Misty Star in the Sea Serpent

Nhsc_nhsc2011-018b_1024

nhsc_nhsc2011-018b October 20th, 2011

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

This artist's concept illustrates an icy planet-forming disk around a young star called TW Hydrae, located about 175 light-years away in the Hydra, or Sea Serpent, constellation. Astronomers using the Herschel Space Observatory detected copious amounts of cool water vapor, illustrated in blue, emanating from the star's planet-forming disk of dust and gas. The water vapor, which probably comes from icy grains in the disk, is located in the frigid outer regions of the star system, where comets will take shape.

In our own solar system, comets are thought to have carried water to Earth, creating our oceans. A similar process might be taking place around TW Hydrae -- comets could, over the next several millions of years, transport water to young worlds. The Herschel results demonstrate that vast reservoirs of water are available around stars for creating these hypothetical water worlds.

Herschel is a European Space Agency mission with significant NASA contributions. Launched in 2009, the spacecraft carries science instruments provided by consortia of European institutes. NASA's Herschel Project Office based at JPL contributed mission-enabling technology for two of Herschel's three science instruments. The NASA Herschel Science Center, part of the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, supports the U.S. astronomical community. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.

Image Source: https://www.herschel.caltech.edu/image/nhsc2011-018b

Curator: NASA Herschel Science Center, Pasadena, CA, USA

Image Use Policy: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/imagepolicy/

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Image Details

Image Type
Artwork
Object Name
TW Hydrae
Subject - Milky Way
Star > Circumstellar Material > Disk > Protoplanetary

Distance

Universescale1
150 light years
Nhsc_nhsc2011-018b_1280
×
ID
nhsc2011-018b
Subject Category
B.3.7.2.1  
Subject Name
TW Hydrae
Credits
NASA/JPL-Caltech
Release Date
2011-10-20
Lightyears
150
Redshift
150
Reference Url
https://www.herschel.caltech.edu/image/nhsc2011-018b
Type
Artwork
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
Instrument
Color Assignment
Band
Bandpass
Central Wavelength
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
Equinox
Reference Value
Reference Dimension
Reference Pixel
Scale
Rotation
Coordinate System Projection:
Quality
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
NASA Herschel Science Center
URL
http://www.herschel.caltech.edu/
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
1200 E. California Blvd.
City
Pasadena
State/Province
CA
Postal Code
91125
Country
USA
Rights
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/imagepolicy/
Publisher
NASA Herschel Science Center
Publisher ID
nhsc
Resource ID
Metadata Date
2018-06-21T00:18:44Z
Metadata Version
1.2
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

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Universescalefull
150 light years