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NASA Finds Two Potential Life Signatures from Moon Titan

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posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 05:27 AM
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Two potential signatures of life on Saturn's moon Titan have been found by the Cassini spacecraft. But scientists are quick to point out that non-biological chemical reactions could also be behind the observations. Titan is much too cold to support liquid water on its surface, but some scientists have suggested that exotic life-forms could live in the lakes of liquid methane or ethane that dot the moon's surface.


Source : Hints of life found on Saturn moon

Two potential signatures of life on Saturn's moon Titan have been found by the Cassini spacecraft But scientists are quick to point out that non-biological chemical reactions could also be behind the observations. Microbes on Titan could eke out an existence by breathing in hydrogen gas and eating the organic molecule acetylene, creating methane in the process. This would result in a lack of acetylene on Titan and a depletion of hydrogen close to the moon's surface, where the microbes would live. Measurements from the Cassini spacecraft have borne out these predictions, hinting that life may be present.

Maybe we ( or some people ) have to accept step by step : first microbes exist on other planet ... then ...





Infrared spectra of Titan's surface taken with the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) showed no sign of acetylene, even though ultraviolet sunlight should constantly trigger its production in the moon's thick atmosphere




More work must be done to rule out non-biological causes.

Ultimate proof would require sending a landing probe on Titan and actually imaging microbes.


Sorry if it has been posted.

Related Video :





Hope you find this above top secret.

[edit on 4-6-2010 by psychederic]




posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 06:40 AM
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The last video is out of context here. But who would be surprised of finding microbian life ?

Explore goddamn Europe !



posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 07:54 AM
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NASA's website now has a fairly informative and understandable summary of the new data.

It includes the following:

www.nasa.gov...


Two new papers based on data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft scrutinize the complex chemical activity on the surface of Saturn's moon Titan. While non-biological chemistry offers one possible explanation, some scientists believe these chemical signatures bolster the argument for a primitive, exotic form of life or precursor to life on Titan's surface. According to one theory put forth by astrobiologists, the signatures fulfill two important conditions necessary for a hypothesized "methane-based life."

One key finding comes from a paper online now in the journal Icarus that shows hydrogen molecules flowing down through Titan's atmosphere and disappearing at the surface. Another paper online now in the Journal of Geophysical Research maps hydrocarbons on the Titan surface and finds a lack of acetylene.

This lack of acetylene is important because that chemical would likely be the best energy source for a methane-based life on Titan, said Chris McKay, an astrobiologist at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., who proposed a set of conditions necessary for this kind of methane-based life on Titan in 2005. One interpretation of the acetylene data is that the hydrocarbon is being consumed as food. But McKay said the flow of hydrogen is even more critical because all of their proposed mechanisms involved the consumption of hydrogen.

"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," McKay said. "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."

To date, methane-based life forms are only hypothetical. Scientists have not yet detected this form of life anywhere, though there are liquid-water-based microbes on Earth that thrive on methane or produce it as a waste product. On Titan, where temperatures are around 90 Kelvin (minus 290 degrees Fahrenheit), a methane-based organism would have to use a substance that is liquid as its medium for living processes, but not water itself. Water is frozen solid on Titan's surface and much too cold to support life as we know it.



Although it pre-dates the new data, there is an interesting video below from a History Channel documentary discussing the potential for the evolution of ife on Titan.



All the best,

Isaac


[edit on 4-6-2010 by IsaacKoi]



posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 07:56 AM
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reply to post by psychederic
 


When the probe was coming down on Titan, I joked to my partner "I hope it lands in liquid, I want to see some methane Dolphins!"

That might not of been as crazy as it sounded at first.

To find life on Titan would open so many new doors for science! its exciting to just think about it!



posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 09:44 AM
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reply to post by Helmkat
 


The "human world vision" will change when they will accept ExtraTerrestrial life, then they will accept that they are not alone, intelligence is not just for human species, and human are not gods.

