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Saturn's Moon Titan Could Have the Right Chemistry for Life

Jul 10, 2016 04:11 AM EDT
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The search for life is now pointed towards Saturn's moon, Titan. A Recent study suggests that the moon holds the right chemistry to hold life

There have been a lot of theories suggesting that the most conducive to life are Jupiter's moon Europa and Saturn's moon, Titan. But today, astronomers and scientists are looking more closely at Titan since a study was conducted and it was revealed that the chemical composition found on Saturn's moon might indeed breed life.

Titan, as the name suggests, is Saturn's second largest moon. NASA considered it as one of the Earth-like bodies due to its dense atmosphere and river-like structures full of methane. But the gravity on Titan is said to be weaker than the moon.

The recent study that supports the claim of Titan's chemical properties was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study suggests that the prebiotic chemical conditions in Titan are the same chemicals found on Earth able to build life.  

"We are used to our own conditions here on Earth. Our scientific experience is at room temperature and ambient conditions. Titan is a completely different beast," Martin Rahm, author of the new study said in a statement published by Washington Post. "So if we think in biological terms, we're probably going to be at a dead end," Rahm added.

Hydrogen Cyanide was found in the atmosphere of Titan that can produce polyimine. Polyimine can shift to a form that enables the atmosphere to absorb light and energy to pass through despite the cold, according to ScienceRecorder.

Titan is too cold for liquid water to exist, but if polyimine found on its atmosphere could indeed allow light to pass through, then it's a different story. This prompted researchers to look at life-giving chemical reactions that can potentially host life on Titan. "We are postulating that the polymers form on the surface of Titan from hydrogen cyanide that has sedimented out after being made in the atmosphere," Professor Jonathan Lunine from Cornell University in New York said in an interview with Daily Mail.

Due to the coldness of Titan, researchers are looking at a new prebiotic condition where non-water-based life might exist in conditions present on Titan today.

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