December 1, 2007

Life's Precursors Found in Titan's Atmosphere

Despite not having nearly any oxygen at all, the atmosphere on Titan has something very interesting in it: negative ions.

These ions act as building blocks that more complex organic molecules form from. Carbon can form using these polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, PAHs, which have been mentioned in this blog before on the post Why I Think There's Life on Mars...

Check out even more details on the Astronomy Report blog which has an adapted version of the official release by University College London.

This makes one think... if Titan has the building blocks for life on it, could there be life on it? I know it rains methane on the moon and has lakes and oceans of methane and that its super-cold, however, what if water was as acidic and destructive to organisms living on Titan as liquid methane is to humans living on Earth? What if the temperature of Earth is as blazing hot to an organism on Titan as the surface of Venus is to us earthlings?

Just food for thought!