Titan

You have probably heard or read about the lakes on Titan and thought perhaps Titan also might harbor life. Lakes on Titan are not water lakes, but rather liquid methane and ethane. Titan’s surface temperature is about -290F (-178C) and any water would be frozen solid.

Radar Image of Titan's Ethane / Methane Lakes
Click Image For Nasa Article

Titan’s atmosphere also hints at something that might be hospitable to life in that like earth, it is about 90% nitrogen plus about 10% hydrocarbon compounds. Titan has an atmospheric pressure of 1.6 bar (60% greater than Earth’s). But there again the temperatures are far too cold for liquid water to exist.

There is an article in the Christian Science Monitor that posits the possibility of life with methane serving as the solvent rather than water. If such life existed, I would expect it’s functioning to be very slow given the temperatures involved but I suppose not entirely impossible.

We used to think it impossible for life to exist above the boiling point of water, but now we know there is a whole class of life that we’ve come to call thermophiles that exist near the black smoker mid-ocean rift vents that thrives in temperatures above the point of water at the surface (the great pressure at the depths involved prevent water from boiling at those temperatures).

So who really knows for sure. We really don’t know just how adaptable life actually is.

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