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View Diary: Getting to Know Your Solar System (37): Titan (Vol. 3) (44 comments)

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  •  I'd rather probes go to Europa or Enceledus (2+ / 0-)
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    Troubadour, Khun David

    It's been proven that there are large bodies of liquid water there under the ice, and so at least a possibility of life - and contrary to what many people think, you don't really have to drill through the ice to the water to see if there's life. The upwelling of water through the crack formations and geysers on these worlds would probably have transported life forms to the surface, so sampling the ice at these cracks could very likely find the remains of microbes or possibly larger life. As interesting as Titan is, there's really no possibility life could exist there.

    It has to start somewhere. It has to start sometime. What better place than here, what better time than now? - Guerilla Radio, Rage Against The Machine.

    by Fordmandalay on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 07:24:55 PM PDT

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    •  Actually, Titan has cryovolcanoes. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CalGal47, Khun David, BusyinCA

      If they're active, that would mix liquid water (or at least slush) with the hydrocarbons and provide an internal heat source.  So Life-As-We-Know-It (LAWKI) is possible on Titan.  Moreover, exotic life is also possible on the surface with methane in place of water - it provides some of the same chemical opportunities, and actually doesn't have some of the chemical drawbacks of liquid water.  They've shown in theory how some of this exotic chemistry can occur.

      Nothing makes a Republican angrier than a smile on a poor child's face.

      by Troubadour on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 09:04:52 PM PDT

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    •  The JUICE mission (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Troubadour

      is planned to launch by the ESA and would orbit Callisto, then break out of orbit of Callisto to orbit Ganymede, and then Europa, to determine the makeup of the crust and whether there are liquid layers underneath their crusts.

      Perhaps in time, a similar probe could be launched to orbit Titan for a time, and then make it's way to Enceledus.

      Sigline? What Sigline?

      by Khun David on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 06:06:22 AM PDT

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