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Space Science

Could There Be Life On Titan? 122

Posted by Soulskill
from the reply-hazy-try-again dept.
Adam Korbitz writes "Astrobiology Magazine reports on new research indicating extremophile microbes may be able to live on Titan, the sixth and largest moon of Saturn — in spite of the fact that the moon is largely ice and covered with lakes of liquid methane. Titan joins Mars, Venus, Europa and Enceladus as a potential home to extremophile life in our solar system."
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Could There Be Life On Titan?

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  • Joins? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Henriok (6762) on Sunday August 24, 2008 @08:54AM (#24725873)

    Titan has been a prime candidate for life for as long as I can remember. Since they figured out that it had an atmosphere, it probably had lakes of some kinde and pretro.. possibility for life.

    • Re:Joins? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Rob Kaper (5960) on Sunday August 24, 2008 @09:01AM (#24725917) Homepage

      TFA is not about Titan being a candidate, but some research trying to recreate (some) of the conditions on Titan.

      Of course TFA also is a long, long way away from life. But knowing the building blocks can form there is another step forward.

      • Re:Joins? (Score:5, Informative)

        by MightyMartian (840721) on Sunday August 24, 2008 @12:13PM (#24727173) Journal

        I don't think anyone is arguing that Titan doesn't have the building blocks (by all accounts its atmosphere is probably pretty damned similar to the reducing atmosphere that the early Earth had). The problem is energy. Titan only receives a fraction of the energy that Earth does, and that's why it's in a deep freeze. It's hard to imagine at any point in the evolution of the solar system when Titan would have had, for any substantial amount of time, that much energy from either the sun or Saturn.

        The fact that some highly specialized terrestial organisms might be able to make a go of it doesn't, in my mind, suggest that similar organisms could have ever evolved on Titan. These organisms have had nearly four billion years to slowly march into extreme environments. I simply don't think Titan would have ever have been in a similar situation.

        I think our best bets for the moment are still Mars and Europa. Mars, because it does lie close enough to the sun and there is evidence that liquid water was once common. Europa because, while it's significantly farther from the sun, is in a rather special situation where Jovian tidal forces are quite likely keep the interior very warm, meaning liquid oceans, and possibly an active core.

        • Probably not evolved there, but it might be a good habitat where something can thrive. I'd imagine that they would have to be pretty efficient to deal with an environment with a low energy state (as you point out). I imagine that a lifeform such as that may be useful here on earth.
        • Re:Joins? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by SEE (7681) on Sunday August 24, 2008 @03:57PM (#24729467) Homepage

          Thing is, life on Titan doesn't need to evolve on Titan . . . it just needs to survive the journey to Titan from where it evolved. Endospores are quite durable.

          • Hitching a ride from Mars to Earth isn't too hard. From Earth to Titan is essentially impossible... not only is it many times further, but anything making it to Saturn would be sucked into Saturn's gravity well, not Titan's.
            • by repvik (96666)

              Being sucked into Saturn's gravity well doesn't make it impossible to land on Titan. Titan just might happen to be in the way ;)
              Likely? Slightly more than a snowball in hell. Impossible? In theory atleast ;)

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by SEE (7681)

              Assuming the reasonable (if not proven) ideas that life on Earth began before the Late Heavy Bombardment, and that the Late Heavy Bombardment happened, there should have been lots of bacteria-infested ejecta from the Earth spreading throughout the solar system. Enough that some landing on Titan is perhaps not probable, but is much more likely than "essentially impossible". (One hundred miles per hour average speed, and you get from Earth to Titan in a mere 1,000 years; the distance, at least, is not a pro

            • Hitching a ride from Mars to Earth isn't too hard. From Earth to Titan is essentially impossible.

              Just how thoroughly did we sterilise Huygens, I wonder?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ceoyoyo (59147)

          Titan is only about five percent farther away from Saturn than Europa is from Jupiter. Europa has a special resonance setup with Io and Ganymede but Titan also has some fair sized moons and a big planet to pull on it.

          There's a quite reasonable theory that life on Earth could have originated with organic molecules brought into close contact in ice. The article describes research that shows some of the probable constituents of Titan's atmosphere undergo promising chemical processes even around the freezing

        • Exactly. The selection pressure may be much too high to develop life in the first place.
        • I think our best bets for the moment are still Mars and Europa.

