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marnixR
Post  Post subject: hydrocarbon lakes on Titan  |  Posted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:58 pm
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don't know about you, but i find this fascinating :

Cassini Gets New Views of Titan's Land of Lakes

sorry for the pun but these pictures are really out of this world in all senses of the word

Image

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: hydrocarbon lakes on Titan  |  Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:17 am
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That's super badass!

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Moontanman
Post  Post subject: Re: hydrocarbon lakes on Titan  |  Posted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:59 pm
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I wrote a short story based on Titan having lakes and or seas of liquid methane... 15 or 20 years ago now..


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: hydrocarbon lakes on Titan  |  Posted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 1:51 am
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I understand that a lot of our hydrocarbons here on earth come from decomposed plant and animal matter. What is their source on Titan?

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Moontanman
Post  Post subject: Re: hydrocarbon lakes on Titan  |  Posted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:40 am
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iNow wrote:
I understand that a lot of our hydrocarbons here on earth come from decomposed plant and animal matter. What is their source on Titan?



The earth happens to have most of it's carbon tied up in plant and animal matter, on Titan it's supposed to come from under an ground sea through volcanoes, if it has a red hot core then methane can be made through contact with water and CO2 but it could also come from bacteria as well... Then there is the missing hydrogen problem...

http://www.universetoday.com/66003/alie ... -a-minute/

Quote:
The two papers suggest that hydrogen and acetylene are being depleted at the surface of Titan. The first paper by Darrell Strobel shows hydrogen molecules flowing down through Titan’s atmosphere and disappearing at the surface. This is a disparity between the hydrogen densities that flow down to the surface at a rate of about 10,000 trillion trillion hydrogen molecules per second, but none showing up at the surface.


Quote:
Of course, one explanation for both discoveries is that something on Titan is consuming the hydrogen and acetylene.


Quote:
However, the findings are interesting for astrobiology, and would require the actual existence of methane-based life, a theory McKay himself proposed five years ago, which he described today as an “odd idea.”


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bunbury
Post  Post subject: Re: hydrocarbon lakes on Titan  |  Posted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 6:54 pm
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Very interesting indeed. I wonder if there have been any further developments since 2010.


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Moontanman
Post  Post subject: Re: hydrocarbon lakes on Titan  |  Posted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 7:42 pm
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bunbury wrote:
Very interesting indeed. I wonder if there have been any further developments since 2010.



I suspect the assertion of life from the missing hydrogen has not been well supported, if it had i am sure we would have heard more by now...


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David Palmer
Post  Post subject: Re: hydrocarbon lakes on Titan  |  Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:42 am

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What makes Titan especially interesting is that it is now believed to have a subsurface (subcrustal) ocean of liquid water, much like Jupiter's Europa. So Titan is basically a layer cake with TWO zones of vastly different fluids that could conceivably serve as the solvents for two completely different types of living organisms (methane/ethane based on the surface, and water-based at depth). I originally posited this idea about 25 years ago and sent a letter to Astronomy magazine, but they never published it :( And I was so ticked off that I almost canceled my subscription! It is so much nicer for the amateur scientist in this internet age, there is actually a way to promulgate your ideas if you think of something original, whereas before the internet it was basically impossible unless you were a professional with academic connections. And I'm not going to let that happen again, and am fully utilizing the internet to get out my ideas about Mars' Gale Crater and Mount Sharp, in the form of my new essay, "An Interpretation of the Geology of Gale Crater and Mount Sharp, with Implications for the History and Habitability of Mars," which I discuss elsewhere in this forum.


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Moontanman
Post  Post subject: Re: hydrocarbon lakes on Titan  |  Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 4:04 am
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I think Titan, as an abode of life, is far more interesting than Mars. Life on Mars very well could have been transferred from Earth to mars or Mars to Earth, Mars rocks have indeed been found on Earth and there is no reason why Earth rocks cannot be transferred to Mars. Both planets may very well have the same biochemistry for this reason.

