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September 19, 2011

Scientists Discover The Oldest, Largest Body Of Water In Existence--In Space

I recently stumbled upon this article from Firstcompany.com, and I found it very interesting. It told the story of a recent discovery of an immense cloud of water around a black hole 12 billion light years away. The official NASA news release describes the vastness of the cloud of water vapor as "140 trillion times all the water in all of the world's oceans." In another light, the article describes the water cloud as "enough to supply 28 galaxies [the size of the milky way] with water." The article goes on to speculate upon the age of the water cloud, which was created by the release of energy in a black hole, which is colliding hydrogen and oxygen atoms. Being 12 billion light years away, the light that the researchers have been observing is 12 billion years old. The light seen is indicating that the vast cloud of water has been around at least as early as 1.6 billion years after the universe was created. This discovery of such a vast amount of water is pretty neat.
Here is a link: http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2jchoa/www.fastcompany.com/1769468/scientist-discover-the-oldest-largest-body-of-water-in-existence-in-space

Posted by derbach at September 19, 2011 04:19 PM

Comments

Makes you wonder if life could possibly exist in space, in this water even though its not on a solid body? I dont see how the water could stay together and not disperse though.

Posted by: paukenth at September 20, 2011 05:06 PM

This seems like a very important discovery! The fact that there are masses of water out there this big means there is a chance life in space. Also this could mean there is a chance we could find some fresh water to bring to earth.

Posted by: ouellbre at September 21, 2011 10:58 PM

The comparison to the earth's water supply made me realize how much water this really is. This seems like it is a vital discovery in finding life beyond earth. I think that it is fascinating that a water vapor cloud of this size can stay together so far away. This raises some questions. If we were ever in desperate need of a water supply is there anyway that we will be able to retrieve this water? The fact that discoveries like these are continuously being made still amazes me especially because these things are so far away.

Posted by: abrod at September 22, 2011 06:08 PM

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