          You're right.

          In fact Mars is teaming with life, including large amounts of the red weed which gives Mars it's distinctive appearance. Europa also supports life, but seeing as all these worlds are ours except Europa, I don't think we should attempt landing there.

    • Re:Joins? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Z00L00K (682162) on Sunday August 24, 2008 @09:04AM (#24725935) Homepage

      Considering the vast variety of conditions where life exists on earth I would consider it likely that there is life elsewhere too.

      And with life - it may be completely different from the life we know about, but if there is life it is single-cell organisms that we should expect.

      Even here on earth we have bacteria that actually thrives in environments that would kill most other forms of life. All the way from extremely acid environment that easily would tear through human flesh to high temperatures well above the boiling point and radiation so hard that it cracks the DNA in the cells - which the bacteria resolves by joining it together again with processes still unknown. And freezing bacteria will just suspend them or make them behave in slow motion.

      In any atmosphere where there is complex molecules - especially amino acids - there is a potential for life remotely similar to us on a cellular level. But of course - there may be life in completely different forms with completely different timespans, maybe so long that we wouldn't recognize it as life.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        We know there are certain types of bacteria that can exist in extreme conditions on earth, but to my (untrained) mind that doesn't imply it is possible for abiogenesis to occur in the same conditions.

        What does it take for life to come about from non-life. Do we have an idea?

        • Re:Joins? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted@@@slashdot...org> on Sunday August 24, 2008 @09:59AM (#24726225)

          What does it take for life to come about from non-life. Do we have an idea?

          The error - and even most scientists have not understood this - is, to make a spearation between the two.
          There is no single moment, where something became "alive".

          It's a veeery gradual process, starting with the simples physical/chemical reactions, and evolving to more complex systems.
          Even we ourselves are such very complex systems.

          See... I do not even have to mention the word "life".
          It's just another one of those egocentric concepts, like seeing humans as separate from animals, thinking we were the center of the universe... and so on....
          So the problem is purely psychological.

          This is the only reason, such an obvious concept is still mostly repressed.

          • Sorry for my typos. I meant "separation". Obviously scientists and geeks do not "spear" life or non-life. Conan does!

            And "simplest" instead of "simples". Obviously I do not know a funny line for this one. Conan does! (The other one.)

            (No, I won't point out every punctuation error. You know who to ask... Stars with C...)

          • Re:Joins? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Neuropol (665537) on Sunday August 24, 2008 @10:22AM (#24726365) Homepage
            IAWTP 100%

            Egocentric mankind (generally speaking, science community excluded) thinks life means Youtube, Social Networking, Church, and High End Tennis shoes.

            I really wish children were taught an early age about the Universe and the life breeding ground that it is. Different conditions produce different forms, it is now up to mankind to acknowledge and accept this.
          • so why not just call chemistry physics? after all, chemistry is just the result of particle physics (electromagnetism, strong force, weak force, etc.). heck, why bother making any distinction between different empirical sciences at all? it's all just part of the study of the same natural universe.

            the nature of the human intellect, and inherent to its capacity to comprehend very complex or difficult concepts and ideas, is to break things down into their component parts. we also label and categorize new conce

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Orange Crush (934731) *

          What does it take for life to come about from non-life. Do we have an idea?

          Not really, no. Aside from having the necessary ingredients, we don't know how abiogenesis happened, or even that it happened here on Earth. The first microbes might've formed or partially formed in comets that later impacted the Earth and "came to life" down here, or maybe it happened entirely in warm little puddles and tidepools. Regardless, the conditions in which it did happen, or even CAN happen are largely unknown. There ve

          • Re:Joins? (Score:4, Interesting)

            by symbolset (646467) on Sunday August 24, 2008 @12:46PM (#24727493) Journal

            The first microbes might've formed or partially formed in comets that later impacted the Earth and "came to life" down here, or maybe it happened entirely in warm little puddles and tidepools.

            Some of the "building blocks" that may be in comets could even be remnants of life that surrounded sol's parent star that went supernova and gave us all of the elements in the periodic table above iron. Although it's hard to believe any actual life surviving those conditions for those periods of time, it can't be proven to be impossible. Who knows?

