Water is essential for life as we know it. However, scientists debate how it reached the Earth and whether the same processes could seed rocky exoplanets orbiting distant stars. The preferred mechanism is water-bearing asteroids bombarding the surface of a young planet. An international research team involving scientists from IAS has just discovered water in the inner disk of the young star PDS 70, well inside of the orbit of two growing giant planets.
An international research team including researchers from IRAP, ISMO and IAS (CNRS and University Paris-Saclay), LERMA, and IPAG, used the data collected by the JWST (James Webb Space Telescope, NASA/ESA/CSA) to detect for the first time the methyl cation (CH₃⁺). This detection has been obtained in the protoplanetary disk surrounding a young star in the Orion Molecular Cloud region, approximately 1300 light years from Earth. This detection is the result of a fruitful collaboration between astrophysicists, astrochemists and spectroscopists, including an essential contribution from laboratory spectroscopists.
An international research team involving the IAS has just revealed the chemical composition of a disk of matter rotating around a young star, where new planets are forming. The results of this study, led by Benoît Tabone, a CNRS researcher at the IAS, were obtained in the framework of the guaranteed time programme of the MIRI instrument developed by a consortium of laboratories in Europe and the United States.
An international research team has just revealed the first images of the Orion Nebula, the richest and closest star nursery in the Solar System, captured by the James Webb Space Telescope. They once again demonstrate the exceptional performance of this instrument.
The most detailed and complete images ever taken of a Photo-Dissociation Region (PDR) in the closest site of massive star formation, the Orion Molecular Cloud, have been obtained with the Keck telescope and portends what JWST should soon accomplish. These observations are critical for understanding the interaction of young massive stars with the gas and dust cloud in which they are born and where Sun-like stars form.