Monday, June 7, 2010

Extraterrestrial life? Not Based on Water?

Ars Technica, a geek news site has an article pulling a sentence out of an abstract about the chemistry on Saturn's moon Titan.  They latch onto the idea that certain chemical processes producing some weird abundances in Titan's atmosphere could be caused by a methanogenic life form.  Methanogenic here means based on methane as the solvent rather than water as the solvent.  This idea has been around for a while, and is perfectly reasonable.

Of course, the peculiar abundances could be caused by some simple chemistry and most of the scientific article discusses that simple chemistry, but why would a geek news site that thrives on far-out ideas write an entire article discussing the possibility of simple chemistry when it can talk about our new overlords from Titan?

Regardless, it's still interesting.  And I'm still wishing I was asleep instead of blogging at 7:32 Eastern Daylight Time (4:32 My Body's Standard Time), but I've got to get going to crush more young researcher's dreams of pauperdom and drive them into industry where money is easier to come by.