Saturn's largest moon, Titan, passes in front of the planet and its rings in this true-color snapshot from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
Building Block for 'Vinyl Life' Found on Saturn's Moon Titan
And there’s enough of it in one large alien lake to potentially create 36 billion giant squid.
When winter comes to Titan’s poles, it brings seasonal downpours of toxic molecules that could, under the right conditions, assemble themselves into structures like the biological membranes that encase living cells on Earth.
Called vinyl cyanide, those molecules are created high in Titan’s atmosphere, and now, scientists know there’s a truckload of them tucked into the moon’s orange haze that probably rain down on its icy surface.
More than 10 billion tons of it could be floating in Ligeia Mare, the second-largest lake in the north, according to the paper published today in Science Advances.
What the compound does once it gets into Titan’s lakes, and whether it actually self-assembles, is still a mystery. But based on the molecule’s hypothesized ability to