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Hints of life found on Saturn moon

Posted by 3citynewswire on 06/06/2010

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.

In 2005, Chris McKay of NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field and Heather R Smith of the International Space University in Strasbourg, France, calculated that such microbes 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, they said.

Now, measurements from the Cassini spacecraft have borne out these predictions, hinting that life may be present. Read more here http://www.NewScientist.com

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