We are what we are : all lies should disapear soon or sooner in the next decades.

But let me tell you that you will have to defend what you are : if you want to survive : and survive is you fist law as living being. ( you need a strong personnality / psychology against what complex thing will happen ).

[edit on 4-6-2010 by psychederic]



posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 03:41 PM
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Wow!

This is awesome to hear about. Just hope they tell us the truth when they find something.

I know they want to find life just as bad as we the people do.

Now that being said, TPTB may not let them tell us.

Great find OP.

S&F



posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 04:04 PM
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reply to post by ickylevel
 



But who would be surprised of finding microbian life ?


considering the surface temp of titan is minus 180C i would pretty surprised yes.



posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 04:47 PM
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Either way you look at it, if ANY life is detected and proven, it'll prove the existence of extraterrestrials. This story is mind blowing. It'll prove that there are planets besides ours capable of supporting life and therefore, prove that it is very likely that there are other advanced species out there.

I say we send a probe to Titan much like the Mars Rover. This definitely deserves much more analysis.

Begun the new age of space exploration has. To the stars, we must go!



[edit on 4-6-2010 by The Theorist]



posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 04:53 PM
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Perhaps people want to discover life so badly their imagination gets the better of them



posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 05:45 PM
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Now for what's really occuring:

Titan has no liquid methane "lakes." They are electrically machined flat expanses of rock.

www.thunderbolts.info...

Electrical theorist Wallace Thornhill offers an interpretation easily contrasted with that of NASA scientists: “The radar images show flat-floored depressions with circular scalloped edges, typical of arc machining of the surface. I would compare them directly to the scalloped scarring on Jupiter’s moon Io and the flat, melted floor depressions that result. Such floors would be expected to give a dark radar return.”


The notion that Titan has liquid oceans of methane is ridiculous, particularly so when one considers that the Huygens probe actually landed in one of these supposed "lakes."

Here's an image it took of that supposed "lake."



Thornhill continues:


The idea that Titan may have a considerable amount of low density liquids or ices came originally from calculations of its density. However, estimates of the composition of celestial bodies assume that we understand the real nature of gravity. We obviously don't. So there is no reason to assume that the gravitational constant, 'G,' is the same for all bodies in the universe, particularly when it is the most elusive "constant" to measure on Earth. So we cannot be confident about the calculated ratio of rock to ices on Titan. But the presence of methane in Titan's atmosphere seemed to require an ocean of liquid hydrocarbons as a reservoir that could provide a source of that gas lasting for the conventional age of the solar system. However, the radar image of Titan fits more closely (as we shall see) with some of those returned by the Magellan Orbiter from dry and rocky Venus. The methane puzzle has not been solved.


For a more complete list of predictions about the nature of Titan, look here.

Cassini will make a close flyby in October, it will be interesting to see what it turns up.



posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 06:39 PM
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reply to post by The Theorist
 


most astrobiologists/ astronomers expect microbial life to be quite common in our galaxy. We know extremophiles can live in extreme conditions. Complex life like higher plants and animals needs a much narrower range of conditions to survive. Turn the average temp on earth up or down by just 20C and its bye bye plants and animals.

The questions is how common is complex life or the conditions to support it. How many of these planets develop intelligent life. How far away is the nearest ET civilization? 10 light years? 50? 1000ly? 10,000ly?

astronomy has the potential to answer these questions.



[edit on 4-6-2010 by yeti101]



posted on Jun, 5 2010 @ 10:05 PM
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Coincidentally, there was a thread posted couple days ago in ufo's n aliens about "If you where in charge, how would you disclose".


This thread kinda made me chuckle

1 small step @ a time....microstep



posted on Jun, 6 2010 @ 05:10 AM
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reply to post by mnemeth1
 


The Huygens probe did NOT land in a lake of methane, close, but not in it.

