We May Have Just Found Proof of Alien Life on Saturn's Moon Titan
For years now, scientists have been fascinated by the distant moon of Titan, which orbits the planet Saturn. We know that the moon has a lot in common with Earth, suggesting that, if we're really lucky, Titan might just contain some form of alien life.
Now, scientists have been able to confirm that Titan's rich atmosphere contains at least one chemical compound that could provide the basis of cellular life forms. NASA has revealed the presence of vinyl cyanide, which could potentially be used in the structural makeup of cells in order to create living creatures that could endure life in the moon's methane oceans.
This possibility has been speculated about for a long time now—we first caught a glimpse of what might have been vinyl cyanide thanks to data provided by the late, great Cassini space probe, but now, scientists have actually been able to confirm that a form of primordial soup exists on Titan, and that, under the right circumstances, life might be able to form and thrive even despite the harsh environment that exists on Saturn's moon.
Now, though, a researcher named Maureen Palmer, working at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, has managed to prove that vinyl cyanide is present in one of Titan's lakes in such large quantities that it will naturally get caught up in the methane cycle, raining down on the entire moon and floating in the atmosphere.
We have yet to see any actual life forms that use vinyl cyanide as a core part of their anatomy, but a team at Cornell University has recently proven that such creatures could potentially be possible, provided conditions are correct. With the right mix of ingredients swirling in the air on Titan, it's possible that life forms could eventually emerge.
This ties into recent research that has been conducted into the formation of life on our own planet. A similar mix of goo, typically referred to as the "building blocks of life," was likely present on our own planet before our earliest ancestors started to divide through mitosis.
The question, then, is what caused the initial spark of life to begin on our own world, and whether such an event might have already happened on Titan.
Some theorize that life began on our world when a meteor containing cosmic flotsam crashed down onto our world, but this isn't a universally accepted belief just yet. Until we can get a closer look at Titan, all we know for certain is that life could exist on the planet, under the right circumstances.
It's even possible that more complex life forms might already exist on the distant moon, and that we're not able to spot them because they're trapped under a thick layer of ice which shields them from our instruments. At this point, as much as we may like to think we know our way around the solar system, there's still a lot out there that we haven't yet been able to figure out.
Who knows? Perhaps if whatever meteor may have struck our planet had instead ended up somewhere else, we might now be on Titan, bathing in liquid methane and wondering if there's anything beyond the icy shell that encases our entire civilization.
It's hard to imagine exactly what might be waiting for us if we ever make our way to Saturn's moon, but one thing is certain: aliens or not, at least there's definitely Tupperware on Titan.