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A gas and dust cloud collapses to form a star. Amid a whirling disc of debris, little bits of rock coated with liquid water and ice begin to stick together. It is this stage of a star's formation that astronomers hope to learn more about how water cycles through a solar system, although this is also when some of the least evidence is available to study.

If water is created prior to stellar birth, then all planetary systems will be born with abundant water, giving rise to what could be life-friendly conditions throughout the universe. However, if this water is sometimes destroyed as the disc is formed, then water would not be as common in the cosmos.

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