The surface temperature of Titan equals 94 degrees Kelvin above absolute zero. This is around a third of Earth's. Interestingly, 94 degrees above absolute zero happened to be the temperate of the cosmic microwave background, some hundred million years after the big bang.
There are a few places in the solar system other than Earth where life could have sprung into existence. This must not necessarily be intelligent life. If there is life elsewhere in the solar system, it is likely in the form of bacteria or simple life. Other than our world, life could have thrived on Mars. Some scientists believe that life may have sprung into existence on Mars billion of years sooner than on Earth. But in addition to worlds such as the red planet, life could have sprung into existence on distant moons such as Enceladus, Europa, and Titan. This later is the largest moon circling around the planet of the rings, Saturn. And if there is life on Titan, whatever its form or shape, it could have huge implications for life elsewhere in the universe.
Life on Titan
Professor Avi Loeb revealed in an essay that the surface temperature of Titan equals 94 degrees Kelvin above absolute zero. This is around a third of our world’s. Interestingly, 94 degrees above absolute zero happened to be the temperate of the cosmic microwave background, some hundred million years after the Big Bang. Astronomers think this was when some of the first generations of stars were born. And if there is life on Titan, and we could soon find out, it can help astronomers test the possibility of life emerging in the universe billions of years ago, when some of the first stars and worlds formed.
Titan, a unique world
Titan is a unique world in our solar system. Besides Earth, this Saturnian moon is the only celestial object with rivers, lakes, and oceans on and beneath its surface. It has a cycle similar to the water cycle on Earth, which means there is rain on Titan too. However, unlike on Earth, it rains methane and ethane on Titan. Curiously the atmosphere of Titan is somewhat similar to Earth. It is primarily made of nitrogen but has an additional 5% methane. The Cassini spacecraft spent years studying Saturn and its moons. Gravity measurements of Titan revealed this moon is home to a subsurface ocean of liquid water. This ocean is fixed with salts and ammonia. This means that there are good chances some forms of life could have developed both on and beneath its surface.
Implications of Life on Titan
Whether there is life on Titan remains to be seen, and future space missions will likely find out. But if there is life on Titan, it would have huge implications. Not only because we would finally answer whether we are alone in the universe but also because it would mean life could have sprung into existence billions of years ago, and the cosmos has been teeming with life since the very first stars formed, some 100 million years after the Big Bang. Because as the very first stars formed, distant Titan-like bodies could have also formed, home to the very characteristics our own solar system’s Titan is home to.