Water, water everywhere...


Happy Monday, everyone!

You wouldn't think two hydrogen atoms with an oxygen atom could be so complex, but in the grand scheme of our universe, it truly is!

The cool question to ask in all this- where did water actually begin? Turns out, in the atmospheres of dying stars as gases are flung out into space, hydrogen and oxygen molecules are squeezed together as water projectiles. The Hubble Space Telescope actually verified this by observing water within the Helix Nebula.

So our water comes from dying stars! Now what?

Well, how does that water get to planets? Water, in the freezing temperatures of space, conglomerate, and potentially form comets. Comets can then be gravitationally attracted to other Solar Systems and eventually planets. OR- ice can be within a baby solar system and concentrate in certain areas around the host star.

For our Solar System, this is still a debatable topic. Every Solar System has a "frost line"- or a limit where water is too frozen to be liquid at a distance from the host star. That's why Earth is very much liquid, and Mars and beyond are solid. 

But there are some exceptions to this rule. This rule only applies to the surface! We have quite a bit of ocean worlds- mainly moons- that house deep oceans! This includes Europa and Enceladus mainly, but asteroids and Pluto/Triton may have pockets of water!

The term "ocean" to apply to moons and other solar system bodies is being re-defined recently depending on the content of the oceans, thickness, and distribution throughout the planetary body.

Take a look at this NASA link for more information! https://www.nasa.gov/specials/ocean-worlds/

Thank you for reading and next week, we'll look at how salty Mars can be!

Caitlin Ahrens