The star in question is located in the constellation of Perseus and is about 750 light-years from Earth. It is in the process of forming and still has a large cloud of gas and dust surrounding it. Using infared instruments on the Herschel Space Observatory, the astronomers detected traces of water in the gas cloud, moving on and around the cloud. They believe that the water forms on the star, but become mixed with outward-spewing jets of gas. When the water vapor leaves the star, it condenses into droplets, still travelling at a high rate of speed. The astronomers estimate that the amount of water leaving the star is one hundred million times the volume of water flowing through the Amazon River every second and that it travels at a rate of 200,000 killometers (124,000 miles) per hour.
They speculate that this might be a phase all stars go through during their formation and that these cosmic sprinklers may be instrumental in "seeding" the cosmos with water.
Game and Story Use
- In a space-based campaign such a "sprinkler" star might be an interesting Weird Space Phenomena to encounter
- The astronomers are assuming this is a natrual phenomenon. What if it were artificial?
- Maybe Cosmic aliens like to let their kids run through these sprinkler stars on hot summer days.
- The players' spacecraft gets to close to one of these stars and gets hit by the spray.
- If their spaceship hull is tough enough to handle micrometeors, it can probably handle water droplets travelling 80x faster than a bullet; but the water condensing and freezing on the hull might have some unexpected complications.