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Cassini has detected organic material on Titan:

A close flyby of Saturn’s big moon Titan by the international Cassini spacecraft revealed an upper atmosphere brimming with complex organic material, a finding that could hold clues to how life arose on Earth, scientists said.

Cassini flew within 638 miles of Titan’s frozen surface on April 16 and discovered a hydrocarbon-laced upper atmosphere.

Titan’s atmosphere is mainly made up of nitrogen and methane, the simplest type of hydrocarbon. But scientists were surprised to find complex organic material in the latest flyby. Because Titan is extremely cold – about minus 290 degrees – scientists expected the organic material to condense and rain down to the surface.

Alas, this sort of thing doesn’t get widely reported as it isn’t as interesting as the latest Michael Jackson tidbits (also known as the point where the news is turned off having completed its mission for the evening).

Written by martinipundit

April 27, 2005 at 6:56 pm

Posted in General

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