Life on Titan?

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The Cassini spacecraft shot off the Huygens probe on Christmas day. The probe is due to enter the atmosphere of Saturns moon Titan and touch down on its surface on the 14th of January. I assume that means Saturday sometime in Australia.

There is already speculation on what they might find on the surface, including oceans of methane...

Somehow, just from sunlight, organic chemistry is able to build up into these complex forms¿ we've done some calculations of the energies of reactions, and we find that it's possible that if there's an organism on Titan that could survive in liquid methane the way we survived in liquid water, it could eat this organic soup being made on Titan.

Should be very interesting!

<a href='' target='_blank'>NASA Cassini page</a>
<a href='' target='_blank'>BBC article</a>
Two interesting facts that have come to light the last two days:
1. Scientists have discovered 3 giant stars, bigger than ever found before. The largest is approximately 15,000 times the size of our sun, which if placed where our sun is would take it's circumference to somewhere near Saturn. That is one big ugly sparkler.
2. Scientists believe that our universe is only made up of about 18% particles that we understand. The balance consists of dark matter which they are still theorising on what it is and what it does (and there was no mention of Dark Mata on AE strangely enough.... :wink: )
The more we investigate this one universe (not wishing to offend all those multi-universe protagonists) the more amazing it is. You just know that we are going to get sucked in to some enormous black hole one day. Speaking of black holes some are so large that the amount of matter and light being absorbed is so quick and gigantic that the black hole regurgitates some of the particles back out again and then probably does a final clean up.
methane regurgitation this is an amazing universe indeed
Its actually suggested that by using the methan it would become the most livable are other than earth in our solar system for human life so far. Somthing to do with making water and the temprature being just right. They actually won't be surprised if they find life so an article says. Good to see NASA opening up their minds.
Not sure mate. I think by saying life can exist they technically mean it has the reasources to creat an artificial environment. Rather than just unloading a ship of people and letting them go for it.
You have raised a question in that though. I wonder if they found a tree or plant on a planet wether they would class that as life. Or are they only interested in life which can protray a sence of inteligence.
These days i think its any form of life.

Im sure there are organisims here on earth that may be able to live in that environment.
They ensure that they do not accidentilly "Plant" life anywhere. If they want to see if life can exist there they will simulate the atmosphere and the environment on earth.

All the aircraft is completely decontaminated before entering the atmosphere down to every last bacteria, although its not inconceivable that some might slip through, especially given chaos theory
and hope that the environment doesnt create a super bacteria that spreads through space and kills us all.

I'd rather not take that risk
yes I have but its a real possibility. We evolved from singular cell orginisms, granted over billions of years. But who knows what an Alien environment could do?
We may have evolved from sungular celled organisms.

Think of it like the northern territory - youll never never know if you never never go.
We should call them Methane Men! And they smell like ****. They constantly carry around matches and blow themselves up to kill us.

Hang on.... on second thought we should just call them Alkida!

The surface temp on Titan is -180c (-290f), which is pretty bloody cold. This means that the methane exists in a liquid form rather than gas. In a few billion years when the sun heats up and Earth is burnt to a cinder, then Titan will be a prime place for human life, though with all that methane evaporating into the atmosphere I think it will be strictly NO SMOKING!
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