In 2005 I wrote an article about Titan, based on my regular observations at that time the results of the mission of NASA "Cassini-Huygens mission." The final part of the work was devoted to the possibility of existence of life on Titan. In this article I came to the conclusion that life on Titan is possible if its inhabitants consist of liquid methane or ethane and substance (solid or gel form), capable of withstanding temperatures of the order of - 180 degrees C. Later Christopher McKay of NASA's Ames Research Center, Heather Smith of the International Space University in Strasbourg, Dirk Schulze-Makuha from Washington State University, David Grinspoon of Denver Museum of Nature and some other researchers have confirmed the assumptions made by me. They believe that the presence of life on Titan can be confirmed by large amounts of methane in Titan's atmosphere. If there were no sources of its replenishment, then all methane would be destroyed by sunlight for 10-20 million years, and this has not happened. Prospective sources of methane may be occurring there volcanic activity (at least one active volcano is known on Titan) and the existing there life. The possibility of life on Titan as if is confirmed by the decrease in the hydrogen content in the lower part of its atmosphere. According to Christopher McKay, this is due to the fact that it is consumed by living organisms.
In this topic I want to touch upon some other aspect of the problem of the existence of life on Titan, which I left aside in 2005 because of lack of data. Does not exist on the surface and in the atmosphere of Titan organisms like earth ones? Judge yourselves, relief of Titan is remarkably similar to Earth's reliefs - there are seas, rivers, mountains, deserts, active volcanoes on Titan. Its 400 - km atmosphere, 4 times exceeding in mass earthly atmosphere, consists of nitrogen (95-98%) and methane (1,6-5%) (it has also ethane, and small amounts of propane, ammonia, acetylene, water vapor, etc.).
Earth atmosphere contains 0.038% of carbon dioxide and 0.00017% of methane. Both of these gases are greenhouse ones; carbon dioxide raises the temperature at the surface of Earth approximately by 35 degrees C. Methane is considered to be about 20 times more efficient (strong) greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. It is easy to calculate what would be the temperature at the Earth surface, if it has the same amount of methane and carbon dioxide (200 times more methane than now). Conditions on our planet would be about the same as on Venus. But Titan contains 100-200 times more methane.
Of course, significantly weakened solar radiation flux (approximately 90 times less than the Earth) reaches this planet and it is difficult to calculate supposed greenhouse effect (it is rather a matter for astronomers and climatologists). But, nevertheless, there are good reasons to assume that the temperature on the surface of Titan is much higher than those measured by Huygens - 179 degrees. C (according to the rough estimates, it may be in the range 0 to + 100 degrees C). And if so, it begs another assumption - could not there be rivers and seas of liquid water that are so similar to Earth.
Frankly, I often thought about this when collecting material on Titan. I burrowed in piles of NASA’s reports hoping to "catch" at least some information about the temperature at Titan's surface , or the temperature of Titan's atmosphere. But in vain - in the reports was not a word on the subject. And then I began to arise doubts, is not a trickery it all (what if it is a fraud). Then I somewhere (I can’t remember where) met the information that Huygens measured the temperature on the surface of - 179 degrees C. And all, other digits in NASA’ reports I haven’t found, although I studied them carefully.
Maybe in the case of Titan, the situation was the same as on the Moon? When American astronauts have met another form of life and NASA classified it. We are accustomed to the fact that one can expect anything from NASA. If Americans suddenly discovered on another planet conditions similar to Earth, they could hide information about it and as if in passing prescribe in summary reports temperature -179 degrees C, measured by radio telescopes on Earth many years ago.
By the way, oddities with a temperature of Titan noticed and many other researchers. They even introduced the notion of anti-greenhouse effect (the atmosphere absorbs 90% of the solar radiation and transmits infrared radiation) which present only on Titan, and lowers the temperature on the surface of Titan. And it is created, paradoxically, by the same methane, although in aerosol form.
It is strange.
And here is an excerpt from the site "Skiam.ru" (page no longer exists), which once caught my eye: “Methane plays a major role in maintaining a dense nitrogen atmosphere of Titan and is a source of hydrocarbon mist which absorbs infrared radiation from the sun and heats the stratosphere up to approximately 100 ° C. It is also a source of hydrogen, molecular collisions of which lead to heating of the troposphere at 20 ° C. If methane someday runs dry, the temperature drops, the nitrogen gas condenses and the atmosphere becomes thinner."
Read my work "Satellite of Saturn Titan - a far twin of Earth"
© A Koltypin, 2011
I, A. Koltypin the author of these photos and text, give permission to use these for any purpose except prohibited by applicable law, on condition that our authorship and hyperlink to the site http://earthbeforeflood.com is given