Life On Titan May Signal Early Life In The Universe

Press Release

December 4, 2022

These are images of Saturn’s moon Titan, captured by the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope’s NIRCam instrument on November 4, 2022.

The temperature of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) was equal to the surface temperature of Saturn’s moon Titan, 94K, at a redshift z=33.5, after the first galaxies formed.

Titan-like objects would have maintained this surface temperature for tens of Myr regardless of their distance from a star.

Titan has the potential for the chemistry of familiar life in its subsurface water ocean, as well as new forms of life in the rivers, lakes and seas of liquid methane and ethane on its surface. The potential future discovery of life on Titan would open the possibility that the earliest lifeforms emerged in metal-rich environments of the earliest galaxies in the universe, merely 100 Myr after the Big Bang.

Abraham Loeb (Harvard)

Comments: 4 pages, Submitted for publication in an AAS Journal
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)
Cite as: arXiv:2212.00473 [astro-ph.CO] (or arXiv:2212.00473v1 [astro-ph.CO] for this version)
Submission history
From: Avi Loeb
[v1] Thu, 1 Dec 2022 12:57:16 UTC (6 KB)

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.

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