Bizarre Alien Molecule Discovered In Titan’s Atmosphere Has Never Been Found On Any Moon Or Planet, Ever


As if Saturn's moon Titan wasn't strange enough already, scientists have discovered something even stranger in its atmosphere, and no, it isn't aliens - but it is a bit close to aliens.
An image of Saturn's moon Titan taken by the Cassini spacecraft. NASA

There is an extremely uncommon carbon-based molecule that can survive on Earth only in a laboratory due to its high reactivity. It has only ever been discovered in the vastness of space, drifting around in clouds of dust and gas where particles have been separated too widely apart to provide it with anything to react with. 

NASA scientists have discovered the elusive C3H2 molecule, or cyclopropenylidene, in Titan's atmosphere. This is the first time C3H2 has been identified in a planet's atmosphere, it is also the sort of molecule capable of forming the DNA backbone. Thus, it is not aliens, but it may be aliens.

C3H2 was discovered by researchers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, a radio telescope observatory in northern Chile (ALMA). They discovered C3H2 while filtering through the telescope's spectrum of distinctive light signatures; these revealed the chemical composition of Titan's atmosphere by the energy emitted or absorbed by its molecules.

The research article has been published in in The Astronomical Journal. You can read more this discovery here.


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