The methane seas on Saturn’s moon Titan may host alien life, according to scientists, who have discovered the first indisputable proof of the presence of a molecule called acrylonitrile on Titan. This molecule may hold key to exotic life on the methane-based, oxygen-free moon of Saturn.
With this discovery, scientists have moved a step closer to finding alien life, researchers at Cornell University in the US said.
“Researchers definitively discovered the molecule, vinyl cyanide (acrylonitrile), that is our best candidate for a ‘protocell’ that might be stable and flexible in liquid methane,” said astronomer Jonathan Lunine from Cornell.
This discovery is a step forward in understanding whether Saturn moon Titan’s methane seas might host alien life, said Lunine.
“Saturn’s moon, Enceladus is the place to search for life like us, life that depends on – and exists in – liquid water. Titan, on the other hand, is the place to go to seek the outer limits of life – can some exotic type of life begin and evolve in a truly alien environment, that of liquid methane?” he said.
Paulette Clancy, chemical and biological engineer at Cornell, said this confirmation suggests that collaboration between computational approaches and mining of the experimental data in the future can lead to breakthroughs in understanding worlds alien to our own.