Saturn’s ocean moon Titan may not be able to support life after all


Titan’s underground ocean, and similar oceans inside other icy moons in the outer solar system, may lack the organic chemistry necessary for life, according to new astrobiological research.

Titan is Saturn‘s largest moon, and the second largest moon in the entire solar system. It’s famous for being shrouded in a smog of petrochemicals and for possessing a veritable soup of organic molecules — molecules that contain carbon — on its surface. Yet, despite all this fascinating chemistry, Titan is cold. Very cold. It has surface temperatures no warmer than –179 degrees Celsius (–290 degrees Fahrenheit). And in these frigid conditions, chemical reactions for life progress very slowly.

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