Information about Titan
How could Titan become more hospitable?
Pictures of Titan
A movie of Titan's atmosphere
Site information and sources
Astrobiology is the search
for life on other worlds. As
unbelievable as that might sound, theoretically all you need for life is
organic components, (molecules with both carbon and hydrogen) an energy
source, and water. (preferably
liquid water) None of these
things are overly rare, so some scientists believe that life could
actually be very common throughout the universe.
In fact, there are several worlds inside our own solar system that
have several of these three components, and are therefore suspected of
harboring living creatures.
While life itself may be a common occurrence, multi-celled
organisms are probably not. Most
of our current astrobiological expeditions do not actually leave the
planet, instead they study extreme environments on Earth that may be
similar to those on other worlds. It
was previously believed that no life could life in areas toxic to us, or
under the pressure of the oceanís water, or in extremely hot areas, yet
on earth we have found an abundance of single celled bacteria in such
places. But while those
single celled organisms, called extremophiles, may thrive in their
environments, it is very unlikely that multi-celled organisms could evolve
It was also previously believed that the only place life could
exist was in a solar systemís habitable zone, an area around the star
that is close enough that a planet orbiting at this distance to get a good
supply of energy, but is far enough that it will not be scorched by the
star. Also, it is the distance where water can exist in a liquid
state. However, contrary to
previous belief, radiation from a star is not the only possible sufficient
source of energy. Some worlds
in the outer solar system have their own energy sources, which may be
enough to support life. The
habitable zone is the best place to look for life, but it is no longer
believed to be the only possibility.
Saturnís moon Titan, despite being far out of the habitable zone, is ranked among the most likely worlds in the
solar system to support single celled organisms.