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View Full Version : Will Titan help us understand the origin of life?



Tha_Pig
2005-Jan-17, 03:57 AM
One of the most interesting parts of this great achievement of Space Exploration, it that Titan, despite being a moon, is almost as big as Earth. More than a moon it is a small planet. I heard the conditions on Titan are similar to the ones on a young Earth. Studding what’s going on there, could give us some answers about what happened in our own world billions of years ago.

Is the key to the primordial chemical compounds that produced life on Earth in that nitrogen Atmosphere and liquid Methane? Are there some proto-animated molecules that will give us an idea of how life came to be?

If it is so, another nail would be hammered on the coffin of "creationist science". The idea of Earth as a privileged place in the Universe, selected by a "Supreme Being" as the only cradle of life, would crumble if primitive life (or its chemical precursor) is detected on Titan.

I just hope that probe had time to send enough data of what lies down there, under that cold (and until now impenetrable) atmosphere.

01101001
2005-Jan-17, 04:21 AM
I just hope that probe had time to send enough data of what lies down there, under that cold (and until now impenetrable) atmosphere.
It had enough time to send all it could gather before Cassini went out of reception. Time wasn't a problem. Its short life only meant it couldn't repeatedly sample surface conditions over more than a couple hours. I can't see that making a huge difference -- as nice as it would be to have months' worth of observations.

During one of the presentations, I laughed when a manager said that all the effort his team expended to be able to recreate missing science data with interpolation and error correction, all they had done to maximize the data they could reconstruct in case some of it got lost, was, it turned out, an effort unneeded! They got 100 percent of what Huygens sent (well, minus half the missing images from the one data channel somebodies forgot to receive).