The Methane Habitable Zone

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The Methane Habitable Zone Empty The Methane Habitable Zone

Post by Galzi on 29th November 2012, 4:41 pm

Are we being too narrow minded in assuming that Habitable Zones are possible only where water is available in the liquid form?

Although still more an idea than a theory, methanogens life cannot be discarded out of hand.
Titan is assumed as the template for methane-based habitats, like Earth is the template for water-based worlds. The possibilities and the troubles of the concept are summed up by the paragraph:

Jonathan Lunine of the University of Arizona has speculated that there are many more exo-Titans than exo-Earths out there. If Chris McKay is right about methane-based life, such habitats could vastly outnumber planets with water-based life. The trouble is, the cold temperatures in which liquid methane exists would result in life forms with very slow metabolisms. Life would be sluggish. Is there any way it could be warmed up?

I'm not a strong supporter of the thesis, but it's quite interesting to assess non Earth-like life possibilities.

Planetary Embryo
Planetary Embryo

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