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Characteristics and Origins of Life

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Big Dumb Aliens
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Big Dumb Aliens

Credit: JD Hancock
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jdhancock/7794522402/
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Any extraterrestrial life in the solar system would likely be very small. But maybe it isn’t. Could there be big alien life somewhere in our solar system? What would it look like? How smart would it be?

Could There be Large Life in the Solar System?

A hot topic in science is the question of the existence of life elsewhere in the universe. Better still is the thought that there is large life somewhere in our solar system. There aren’t a lot of places life could live large. One really remote possibility is that large organisms could live on one of the moons of Saturn. Titan has no water and is exceptionally, extraordinarily cold. Its liquid lakes are not liquid water, but liquid ethane or methane. Why do scientists think that there might there be large life on Titan? What would this life be like?

Credit: NASA
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Saturn%27s_Rings_PIA03550.jpg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Illustration of Saturn's rings and several moons [Figure2]

Explore More

With the link below, learn more about the possibility of large life on Titan. Then answer the following questions.

  1. Why did Percival Powell think that there was intelligent life on Mars?
  2. Why do scientists think that life could be based on a liquid other than water?
  3. What evidence are scientists looking for that methane eaters live on Titan?
  4. Why might very simple life on Titan be much larger than very simple life on Earth?
  5. What type of life is scientifically plausible on Titan?

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: JD Hancock; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jdhancock/7794522402/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: NASA; Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Saturn%27s_Rings_PIA03550.jpg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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