Titan on the other hand has lakes if not seas of liquid hydrocarbons, any life there would be a separate genesis from Earth life by definition.

Carbon based life found on Titan would be of immense importance and suggest life is very nearly everywhere. Silane based life found on Titan would be even more meaningful for the idea of life being widespread.

http://astrowright.wordpress.com/2010/0 ... get-titan/

http://www.daviddarling.info/encycloped ... Titan.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silabenzene

The last link suggests some of the complex chemistry of silanes.

Boron chemistry is if anything even more complex than carbon chemistry but I am not sure about the temperatures at which it would be stable.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypothetic ... ochemistry

Quote:
Boron's chemistry is possibly even more variable than that of carbon,[citation needed] since it has the ability to form polyhedral clusters and three-center two-electron bonds. Boranes are dangerously explosive in Earth's atmosphere, but would be more stable in a reducing environment. However, boron's low cosmic abundance makes it less likely as a base for life than carbon


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organoboron

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypothetic ... ochemistry

Quote:
Various metals, together with oxygen, can form very complex and thermally stable structures rivaling those of organic compounds;[citation needed] the heteropoly acids are one such family. Some metal oxides are also similar to carbon in their ability to form both nanotube structures and diamond-like crystals (such as cubic zirconia). Titanium, aluminium, magnesium, and iron are all more abundant in the Earth's crust than carbon. Metal-oxide-based life could therefore be a possibility under certain conditions, including those (such as high temperatures) at which carbon-based life would be unlikely. The Cronin group at Glasgow university has created lifelike cells based on tungsten polyoxometalates.[13]
Sulfur is also able to form long-chain molecules, but suffers from the same high-reactivity problems as phosphorus and silanes. The biological use of sulfur as an alternative to carbon is purely hypothetical, especially because sulfur usually forms only linear chains rather than branched ones. (The biological use of sulfur as an electron acceptor is widespread and can be traced back 3.5 billion years on Earth, thus predating the use of molecular oxygen.[14] Sulfur-reducing bacteria can utilize elemental sulfur instead of oxygen, reducing sulfur to hydrogen sulfide.)


My point is that the less like Earth life any life we find happens to be would be a signal that life is wide spread in the universe...


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Moontanman
Post  Post subject: Re: hydrocarbon lakes on Titan  |  Posted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 7:38 pm
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Anyone want to discuss this topic? Just bumping it back up..


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: hydrocarbon lakes on Titan  |  Posted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:01 am
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The tough part for me is the lack of fresh information or insights. We are left to mull over fairly limited and rather technologically dated data. I'd wager money that life exists in some form or fashion on Titan. I'm not confident, however, that this question will be answered empirically within my lifetime.

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Moontanman
Post  Post subject: Re: hydrocarbon lakes on Titan  |  Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:29 am
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iNow wrote:
The tough part for me is the lack of fresh information or insights. We are left to mull over fairly limited and rather technologically dated data. I'd wager money that life exists in some form or fashion on Titan. I'm not confident, however, that this question will be answered empirically within my lifetime.


I can think of some interesting experiments that could be made on Earth just to see if some of these chemistrys result in rising complexity when exposed to the various conditions on Titan. It would require some expertise in handling liquefied gases at low temps and high pressures. Kinda like a silane or hydrocarbon analogy of the http://people.chem.duke.edu/~jds/cruise ... iller.html


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Moontanman
Post  Post subject: Re: hydrocarbon lakes on Titan  |  Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:44 am
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Talk given by Dr. Chris McKay (NASA Ames Research Center)

Saturn's Moon Titan: A World with Rivers,Lakes, and Possibly Even Life

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbkTJeHoOKY

Kinda long but interesting...


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Moontanman
Post  Post subject: Re: hydrocarbon lakes on Titan  |  Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:39 am
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An e-book that contains some interesting source material...

http://books.google.com/books?id=qdjoTG ... fe&f=false


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Moontanman
Post  Post subject: Re: hydrocarbon lakes on Titan  |  Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 11:16 pm
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More on Titan:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kG2-GqJnCXY


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