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Mr. Milton Banana
2004-Nov-17, 04:56 PM
I have a question...

There is talk of possible cryovolcanism on Titan. If so, could that mean there might be a subsurface ocean with life in it? And could the organic molecules found on Titan play a part in creating life on this moon?

:-k

frogesque
2004-Nov-17, 05:11 PM
Very cold temperatures on Titan, not a lot of scope for bio chemical reactions to take place so I would doubt if life as we understand it could exist. Others more expert may be able to quantify or reject that notion.

Mr. Milton Banana
2004-Nov-17, 06:08 PM
Very cold temperatures on Titan, not a lot of scope for bio chemical reactions to take place so I would doubt if life as we understand it could exist. Others more expert may be able to quantify or reject that notion.

Yes, but what about under the surface? And what about the organic molecules? Can they exist under the surface as well?

aurora
2004-Nov-17, 06:28 PM
Yes, but what about under the surface? And what about the organic molecules? Can they exist under the surface as well?

Organic molecules could exist under the surface.

But any life would likely not be able to use water (unless it turns out that volcanism on Titan is a lot warmer than expected), so most things I've read think that life is very unlikely. Be exciting if it existed, though.

Bozola
2004-Nov-17, 09:12 PM
Well if the old "panspermata" idea is valid, then it is possible, provided there is some underground heat source. There must be something pretty wacky going on at Titan, geologically speaking.

Of course, we have no idea yet if panspermata is accurate. If we find life on Mars, we might have a better idea.

Evan
2004-Nov-17, 10:00 PM
It doesn't necessarily need a heat source for subtitanian life, just a source of energy. That could be in the form of chemical energy from molecules formed in the atmosphere that make their way to the surface or below. Although chemical processes would proceed very slowly, some can proceed especially if catalyzed.

Mr. Milton Banana
2004-Nov-17, 10:45 PM
My line of thinking goes like this...

Everyone seems to be looking at Europa as possibly having a sub-surface ocean-and that the gravitational pull of Jupiter and the other moons may cause some stretching and contracting of its interior, creating heat. This heat may warm Europa's ocean-if it exists-and the heat may cause other chemical reactions to happen.

Now, we have Titan which seems to have FAR more organic molecules than Europa does. Also, radar indicates that Titan's surface-at this point-is geologically young, with very few craters. Then there's the possibility of cryovolcanism-which would indicate Titan's interior may be hot.

Therefore, wouldn't it be logical to say that there may be a greater chance of finding life on Titan than Europa?

:-k

Bozola
2004-Nov-17, 10:58 PM
My line of thinking goes like this...

Everyone seems to be looking at Europa as possibly having a sub-surface ocean-and that the gravitational pull of Jupiter and the other moons may cause some stretching and contracting of its interior, creating heat. This heat may warm Europa's ocean-if it exists-and the heat may cause other chemical reactions to happen.

Now, we have Titan which seems to have FAR more organic molecules than Europa does. Also, radar indicates that Titan's surface-at this point-is geologically young, with very few craters. Then there's the possibility of cryovolcanism-which would indicate Titan's interior may be hot.

Therefore, wouldn't it be logical to say that there may be a greater chance of finding life on Titan than Europa?

:-k

Well the surface temperature for Titan is about the same as Europa, but Europa is much closer (Mean radius 670,900 km) to Jupiter, than Titan (mean radius 1,221,850 km) is to Saturn.

Jupiter masses (1.89910^27 kg) a hell of a lot more than Saturn (5.684610^26).

This equates to a lot less tidal kneading of the core of the moon; much less energy to support life, much less keep an internal ocean melted.

aurora
2004-Nov-18, 09:03 PM
My line of thinking goes like this...

Everyone seems to be looking at Europa as possibly having a sub-surface ocean-and that the gravitational pull of Jupiter and the other moons may cause some stretching and contracting of its interior, creating heat. This heat may warm Europa's ocean-if it exists-and the heat may cause other chemical reactions to happen.

Now, we have Titan which seems to have FAR more organic molecules than Europa does. Also, radar indicates that Titan's surface-at this point-is geologically young, with very few craters. Then there's the possibility of cryovolcanism-which would indicate Titan's interior may be hot.

Therefore, wouldn't it be logical to say that there may be a greater chance of finding life on Titan than Europa?

:-k

Well the surface temperature for Titan is about the same as Europa, but Europa is much closer (Mean radius 670,900 km) to Jupiter, than Titan (mean radius 1,221,850 km) is to Saturn.

Jupiter masses (1.89910^27 kg) a hell of a lot more than Saturn (5.684610^26).

This equates to a lot less tidal kneading of the core of the moon; much less energy to support life, much less keep an internal ocean melted.

Europa also has Io and Ganymede to flex it, Titan is far and away the biggest moon around Saturn.

Cryo = cold, freezing in the dictionary.

Cryovolcanism might be like the nitrogen geysers on Triton.

liquid water supports life. Liquid nitrogen = ?

Evan
2004-Nov-18, 09:19 PM
"liquid water supports life. Liquid nitrogen = ?" Preserved reproductive dna sample?

(slaps fingers, bad fingers, couldn't help self)

Bozola
2004-Nov-18, 09:44 PM
"liquid water supports life. Liquid nitrogen = ?" Preserved reproductive dna sample?

(slaps fingers, bad fingers, couldn't help self)

Walt Disney's head?

(slaps Evan's fingers)

Mr. Milton Banana
2004-Nov-19, 04:24 PM
aurora writes:


Cryovolcanism might be like the nitrogen geysers on Triton.

liquid water supports life. Liquid nitrogen = ?

VERY good point. I earn a dummy-smack for that one. :P

(smacks himself in the head)

:roll: :oops: :-?