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Complex Chemistry Could Lead To Life On Titan
2013-04-03 19:20:52

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Scientists reported in the journal Nature Communications that complex organic chemistry could eventually lead to the building blocks of life on Saturn's moon Titan. Experiments at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory have shown the same kind of biological chemistry on Earth's surface could also drive chemistry on Titan, even though the Saturn moon receives far less light from the sun and is much colder. "Titan is not a sleeping...

2008-08-14 16:41:06

For almost thirty years, scientists have known that complex carbon compounds called tholins exist on comets and in the atmospheres of the outer planets. Theoretically, tholins might interact with water in a process called hydrolysis to produce complex molecules similar to those found on the early Earth. On the Earth, complex organic molecules are believed to have been an early step in the emergence of life; such compounds are called prebiotic. Titan, the sixth and largest moon...

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2008-02-13 13:00:00

Saturn's orange moon Titan has hundreds of times more liquid hydrocarbons than all the known oil and natural gas reserves on Earth, according to new data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The hydrocarbons rain from the sky, collecting in vast deposits that form lakes and dunes. The new findings from the study led by Ralph Lorenz, Cassini radar team member from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md., are reported in the Jan. 29 issue of the Geophysical Research...

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2008-01-07 00:00:00

Washington, DC -- Astronomers at the Carnegie Institution have found the first indications of highly complex organic molecules in the disk of red dust surrounding a distant star. The eight-million-year-old star, known as HR 4796A, is inferred to be in the late stages of planet formation, suggesting that the basic building blocks of life may be common in planetary systems. In a study published in the current Astrophysical Journal Letters, John Debes and Alycia Weinberger of the Carnegie...

2007-11-29 11:39:42

Scientists analysing data gathered by Cassini have confirmed the presence of heavy negative ions in the upper regions of Titan's atmosphere. These particles may act as building blocks for more complicated organic molecules. The discovery was completely unexpected because of the chemical composition of the atmosphere (which lacks oxygen - responsible for forming negative ions in the lower ionosphere of the Earth - and mainly consists of nitrogen and methane). The observation has now been...

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2005-03-09 08:05:00

Arizona's Jonathan Lunine presented a lecture entitled "Titan: A Personal View after Cassini's first six months in Saturn orbit" at a NASA Director's Seminar on January 24, 2005. Lunine discusses the question of missing methane in an edited transcript of Part 2. Astrobiology Magazine -- "How much methane is really in the surface and atmosphere of Titan today? How much has been there in the history of Titan?Methane is a carbon atom surrounded by four hydrogen atoms, and it can be broken apart...


Word of the Day
endocarp
  • The hard inner (usually woody) layer of the pericarp of some fruits (as peaches or plums or cherries or olives) that contains the seed.
This word comes from the Greek 'endon,' in, within, plus the Greek 'karpos', fruit.
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