Tuesday, August 15, 2017
"Titan: Possibility of Life" and it may be vaguely like earthly jellyfish
“Titan: Possibility of Life” is an engaging 2017 documentary (43 minutes) by Aerospace Engineering.
The film shows the internal structure of Titan which, like Europa, has am underwater ocean. But the now famous thick atmosphere, with a surface of lakes and mountains that can erupt with ammonia water, is explained by violence in the Solar System about 4 billion years as outer planet orbits expanded, throwing a lot of objects into the atmosphere of Titan (as well as Earth).
The chemistry of the atmosphere is explained, as an organic chemistry lesson. A post-doc fellow proposes how protein chains could develop and organize themselves into a helix similar to DNA.
Then a proposal for metabolism is suggested, where energy is released by hydrogen reacting with acetylene. Indeed, there are studies suggest this chemistry might enclose a cellular structure. One scientist suggests that life forms on Titan might be like large sheets of paper with little suckers to get food from the environment, maybe analogous a little bit to jellyfish on Earth (not exactly “Free Fish).
The film presents a lake of host asphalt in Trinidad that may
NASA picture of Titan's structure, Wikipedia link.