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Titan's Earth-like Atmospheric Conditions and Its Potential for Life

As scientists continue explore other planets, moons, and space objects, we are getting to learn more about the possibilities that outer space holds.

We see evidences of remnants from the beginnings of the universe, how life could potentially develop using these precursors, and how there might be signs of life elsewhere in our solar system and beyond.

Jason Barnes, an associate professor at the University of Idaho, along with one of his students, Rajani Dhingra have written a paper on Titan and how its similarities with the Earth's hydrologic process might signal its potential for life.

"There are so many planets out in the solar system, and then there's Earth. It's special: It has a hydrologic cycle, rain and clouds. And there is nothing like Earth in the solar system," she says, "except Titan."
"We want to send a spacecraft to measure the progression," Barnes says. "When you mix organics and water in an abiotic environment, how close do you get to forming life molecules? Were there molecules that might have been precursors to life on Earth?"

The mission to send a spacecraft to Titan is called the Dragonfly mission and if it gets approved, they say it would launch in 2025 and hopefully land in 2034. Until that time, we can only wait expectantly of what the rains on Titan could mean for research on extraterrestrial life.

(Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech; Wikimedia Commons)


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