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Old 06-05-2010, 10:11 PM   #1
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Life on Titan?

Very interesting news
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Evidence that life exists on Titan, one of Saturn’s biggest moons, appears to have been uncovered by Nasa scientists.

Researchers at the space agency believe they have discovered vital clues that appeared to indicate that primitive aliens could be living on the planet.

Data from Nasa's Cassini probe has analysed the complex chemistry on the surface of Titan, which experts say is the only moon around the planet to have a dense atmosphere.

They have discovered that life forms have been breathing in the planet’s atmosphere and also feeding on its surface’s fuel.
Astronomers claim the moon is generally too cold to support even liquid water on its surface. The research has been detailed in two separate studies.

The first paper, in the journal Icarus, shows that hydrogen gas flowing throughout the planet’s atmosphere disappeared at the surface. This suggested that alien forms could in fact breathe.

The second paper, in the Journal of Geophysical Research, concluded that there was lack of the chemical on the surface.

Scientists were then led to believe it had been possibly consumed by life.
Researchers had expected sunlight interacting with chemicals in the atmosphere to produce acetylene gas. But the Cassini probe did not detect any such gas.

Chris McKay, an astrobiologist at Nasa Ames Research Centre, at Moffett Field, California who led the research, said: “We suggested hydrogen consumption because it's the obvious gas for life to consume on Titan, similar to the way we consume oxygen on Earth.

"If these signs do turn out to be a sign of life, it would be doubly exciting because it would represent a second form of life independent from water-based life on Earth.”

Professor John Zarnecki, of the Open University, added: “We believe the chemistry is there for life to form. It just needs heat and warmth to kick-start the process
.
“In four billion years’ time, when the Sun swells into a red giant, it could be paradise on Titan.”

They warned, however, that there could be other explanations for the findings.

But taken together, they two indicate two important conditions necessary for methane-based life to exist.
Titan: Nasa scientists discover evidence 'that alien life exists on Saturn's moon' - Telegraph

The article is sensationalist, but this could be the seed of something terrific.
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Old 06-05-2010, 10:23 PM   #2
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Feeds into the speculation on the Wonders of the Solar System documentary. Alien bacteria?
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Old 06-05-2010, 10:26 PM   #3
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“In four billion years’ time, when the Sun swells into a red giant, it could be paradise on Titan.”

BRB, investing in property on Titan.
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Old 06-07-2010, 09:17 PM   #4
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I seem to remember Carl Sagan proposing decades ago just such finding in one of his books or his TV show. Anyway, NASA has long been interested in the moon.
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Old 06-07-2010, 09:19 PM   #5
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oh man, look at those cavemen go...
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:45 PM   #6
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Yeah, there's life out there, but it's not the life form the atheists are looking for.
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Old 06-08-2010, 10:51 PM   #7
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I take your comment to mean that it is not intelligent life, beings as depicted in sci-fi movies

I tend to agree, not on religious grounds,
I just think any intelligent life is so random that it is hundreds of thousands of light years from us and we will never encounter it.
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Old 06-08-2010, 11:08 PM   #8
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maybe there is intelligent life on Neptune? they could be a tenth of the size of a grain of sand, we'll never know
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Old 06-09-2010, 09:37 AM   #9
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Venus also has a dense atmosphere, but that doesn't mean that there is life on that planet (since it is full of sulfur)

Did they actually measure the atmosphere of Titan or is it just speculations?
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Old 06-09-2010, 12:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonoa View Post
Venus also has a dense atmosphere, but that doesn't mean that there is life on that planet (since it is full of sulfur)

Did they actually measure the atmosphere of Titan or is it just speculations?
It's just speculations.

See this documentary when you have the time. Very interesting:

YouTube - Wonders Of The Solar System, Episode 5 (Part 1/6)

YouTube - Wonders Of The Solar System, Episode 5 (Part 2/6)

YouTube - Wonders Of The Solar System, Episode 5 (Part 3/6)

YouTube - Wonders Of The Solar System, Episode 5 (Part 4/6)

YouTube - Wonders Of The Solar System, Episode 5 (Part 5/6)

YouTube - Wonders Of The Solar System, Episode 5 (Part 6/6)
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Old 06-09-2010, 12:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the iron horse View Post
Yeah, there's life out there, but it's not the life form the atheists are looking for.
I dont think thats a fair comment. I'm sure there are religious people who also find this fascinating. There would be no reason to think that life on other planets would be intelligent in the way that we are intelligent. Even if they found a singled 'celled' organism on another planet, my mind would be blown
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Old 06-09-2010, 01:39 PM   #12
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I think Life, by it's very nature, will always evolve, so a single cell organism will eventually become multicellular, that will become more complex, etc etc. Life wants to live and will always look for better ways to survive. Eventually, I believe all life becomes "intelligent".

I wonder what happens when two intelligences from different sources of life meet. I wonder if they would try to kill each other. Hopefully intelligent life can evolve to a point that it no longer sees another intelligence as a threat. Maybe that's why we're so far apart from any other intelligence (and getting farther), cause the universe is smarter than all of us. It knows we need A LOT of time to evolve.
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Old 06-09-2010, 01:49 PM   #13
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I find the idea of life on other planets to be fascinating, and I hope that in my lifetime, we would actually find life somewhere else in the universe.
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Old 06-09-2010, 02:16 PM   #14
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Thanks for the vids, Purpleoscar!
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Old 06-09-2010, 02:30 PM   #15
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I have absolutely no problem believing that there are other life forms out there on other planets, moons, galaxies, in other universes, you name it. There's no way we're the only living species out there. What form the other life forms take, who knows? I don't see any other life form "invading" us anytime soon, so to speak, but us stumbling across it in our explorations? Sure. That could happen, definitely. I'd love to find out just who or what all's out there.

Very cool discovery there, thanks for sharing that. And ditto on the thanks for the links as well, I'll definitely check those out at some point.

Angela
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