posted on May, 8 2010 @ 06:40 AM
For me personally, Saturn's Moon Titan is not the first choice associated with life exploration in our solar system, ok there have been discussions
that maybe life could live there and use methane as a source to live in, but we hear of Mars and Europa many more times when talking about finding
Titan is a frozen world with a dense atmosphere, methane rain and hydrocarbon seas. It's not the first place I'd think of to look for life, and
I've found others that think the same:
Titan may be too cold for life now. But in several billion years time, our Sun will become a red giant, swelling to fifty times its current size.
Then the temperature on Titan's surface will rise to a more hospitable -100ºC.
However scientists are now looking to places on Earth that are (apart from the frozen conditions) of a similar nature to the moon, They have been
looking at Pitch Lake on the Caribbean island of Trinidad:
Aside from the very cold surface conditions on Titan, the environmental conditions within Pitch Lake are one of the closest copycats for that moon
that we can find on our planet.
What they have found is a broad spectrum of microbes living in the pitch:
The discovery of a broad spectrum of microbes in this lake enhances the possibility for life in Titan’s hydrocarbon seas, researchers said. Some
of Titan's hydrocarbon reservoirs might be heated from below, providing energy that potentially enhances the possibility of at least the precursor
molecules for life.
Although it's speculation the hydrocarbon reservoirs might be heated, I still find this discovery of microbial life living in this harsh environment
interesting, and who knows they may well be right, the reservoirs could well be heated, I guess only time and study of this frozen moon will tell.
I found a few sources regarding this, it makes interesting reading: