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Saturn’s moon Titan may have ideal conditions to support alien life, astronomers find

Saturn’s moon Titan may have ideal conditions to support alien life, astronomers find

A MOON of Saturn may have the ideal conditions to support alien life, evidence suggests.Titan, the planet’s largest satellite, has a rare molecule wit

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A MOON of Saturn may have the ideal conditions to support alien life, evidence suggests.

Titan, the planet’s largest satellite, has a rare molecule with a similar chemical structure to DNA in its atmosphere, astronomers say.

View of Saturn and its moon Titan from Nasa's Cassini spacecraft

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View of Saturn and its moon Titan from Nasa’s Cassini spacecraftCredit: AFP

The finding suggests a salty ocean beneath Titan’s icy crust may ­contain further building blocks of life, potentially making it a paradise for fledgling ETs.

Rosaly Lopes, a Nasa research scientist, said: “We’re trying to figure out if Titan is habitable.”

The experts say the types of molecules that may sit on Titan’s surface could be the same ones that formed the building blocks of life on Earth billions of years ago.

Back then, when methane filled Earth’s air instead of oxygen, conditions could have been similar to those on Titan today, scientists suspect.

Titan has a rare molecule with a similar chemical structure to DNA in its atmosphere

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Titan has a rare molecule with a similar chemical structure to DNA in its atmosphereCredit: PA:Press Association

Researchers using a radio telescope observatory in northern Chile found the highly unusual cyclopropenylidene molecule, which has a similar ‘closed-loop’ shape to structures found in DNA. Details of the discovery have been published in The Astronomical Journal.

Nasa has previously announced that it intends to launch a probe in 2027 called Dragonfly, which will examine Titan up close for any ingredients that are required for life.

Nasa announces its latest mission called Dragonfly, which will explore Saturn’s largest moon, Titan

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This post first appeared on Thesun.co.uk

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