Scientists find ‘missing link’ in search for where our water came from

Most of the time, water in the circumstellar disks surrounding protostars is in the form of ice, sometimes extending out long distances from the star. In the case of V883 Ori, the snowline extends 80 au from the star; that’s 80 times the distance between Earth and the Sun, as shown in this animation. But, the temperature at V883 Ori is just hot enough that much of the ice in its disk has turned to gas, making it possible for radio astronomers to study that water in detail. Source: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), J. Tobin, B.Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF)