OK

This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.

ATTENTION: READ THE RULES.

  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

Scientists have found, for the first time, evidence of water on a rocky celestial body outside of our solar system.

Intro

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

The study focused on dust and debris found orbiting a white dwarf star about 170 million light years away.

“This planetary graveyard swirling around the embers of its parent star is a rich source of information about its former life,” Boris Gaensicke, a professor of physics at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom, said. “In these remnants lie chemical clues which point towards a previous existence as a water-rich terrestrial body.”

“Those two ingredients — a rocky surface and water — are key in the hunt for habitable planets outside our solar system so it’s very exciting to find them together for the first time outside our solar system.”

The debris probably came from a planet with a diameter of at least 90 kilometers. The planet may have been much bigger than that, but scientists are limited in their ability to estimate its size by the amount of debris that can now be detected.

Oxygen signatures in the debris indicates that the planet would have been, as a proportion of its mass, about 26 percent water.

Water accounts for about 0.023 percent of Earth’s mass.

Scientists had earlier found evidence of water outside our solar system in gas giants. This discovery is significant because it is the first indication that water may be found on rocky exoplanets.

A possible parallel in our solar system is the dwarf planet Ceres, which has ice buried under its crust.

The star around which the debris is accumulated, GD 61, once hosted a planetary system. It became a white dwarf about 200 million years ago.

The discovery of the GD 61 system planetary remnants is the twelfth known example of planetary fragments circling a white dwarf elsewhere in our galaxy.

Researchers used the Hubble Space Telescope and the large Keck Telescope in Hawaii to make the observations in the study.

The paper can be found here.

Note: A version of this diary also appears at SciencefortheFuture.com.

Extended (Optional)

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.