With a boiling point of -161 celsius it's entirely possible (and true) that lakes of methane exist in an environment of -179 celsius, as it is on Titan.

There's even been a recent photograph of sunlight reflecting off the surface of one of the lakes as photographed by Cassini.

More here.



posted on Jun, 8 2010 @ 05:17 AM
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People, wake up : maybe something begin now : NASA unleashed information EVERYDAY ... in the way you want ( this must be analysed)

Related : NASA Rover Finds Clue to Mars' Past and Environment for Life



posted on Jun, 8 2010 @ 07:10 AM
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Hey all.

That radio signal from Saturn - in particular, from 2:23 in, for a few seconds - sounds like a Darth-Vader type saying 'You should not go further than this'... (distorted speech obviously, but see what you think...)


FREEEEEEEAKY...!


I heard that alien astral beings are supposed to exist in the sixth astral density on Saturn's rings. Maybe they're giving us a warning; or stating some kind of universal directive, decreed against the human race...




posted on Jun, 8 2010 @ 02:26 PM
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Originally posted by yeti101
considering the surface temp of titan is minus 180C i would pretty surprised yes.


But whose to say that, just as time, "too hot" or "too cold" isn't relative to different forms of life on different planets? Have we not observed this here on Earth with countless forms of life?

What we think is too cold for us here on Earth, may be too hot for a species so alien, that we cannot even comprehend the possibility.

In fact we already have been surprised many times before at the extremes in which we continue to find life, here on Earth. I'd be just about willing to bet that these "surprising" findings will continue to grow -- here on Earth, out there on Titan, maybe even Mars -- until we begin to realize, the universe is abundant with life.

[edit on 8/6/10 by Navieko]



posted on Jun, 8 2010 @ 03:00 PM
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Star and Flagged.

Excellent OP. This is the second indication of life in our solar system outside of Earth. With microbial life on mars, and the possibility of life now on Titan, this makes a good case for life not being as rare in the universe as previously thought.

Note: I didn't say intelligent life, I said life.

I've also heard the speculation of life in the upper clouds of Venus due to the lower temperatures and existance of trace gasses. All of this is very compelling for making me believe the universe is actually filled with life and could potentially stop the rare earth hypothesis dead in its tracks.

You have to realize, if life can develop in extreme climates here on earth (deep sea vents), what's stopping different forms of life from forming in extreme conditions elsewhere? Titan, for example.



posted on Jun, 8 2010 @ 03:31 PM
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Originally posted by links234
reply to post by mnemeth1
 


The Huygens probe did NOT land in a lake of methane, close, but not in it.

With a boiling point of -161 celsius it's entirely possible (and true) that lakes of methane exist in an environment of -179 celsius, as it is on Titan.

There's even been a recent photograph of sunlight reflecting off the surface of one of the lakes as photographed by Cassini.

More here.


Obviously Huygens didn't land in a lake of methane.

However, according to its telemetry data, that's where it supposedly landed.

It landed in one of those flat expanses that scientists presume are lakes of methane.

There are no methane lakes on Titan.

None.

Read the articles.



posted on Jun, 9 2010 @ 03:59 PM
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Originally posted by NoahTheSumerian
Hey all.

That radio signal from Saturn - in particular, from 2:23 in, for a few seconds - sounds like a Darth-Vader type saying 'You should not go further than this'... (distorted speech obviously, but see what you think...)


FREEEEEEEAKY...!


I heard that alien astral beings are supposed to exist in the sixth astral density on Saturn's rings. Maybe they're giving us a warning; or stating some kind of universal directive, decreed against the human race...



yeah, I heard the similar speech in what you stated. I wonder if it means we will not go further than our current technology because of an impending global event.



posted on Nov, 30 2010 @ 08:17 PM
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Originally posted by ickylevel
Explore goddamn Europe !


been to Europe, in fact was born there. Not so great these days

Would rather explore Titan


edit on 30-11-2010 by zorgon because: Classified



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