Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Spacedaily.com Titan Article

This week's "In the Stars" column by UPI Science Writer Phil Beradeli covers the recent INMS findings from last month's T5 encounter. Sounds tame enough, except he envokes life on Titan to explain the diversity of hydrocarbon ions found by INMS. Of course, no such drastic explaination is really needed. Yes, it was surprising to find so many complex hydrocarbons that high up in the atmosphere. It is not as if these chemicals are unexpected for Titan's atmosphere, the photochemistry of Titan's haze layers (as Solar UV light breaks down methane and other hydrocarbons and these radicals then recombine into a number of combinations) would surely make quite a stew. But to invoke life is unneeded IMHO.

If that wasn't enough, the author then mentions surface features seen by Huygens and mentions that these might be artificial constructions. He mentions that of course this feature and the INMS results, can logically be explained by either natural or non-biological processes, but that is still not impossible.

Then again it is highly unlikely, but not impossible that pigs will fly and that I will be given the title of emperor of Earth.


Blogger Bruce Moomaw said...

Simon has just apologized to me for puting this Richard Hoagland-ish twaddle on "SpaceDaily", on the grounds that Berardelli is "the main editor at UPI. I run his stuff without question, as it saves me a lot of money each year. Even Nick thought it was iffy. But I let it go through.

"Gotta fill the paper everyday, and occasionally a really lightweight piece of rubbish goes through."


5/03/2005 05:02:00 PM  

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