWST Observes Newly Forming Planets Swathed in Water Vapor

Data from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) reveals water vapor surrounding newly forming planets in the PDS 70 system, offering insights into planet formation and water's origin. Astronomers witness water vapor at unprecedented proximity to where rocky planets are expected to take shape.

The distant planetary system, PDS 70, boasts an inner and outer disk of gas and dust. JWST's MIRI detects water vapor within 100 million miles from the star, indicating water availability for future rocky planets. PDS 70 is estimated to be 5.4 million years old, and while two gas giants, PDS 70b and PDS 70c, already exist, evidence of protoplanets suggests more worlds will form.

Scientists speculate that the water might originate from hydrogen and oxygen meeting or migrating from the cooler outer disk. With further study, JWST aims to unravel the mysteries of inner disk dynamics, enhancing our understanding of planetary formation.