The Stuff of Life on Titan

Titan, the sixth and largest moon of the planet Saturn, is thought to be made largely of ice. Some of that ice may melt during meteor impacts or in underground processes, producing “ice volcanoes” that emit a “lava” containing ammonia mixed with water.

Could tholins formed in Titan’s atmosphere react with liquid water temporarily exposed by meteor impacts or ice volcanoes to produce potentially probiotic complex organic molecules - before the water freezes? Until this year, no one knew.

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