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|Above: An artists impression of the surface of Titan.|
Searches for alien life focus on worlds with water, but many scientists think that restricts them needlessly: In theory, under the conditions found on some worlds, water’s role in biochemistry could be taken by other liquids – and Titan, largest moon of Saturn, has huge lakes of liquid methane.
Liquid methane based biochemistry would be fundamentally different, but computer models have shown that cell-like structures could exist in it. We’ve even found chemical imbalances in Titan’s atmosphere that might be evidence of such life.
It will be decades before another mission gets to Titan, but who knows ….
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|Above: An infra red view of the lakes at Titan's North pole, courtesy of NASA.|