View Full Version : Life On Titan?

2004-Jul-09, 04:03 PM
Anybody think there is a chance that there might be life on Titan? It looks like there is water ice, so maybe there is a ocean of water under the surface ... or maybe they will see evidence of some other kind of life. Is the Hyugens probe geared to look for any evidence or will we have to wait for another mission?

2004-Jul-12, 06:35 PM
If there is life it is very different to Earth life; perhaps using ammonia instead of liquid water- although I expect this would make the complexity of such hypothetical ultra-cold life limited to single celled organisms or something similar.

More likely Titan will display a range of organic type molecules, which have not made the progression into living complexity and self-replication;

but it could demonstrate the sort of compunds which might be available on a hypothetical planet in another solar system, warmer than Titan, and with more available energy to drive biological metabolisms.

Some of the characteristics of Titan's atmosphere are similar to the primeval atmosphere of Earth, and we know that life developed there.

2004-Jul-19, 12:23 AM
[/QUOTE]Anybody think there is a chance that there might be life on Titan? [QUOTE]

There will be soon. Sterilization was likely not 100 percent. My guess is yes since Titan was formed from the same debris as earth including the radioactive heat sources with a lot of hydrocarbons and water. The "merge-mating" of the soon to be added earth organisms with those already there from either spontaneous generation or from panspermia, or both, should make for some interesting critters.

2004-Jul-19, 08:31 PM
The NASA-JPL website has an excellent overview of Huygen's science mission:


While the probe will study the chemical composition of Titan's atmosphere, as well as meteorology and topography of the surface, unless life if VERY obvious, we probably won't find it, as the science instruments are much more general

2004-Aug-02, 03:12 PM
I think that there is a chance for life on Titan, I also think that there is a chance for life anywhere in our universe. We know about those extreme bacterias that can live in extreme tempertures so there's probably even more extreme life forms on other places in this universe.

2004-Aug-09, 08:14 AM
You say you don't believe there is a life on Titan?

I can say only this, if there's a life on Earth in very extreme conditions, from cold Arctic and Antartic were temperature goes to -60 C to hot deserts with +80 C and deep hydrothermal sources in oceans poisoned with SO2 and other gases where temperature goes to 100 and more degrees, without oxygen and sunlight; then there must be a life of some sort on other planets(or other space bodies). That planet could be Titan. And who says that it must contain liquid water and oxygen. It could be also a liquid ammonia or methane, with non oxygene atmosphere( there's lot of microorganisms that live in anaerobic conditions).

2004-Aug-09, 06:44 PM
I'd say there is quite a good chance that there is life on Titan, however, I'd say the chance is grater that there "was" life there or there "will" be in the near future. I'd say there is a greater chance of life being on Europa or Mars in the future mor than Titan. But, you never know - that's the delight of space exploration!

2004-Aug-27, 08:13 PM
visit http://www.astrobio.net/news/debates.php
they are of great benefit for answering such type of questions
am sure they'll clarify things and provide some scientific
and interesting premises.

2004-Aug-31, 07:13 PM
Thanks for the link Mostwanted, it really helped clarify what the capabilities and goals of cassini/hyugens are. On that site, the following links pretty much cover it all:

http://saturn.astrobio.net/news/modules.ph...order=0&thold=0 (http://saturn.astrobio.net/news/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=62&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0)

And the second part of the discussion is here:

http://saturn.astrobio.net/news/modules.ph...order=0&thold=0 (http://saturn.astrobio.net/news/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=63&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0)

Thanks again for your help. (although I did think I was being yelled at .... ;) )

2004-Sep-01, 09:00 AM

Wow! they say that there might be ETI and they might be so intelligent than us!

If it is true that Titan was formed from the debris that formed Erath then there are very high chances that there is life there and the forms might be just like the ones here; if there are hunanoids then they must be so much developed technologically that they know how to cope up with their environment there while we Earthlings cant just imagine the technology that can make a place like Titan habitable to us!
Ever read much about AA Hypothesis? find out and ask yourself what things could look like if that could be true.

John L
2004-Sep-01, 01:49 PM
Titan orbits Saturn One Billion miles from the Sun. The average temperature on Titan is less than -200 degrees Farenheit. It has probably never been warmer than that. It's atmosphere is mostly nitrogen with some methane and other hydrocarbon compounds. I seriously doubt that there has ever been any life on Titan and there is definitely not inteligent life there. This is a very silly line of speculation...

2004-Sep-01, 04:10 PM

Obviously you didn't take the time to read the links. You are speaking about things you obviously know nothing about. Read about what a real scientist says in the links provided above, then make your comments, otherwise don't bother. There is a chance that life could form there, but unlikely that Cassini will be able to find it. This is not a silly topic ( if it's so silly why is it being asked by so many "silly" people, including the ones who sent the probe to saturn?) , but you just gave a silly uneducated opinion!

I'm not saying there is life, intelligent life or anything else there, but at least I haven't closed my mind about it.

And if you want a silly quote from a silly PHD scientist, who obviously doesn't know as much as you do, here it is:

"Huygens is not really good at determining isotopes. It can do some carbon isotopes. And so, if there's a process that has led to a very exotic isotopic distribution in carbon and nitrogen (which Huygens can also do), that might raise a question mark. In fact, Dirk Shulze-Makuch has actually argued that you can interpret the isotopic data that we see on Titan from the Earth as being the result of a biological process. There's no independent test you can do to verify whether that's true. So I think it's going to be hard to tell with Huygens.

On the other hand, if we see big differences in organic composition, which might be revealed spectroscopically, between here and there, then something interesting is going on and we'd like to go back and look at that. If Huygens is lucky enough to land in a hydrocarbon pool and there's some interesting structure of some kind, then that might raise a question mark. Some organic chemists have argued that it might be possible to do a form of life in hydrocarbon liquids without water. Steve Benner has talked about that. No one has quite shown how that would all work, but you can't show that it wouldn't work, either. I certainly would not rule that out, although I find it unlikely. But that would sure be a nice thing to be wrong about, because that would be a tremendous discovery."

Very silly!

2004-Sep-01, 04:21 PM
I think both of you have a point, and the real question is whether or not archaebacter can exist on its surface. I believe the answer is yes, it can, but just because it can doesn't mean it is, or it does. However, I believe any life possibly existing on Titan would be silicon-based life, much like we are carbon-based.

2004-Sep-02, 02:31 AM
Love the pic and the facts surrounding...go Titan :)