Molecule found in Titan’s atmosphere may form cell-like membranes

From ABC News in Science, 29 July 2017

A compound that may form cell wall-like structures has been detected in the dense atmosphere of Saturn’s moon Titan.

The discovery, reported today in Science Advances, was made using the highly sensitive Atacama Large Millimeter Array radio telescope in Chile.

Saturn’s largest moon has long been considered an ideal candidate for organic life elsewhere in our galaxy, said the study’s lead author, Maureen Palmer from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

“In some ways Titan is sort of Earth-like,” Ms Palmer said.

The moon’s atmosphere is around 95 per cent nitrogen, and there are lakes and seas on its surface. But unlike Earth, these lakes and seas contain liquid methane rather than water. Read more.

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