          • by sir fer (1232128)

            What does it take for life to come about from non-life. Do we have an idea?

            Lightning of course! It's alive! It's alive!

            ;o)

        • Re:Joins? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by wvmarle (1070040) on Sunday August 24, 2008 @11:32AM (#24726863)

          What many scientists look for in remote planets is chemical imbalance, from an energetic point of view. Chemical imbalance may not be the only result of the existence of life, or even a guaranteed result, it is very reasonable to look for that as both core aspects of life would cause such a chemical imbalance.

          A typical aspect of life (at least life as we know it, and what we commonly consider "living") is a mechanism that is doing something with energy: usually storing energy using chemical reactions. As a result there is a lot of matter on earth that is not in a very low energy level, e.g. oil and coal. The ultimate source of this energy could be light (most lifeforms on earth use this energy source - directly or indirectly), but other sources are also possible, think of sulfur-reducing bacteria near hot wells, using sulfur and maybe also heat as energy source. The sulfur getting in that high-energy form thanks to the heat in the core of the earth reducing the sulfur to it's elemental form, later oxidations by the bacteria release energy.

          A second typical aspect of life is self-replication. This is a necessity of survival: even if an individual would not age, there are always accidents and diseases that will put an end to an individual. So self-replication is also a requirement. And I suspect that most, if not all self-replication reactions take energy, for the simple reason that self-replication means a decrease in entropy in the matter used to create this copy. Again energy is stored: releasing the molecules and restoring the entropy will result in the release of energy as well.

          So for non-life to become life, I'd say a system should be able to replicate itself, and to collect energy from it's surroundings. That I think is the most basic requirement for what one could call "life".

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            What many scientists look for in remote planets is chemical imbalance, from an energetic point of view.

            To expand a little, a better sign of life is an atmosphere that's not statically stable. Our own oxy-nitrogen mix wouldn't stay the way it is without life; there are too many processes that would take the oxygen out. The only thing keeping it in the balance it is is the fact that plants are generating more oxygen at the same rate it's used up, both by animals and by inorganic routes. Any species capa

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by v1 (525388)

        Considering the vast variety of conditions where life exists on earth I would consider it likely that there is life elsewhere too.

        The catch is that although life can exist in extreme conditions as we observe here on earth in places, the likelyhood of genesis in such conditions is much lower than the odds of genesis in more gentle environments. So it makes sense to look for either existing conditions, or previously existing conditions, that are "gentle" and are statistically much more likely to experience g

    • i'm expecting an elephant there, ok ok but really there can be micro life, everyday one more possibility is found for life on titan.

      • by Joebert (946227)
        If you're seeing tiny elephants you should consider getting a checkup, that's not normal.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by OriginalArlen (726444)
      There's not enough energy for sufficiently complex chemistry; the sun's too far away, it's too cold, and Titan doesn't get significantly Io or Europa-style tidal heating. It's 100 degrees Kelvin on Titan... Not gonna happen.

      I'd be happy to be proved wrong, but as anyone following the wrangling over the next outer-planets flagship mission knows, we could easily not get a dedicated Titan mission for until the end of the decade after next.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jcorno (889560)

        There's not enough energy for sufficiently complex chemistry; the sun's too far away, it's too cold, and Titan doesn't get significantly Io or Europa-style tidal heating. It's 100 degrees Kelvin on Titan... Not gonna happen.

        There's not enough energy for complex reactions to happen quickly, but they can still happen. And there's nothing that says life has to be able to form there today. Assuming it has a large, rocky core, it must've gone through a long cooling phase after forming, so there would have be

    • I agree totally it has been a long time finding out
    • It seems to me that every investigation into finding life outside of earth demonstrates the observer effect. [wikipedia.org]

      By bringing equipment from earth to another place, there is always the possibility that some microscopic organism, hearty bacteria, etc... will have come along for the ride, thus introducing life into the environment being examined.
  • by localroger (258128) on Sunday August 24, 2008 @08:58AM (#24725903) Homepage
    One of the recent blips on the Cassini-Huygens website (since scrolled off) is that Titan's crust seems to be decoupled from the moon's core, indicting that its "mantle" may be liquid -- an ocean of water hundreds of kilometers deep. Combined with all the organic crap sitting on top and the ice volcanoes I am starting to think it would be surprising if there weren't life on Titan.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      To that end, I suppose we may have to wait for another probe capable of going below the crust to get a better look. The real question: Is it acceptable for humans to drill moons all over the galaxy or are going to preserve what little universe we have left. What about the titanium sea otters!? Does no one care about the titanium sea otters?!

