Researches from Cornell University have found that there could possibly be alien life on Saturn’s frigid moon Titan, due to the moon’s prebiotic conditions that can allow non-water based (and cold-adapted) life to survive.
Titan is remarkably earth-like, shaped by water bodies like lakes and rivers. Instead of water, the planet has liquid methane and ethane on its surface and nitrogen and methane in its atmosphere. In this new study, researchers have concentrated on the fact that Titan has hydrogen cyanide (a precursor to life on Earth) in its atmosphere too – that could translate into a chemical polyimide on the moon’s surface. This is what has the potential to lead to prebiotic conditions that could lead to life.
Speaking to Fox News, the study’s lead author Martin Rahm, a research associate at Cornell sees a breakthrough in the near future and said researchers will need to ‘continue to examine this, to understand how the chemistry evolves over time.’
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. We need to continue to examine this, to understand how the chemistry evolves over time. If future observations could show there is prebiotic chemistry in a place like Titan, it would be a major breakthrough. This paper is indicating that prerequisites for processes leading to a different kind of life could exist on Titan, but this [is] only the first step.
According to Gizmodo, Cornell astronomer Jonathan Lunine also mentioned that a nine-year-old National Academies of Sciences report had stated that, ‘If life is an intrinsic property of chemical reactivity, life should exist on Titan.”
If life is an intrinsic property of chemical reactivity, life should exist on Titan.” (The polyimine result) merits a search for such polymers on Titan’s surface—which will have to be done in the exploration of Titan beyond Cassini.