Just in time for summer, National Geographic lets us know that someone left the sprinklers on way up there:
The discovery suggests that protostars may be seeding the universe with water. These stellar embryos shoot jets of material from their north and south poles as their growth is fed by infalling dust that circles the bodies in vast disks.
“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,” said Lars Kristensen, a postdoctoral astronomer at Leiden University in the Netherlands.
“We are talking about velocities reaching 200,000 kilometers [124,000 miles] per hour, which is about 80 times faster than bullets flying out of a machine gun,” said Kristensen, lead author of the new study detailing the discovery, which has been accepted for publication in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.
So that might be why Earth wound up so wet, back in the beginning of things.
And it also might be part of where other stars come from – “proto-stars” squirting out hydrogen and oxygen into the otherwise empty space between solar systems. Giving new stars something out of which to grow.