  • by kale77in (703316) on Sunday August 24, 2008 @09:04AM (#24725939) Homepage
    It's Europa. And the Chinese will get there first.
  • In my mind I'm humming "Also Spract Zarathustra".

  • by mbone (558574) on Sunday August 24, 2008 @09:08AM (#24725957)

    Titan is a very different place from Earth. Water ice is a rock (surface temperatures never come close to the melting point) and, critically, temperature / entropy gradients are much smaller than on Earth. (It's not just cold, the flow of energy is slow.) So, if there is life, i would anticipate not something like terrestrial extremophiles, but an entirely new form of life, which doesn't use water as a medium and which would be very slow from our viewpoint. I asbolutely think that such life could evolve, if it is possible at all, but who knows if it is possible. Going there would be one way to find out, but that will neither be easy, simple, cheap or quick.

    I think that the article is misleading in one respect - a body of liquid water might survive for a while (in the same way that a pool of lava - molten rock - can survive for decades or longer on the Earth, and presumably on Mars), but, just like the pool of lava, it would be quickly encased in a layer of frozen water ice. You might have water at the surface, but you would not have water on the surface for any length of time (think polar ice caps in the middle of winter, and you are still way too warm). It is hard to see how extremophiles could evolve in those circumstances, and it is very hard to see how biological material from the Earth or Mars, blasted out by meteor impacts, could reach Titan intact.

    • by DragonTHC (208439)

      We don't yet know if Titan was always frozen.

      There are lakes of liquid methane there. I imagine some microbes could adapt to living in methane.

      Though, I bet there will probably be taun tauns there.

    • ...water lava would remain in a liquid state for hundreds or thousands of years. I'm not sure how they reach this conclusion, but they address the issue. Also, just a few weeks ago the Cassini team announced that there may be a massive subsurface ocean, which kind of changes things in ways even this article didn't address.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        This is especially relevant, since Geisler found [wikipedia.org] some (rather indirect) evidence that life was present on Earth just a few hundred million years after the planet solidified. This suggests that life can form relatively quickly in a water-rich environment. However, the lateness of the Cambrian explosion suggests that oxygenation of the biosphere presents a hard metabolic requirement to forming complex multicellular organisms, like us.

      • by QuoteMstr (55051)

        The terms in this discussion are great! "Water ice is a rock." - "Water lava". When you put ideas like that, the geology of Titan becomes much more intuitive.

      • by mbone (558574)

        First, the ocean that has been postulated is 100 km or more down - that is indeed a possible location for life, although unless there is more radioactivity that expected there won't be much of an energy source. Any life down there could not live at the surface, though, even if it were brought up - at best it would be in spore form.

        Second, the surface temperature is about -180 C. Even at -40 C, water will pretty much instantly form a crust of ice. Remember, Niagara Falls used to freeze solid at temperature

    • by aztektum (170569)

      Titan is a very different place from Earth.

      What tipped you off? The "largely ice covered" or the "lakes of methane"? :P

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mikael (484)

      I once tried freezing a complete 2 litre of bottle of water in -20C temperatures. All but a central core of 1.5 inches froze - This gave me a solid ice tube which actually split the bottle itself. There was water in the middle - the pressure from the surrounding ice must have been enough to keep it liquid.

    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      There is a good theory that life on Earth originated in ice. The idea that life could get a start in water volcanoes isn't that implausible. We also have life right here that lives in solid rock (and solid ice), so life living in solid, never melts ice isn't impossible either. The rock and ice microorganisms do have slower metabolisms, which is a very reasonable expectation for any life on Titan.

    • it is very hard to see how biological material from the Earth or Mars, blasted out by meteor impacts, could reach Titan intact.

      Maybe life went the other way, ie, it evolved on or near Titan and infected Earth.

