"Building blocks of life" found on Saturn moon

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"Building blocks of life" found on Saturn moon





NASA's Cassini space probe has found hydrocarbons — compounds that make life possible on Earth — on the surface of one of Saturn's largest known moons, according to space agency scientists.

The conclusion, based on images taken of Hyperion, is outlined in a study published in the current issue of the journal Nature.

Dale Cruikshank, a planetary scientist and the paper's lead author, said the finding doesn't mean researchers have found life, but it's "a further indication that the basic chemistry needed for life is widespread in the universe."

Hydrocarbons are the basic chemicals necessary for life, combinations of carbon and hydrogen atoms. They have been found in comets, meteorites and space dust.


It doesn't necessarily mean anything. Hydrocarbons are fairly common even in the absence of life.

3G Base Pairs

I have some expertise in this area. Building blocks of life are important, but so is the availability of water and heat. This won't cut it.


Titan could still qualify if it has any tectonic activity, which would indicate a slightly warmer core (due to frictional heat, etc) capable of providing relative 'hot spots' for life to form. But this is a rather long shot, I think.


It probably does not need much internal radioactivity due to all the tidal effects from its giant neighbor.


Titan's tidally locked, so frictional heat would be at a minimum. Alas.