How do Earth-like planets form?  An advanced, record-breaking telescope provides the answer

To explain Earth’s origins, it would be better to use a time travel machine. Unfortunately, these things don’t seem to exist, but fortunately astronomers have other ways to travel. This has been made possible thanks to tools such as the aforementioned telescope. By looking at light coming at us from other parts of the universe, researchers can see these regions as they existed hundreds, millions, or even billions of years ago.

Read also: The James Webb Telescope has discovered a twin of the Milky Way Galaxy in the distant universe. Oops, this wasn’t supposed to exist at all back then

As part of recent research, the results of which are presented in: Astrophysical Journal LettersScientists confirmed the scenario related to the so-called glacial gravel drift. In this alternative, the mixture of dust and rocks would be an important element in the formation of Earth-like planets.

How exactly will this be done? When small ice-covered rocks collide with each other inside the protoplanetary disk, they begin to lose momentum. Consequently, they fall towards the star, where temperatures rise and the ice layer thickens. At least that’s what scientists wondering about the origins of rocky planets have suggested, despite their lack of concrete evidence. It was difficult to obtain due to the lack of high-quality notes. Until the James Webb Space Telescope came to the rescue. Using a mid-range infrared camera, astronomers obtained high-resolution images. They have become the subject of analyzes aimed at understanding the functioning of two types of protoplanetary disks.

The James Webb Space Telescope helped scientists find answers to the question of how rocky planets like Earth formed

In the first option, we are talking about larger disks made up of separate rings, separated by pressure and gravity. The second indicates more compact discs. As recent studies have shown, ice-covered rocks can move through protoplanetary disks, but it is easier in those that are closely aligned. Scientists also drew attention to larger amounts of water vapor accumulating on the so-called snow line.

Read also: A system consisting of seven planets. NASA has set off a firecracker, and the behind-the-scenes of the new discovery is even more fascinating

As the researchers concluded, Webb finally discovered a relationship between water vapor in the inner disk and the drift of icy pebbles from the outer disk. This would facilitate further research into how rocky planets form. Since Earth is one of them, this should be of special importance to us. However, we can’t help but admire the capabilities offered by the James Webb Space Telescope. This is used to track nearby exoplanets and distant parts of the observable universe.

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