  • aka George W. Bush, to find out. Maybe Winston, Kazak, and the Tralfamadorian need something delivered.
  • Given that until we go there to find out - or send a probe, this is all mere conjecture.

    Of course cutting the article down to it's basics "we don't know, but it's possible" wouldn't fill much magazine space or sell many adverts.

  • No... there couldn't. solar radiation was probably important for creating life as we know it, providing that critical energy input to build the first organic molecules. Titan is tooooo far away to get much radiation. Life could evolve there, but if it were a random event it would be MUCH slower than here on earth because it is so much colder over there. So we might have to wait a few more billion years.

    And so by that rationale, we should be looking for remnants or indications of life on venus and mercury...

    • There is a tremendous amount of weather on Titan because of tidal interactions, and like any fairly large world its interior is significantly warmer than its surface. There's quite a bit of radiation in the area due to Saturn's magnetic field and the Solar wind. And Titan would have been significantly warmer closer to the time of its formation and during the period when its rotation was winding down toward tidal lock.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by jmil (782329)

        Precisely. So there's little to no chance of finding anything on the *surface* of Titan, which is the only place we have a remote capability to look.

        We would need deep sea autonomous vehicles or autonomous digging machines, none of which are within NASA's budget (because we've never built them successfully here on Earth). We've never looked near Earth's core for life either.

        It's too cold where we're looking, and we don't have the capabilities to look deeper into the crust.

        Moreover, we only ever look for "Ea

        • by cyclop (780354)
          There is a problem with silicon-based life. Silicon is not as nearly versatile chemically as carbon is. It is highly doubtful silicon can sustain any meaningful biochemistry -at least, not by itself, a biochemistry made of carbon AND silicon is probably possible. The most worrying data for silicon-based life come from Earth itself: there is much more silicon than carbon on Earth's surface, yet we are a carbon-based lifeform.

          I often wonder what we could find if hypothetical carbon planets [wikipedia.org] turn to exist.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by jmil (782329)

            There is a problem with silicon-based life. Silicon is not as nearly versatile chemically as carbon is. It is highly doubtful silicon can sustain any meaningful biochemistry -at least, not by itself

            These statements are all true... on Earth. Plenty of reactive silanes are possible. All known biochemistry is based on carbon, so of course silicon is not going to catalyze many biochemical reactions. But carbon-based reactions do not go so efficiently in the cold... Iron chemistries might have gone wild on Ma

            • by cyclop (780354)

              Plenty of reactive silanes are possible. All known biochemistry is based on carbon, so of course silicon is not going to catalyze many biochemical reactions.

              The problem is not building catalysts. The problem is that life needs polymers. Silicon-based polymers are not stable as carbon-based polymers. The variety of stable molecules that silicon can form is much less than the variety of stable molecules carbon can form. See wikipedia [wikipedia.org] for discussion.

              So why do we need to stifle ideas of how things might evolve

        • Precisely. So there's little to no chance of finding anything on the *surface* of Titan, which is the only place we have a remote capability to look.

          On the surface we might find dead microbes or more likely their chemical signature.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by symbolset (646467)
      Billions of years ago Venus's orbit was about where Earth's is now. At least one theory [sciam.com] says it was struck by an object roughly the mass of Mars which reversed its rotation, crashed one moon and drove off the other, and presumably altered its surface composition considerably. Yes, Venus is a good candidate for a prior genesis of life. Good luck finding it though.
    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      Some of the leading theories for the origin of life on Earth have it getting started completely independently of solar radiation.

  • by Stellian (673475)

    It could.

  • Extremeophile (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bigattichouse (527527) on Sunday August 24, 2008 @09:39AM (#24726129) Homepage
    1. Lets suppose, for a moment that extremeophile life exists on Titan. The conditions on Titan are far more prevailant in the universe than "habitable zones". Which means we are an extremely delicate form of life. "narrowphile" 2. Etremophiles would then be a more likely, and more dominant life zone than us. 3. We're looking for the wrong conditions through the universe to support life. We should be looking for energy rich (metane, sulphur), hot and cold "extreme" environments.
    • Via Wiki [wikipedia.org]. It suggests that extremophile life is common, since however it started it started on Earth just about as soon as conditions were hospitable enough, but that most places in the galaxy will be too unstable to allow evolution of complex forms such as multicellular plants and animals.
  • I'm disappointed that so few are sufficiently well read to know that Titan has statues of three Sirens, and is occupied by a robot carrying a message containing a single dot (meaning "Hi" in its language). Essentially the entire history of earth has been a consequence of its attempts to send a message back home to get its space ship repaired after crashing on Titan. Actual life, however, would be restricted primarily to Winston Niles, after he passed over into the chrono-synclastic infundibulum (sp?).
  • by owlnation (858981) on Sunday August 24, 2008 @11:12AM (#24726699)
    So of course there's life on it -- WHALES!
  • We're talking about life here after all... we know on earth that life can be found virtually anywhere. And after all, an environment what we call "extreme", some microbes may call "nice and comfortable".

