In an article published in the Astronomy Journal, we can read that scientists recently discovered a fascinating new molecule on Titan, the moon of Saturn. A molecule that could be the basis of a life form. This moon has an atmosphere four times denser than Earth and continues to fascinate astronomers.
A molecule that could be the basis of a life form
Cyclopropenylidene was detected in the titanium atmosphere. This molecule, nicknamed C3H2, is a very reactive carbene that only exists in the laboratory on Earth. This molecule confuses scientists because it could very easily be the basis of a life form on this giant Saturn satellite. A molecule that could well be the basis for the formation of complex compounds.
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This carbon and hydrogen molecule was first discovered when researchers were using the Atacama telescope array in Chile. This observatory captures a series of light signals. In this way, the researchers were able to identify the C3H2 molecule on titanium. Conor Nixon, lead author of the study, explains: “When I found out that it was actually cyclopropenylidene, I was amazed.”
It is an important discovery in the history of astronomy. The same molecule has already been detected elsewhere in our galaxy, most commonly in gas and dust molecular clouds, especially in the Taurus molecular cloud. A star cloud 400 light years from the Taurus constellation.
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However, the researchers state that the main difference between finding C3H2 in this cloud and on Titan is enormous: the temperatures are too cold for chemical reactions to take place in the clouds, while they do not on the moon from Saturn . It is very surprising to see this molecule in an atmosphere as rich as that of Titan, one of the most interesting moons in our solar system.
In fact, NASA is currently working on an all-terrain robot to explore Titan. Remember that titanium would have properties similar to planet earth, such as the presence of methane and liquid ethane. NASA wants to uncover the secrets of Titan. However, be careful with this moon’s approach, which seems extremely complicated due to the many types of surfaces the moon protects. There are lakes, volcanoes and rivers. These are good reasons to believe that life exists elsewhere.