Water in space has been discovered in several planetary bodies. The most recent discoveries on Ceres, Mars and Pluto that these planets have water ice on their surfaces have sent the scientific community abuzz. The new discovery could mean that life could be supported outside of our planet.
A study published in the journal Nature Astronomy claims that Ceres, the largest asteroid in our solar system has ice hidden in its craters similar to that of the moon and mercury. The asteroid is located between Mars and Jupiter. The study reveals that Ceres has slightly angled poles which play a crucial part in the presence of water. By using images taken by the Dawn Spacecraft, scientists were able to identify around 634 craters that are safely shielded from the sun's rays.
Another study done by NASA on the planet Pluto revealed that it has a slushy ocean of liquid water beneath the planet's Tombaugh region. Scientists also reported that on Mars, an area bigger than the state of New Mexico is made up of an ice layer that is covered by 10 meters of soil. It contains as much water as Lake Superior on Earth. This is being studied as a possible resource for astronauts in future Mars explorations as reported in an article by Tech Times.
Farther away, scientists have found the oldest and largest body in existence in space. Around a black hole 12 billion light years away, an unimaginable vapor cloud of water exists. This cloud could supply the entire planet's worth of water. The official NASA news release estimates the water supply at around 140 trillion times of all the water in the world's oceans. According to the release, this water cloud could supply 28 galaxies with water.
With our current technology however, this discovery of water vapor clouds in space is a mere discovery. We do not have the means to harness water resource from 12 billion light years away. The announcement from NASA will serve as a reminder that the universe is full of surprises and our understanding of the universe is evolving as reported in the Fast Company.