    Those microbes may well consider us to be an extremophile!

  • Does it run Linux?
  • by peter303 (12292) on Sunday August 24, 2008 @12:13PM (#24727167)
    Inter-planetary meteor crossing are not rare. Dozens of Mars rocks have been identified on earth, probably a sample samples of thousands that have fallen. Hundereds of thousands lunar meteorites have been found. Over the vast stretch of time, probably at least one sample from every rocky planet or moon has reached all others.

    Earth life is very hardy. It lives six miles undergound, at the boiling point of water, high in clouds, etc. It survived on a moon lander for a decade. Some could be likely to survive centuries if would take meteors to travere the solar system.
    • by cyclop (780354)
      It survived on a moon lander for a decade.

      This claim has recently been challenged [wikipedia.org]. However I'd love to search for Earth rocks on Mars and look at the surroundings -but it is probably a prohibitively time-consuming, complex search.
  • why not hypothesize that there could be life on the Moon? If we're going to think wild thoughts about where an extremophile can live compared to Earth then let's hypothesize they are right in a "back yard". They could survive on Moon dirt. Why not, right? Who says they need water? We keep thinking too much along the lines of what extremophiles on Earth need to survive. Off this Earth another organism no longer abides by the rules of this planet. Using the Moon as our target to find other life will save mone
  • It's life Jim, but not as we know it.

    http://quantumnow.com/trek/lyrics.html/ [quantumnow.com]

  • Scientists are suggesting that it may be possible for extremophile life to exist on the 3rd planet from the sun. "Despite an oxidizing atmosphere, vast quantities of liquid and vaporous rock on the surface and in the atmosphere, and a ridiculously high surface temperature, it may be possible for some bizarre forms of life to exist on the planet."

  • Nothing to see here. Move along.

  • by Corson (746347)
    they should send a probe carrying extremophiles to titan then come back in 1000 years to see how it panned out.
    • by bonehead (6382)

      The only problem with that is that by intentinoally contaminating Titan (or any other celestial body) we are permanently and forever closing the door on the chance to find out if it ever supported its own life.

  • How long do you study a planet(esimal) before you can reliably conclude whether or not life has evolved there? This question is of utmost importance because if there IS native life it should be protected and even nurtured. However, if you CAN say it hasn't happened yet, then I feel it is a moral imperative to spread life to those environments. We absolutely should seed our extremophiles wherever they may live, as long as we aren't stomping on native life. How many iterations of seed and "bioshpere" cras
  • I work with hyperthermophiles (>90C)and I couldn't help think that we humans have a very mesophilic bias to living organisms. Just think, to these extremophiles, humans live in an inhospitable environment. My cultures of hyperthermophilic archaea won't even grow at temperatures less than 80C and in oxygenated atmosphere. Some even die off. I firmly believe that given even a small chance, life will independently evolve in other extraterrestrial bodies.
  • Yeah, the average person wouldn't be inclined to believe life would be more likely to be on a moon covered with methane, but we're GEEKS

    We know that there is MORE likely to be life (of a particular type) because of the methane. At least I think we do...

    C'mon editors, you should know us better than that.
  • ...do extremophiles have register with the local police?

  • .. really existed on Titan, they would have contacted us a long time ago!

  • I thought a extremophile was someone who was adicted to Extreme Sex.

  • NASA needs to purposely contaminate Titan with some microbes that could survive now... then in 5 years send up a "resarch mission" looking for life. That would surely help funding when they find something alive up there... and who knows where they came from. Much research to be done!

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