Sunday, March 06, 2005

300: "Methanothermal" systems on Titan?

Titan's Atmosphere Comes from Ammonia, Huygens Data Say | Science Blog:

Cassini radar spotted a crater the size of Iowa when it flew within 1,577 kilometers (980 miles) of Titan on Tuesday, Feb. 15. "It's exciting to see a remnant of an impact basin," said Lunine, who discussed more new radar results that NASA released at an AAAS news briefing today. "Big impact craters on Earth are nice places for getting hydrothermal systems. Maybe Titan has a kind of analogous 'methanothermal' system," he said.
Hydrothermal systems play an important role in theories of the origin of life. Could those "methanothermal" systems play the same role on Titan? We don't know yet.