Quantum effects could be key to the chemistry of life on Titan

Titan and Saturn as captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft

Titan and Saturn as captured by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Quantum effects may be key to potential precursors of life on Saturn’s moon Titan. These effects become more important at lower temperatures, so they may enable chemical reactions that would otherwise be impossible on an icy moon like Titan.

Titan is the only place other than Earth where liquid oceans and lakes have been observed on the surface – the liquid in question there is ethane and methane, not water, but it is nevertheless intriguing for the possibility of life. …

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