Titan. Just a moon or the birthplace of strange life?
Facts on Titan:
1. The name Titan comes from Greek mythology (The parents of the Olympians were called Titans)
2. The moon is roughly 3200 miles in diameter, close to half the size of the Earth.
3. The temperature on the surface is -179°C (This allows the methane seas of Titan)
4. There is an abundance of water in the form of rock and ice
5. There is the possibility for methane-based life to develop
Saturn’s moon Titan has been a target of scientific curiosity for years, but will it’s secrets finally be revealed?
back in 2014 NASA announced that they want to send a submarine into the methane seas of our brother planet’s moon. The submarine will be measuring climate, chemicals and many other fascinating mysteries that Titan may hide. Titan is relatively similar to what scientist believe earth would have been like in its infant years. In addition to the breakthroughs we may find about alien life and chemistry, we could be seeing the history of our planet play out and how life started at home.
With liquid methane lakes covering the surface, we would see a very different organism than what we are used to. Studying such life could increase our knowledge of habitable planets exponentially, and possibly increasing the chances of interplanetary colonisation?
Personally I would like to see the possibility of the strange types of life that has been speculated about in recent years. As reported by NASA here it is known that the planet has a dense atmosphere, and in 2010, some researchers claimed it is a possibility that life on the planet may be breathing in this atmosphere. This was theorised due to hydrogen gas flowing through the atmosphere disappearing from the moon’s surface. Of course, there are many reasons that this may happen, but the Cassini probe had narrowed these possibilities down increasing the chance of life.
Unfortunately, it is still a long shot for this strange methane-based life to exist on Titan, mainly due to the freezing cold temperatures. However, as our sun expands and Titan warms, we may see sustainable seas and a habitable land for future life. I would not like to jump the gun and say we as humans will be involved in this. As this will happen in roughly 6 billion years who knows where we may be, enjoying a new star light years away or simply extinct? One thing for certain, the earth will not be habitable when Titan is.
As Greek mythology tells us, the Titans were imprisoned by the Olympians. Maybe 6 billion years from now the Titans will be set free and new life will be president in our solar system.