Organic Chemistry and Exobiology on Titan

  title={Organic Chemistry and Exobiology on Titan},
  author={F. Raulin and T. Owen},
  journal={Space Science Reviews},
Exobiology is not only the study of the origin, distribution and evolution of life in the universe, but also of structures — including at the molecular level, and processes — including organic chemical transformations — related to life. In that respect, with its dense nitrogen atmosphere, which includes a noticeable fraction of methane, and the many organic compounds which are present in the gas and aerosols phases, Titan appears to be a planetary object of prime interest for exobiology in the… Expand

Figures and Tables from this paper

Exo-Astrobiological Aspects of Europa and Titan: From Observations to Speculations
By extrapolating what we know on the origins of life on Earth, and in particular on the chemical processes which gave rise to the first living system, Europa and Titan appear as two major targets forExpand
Biologically enhanced energy and carbon cycling on Titan?
With the Cassini-Huygens Mission in orbit around Saturn, the large moon Titan, with its reducing atmosphere, rich organic chemistry, and heterogeneous surface, moves into the astrobiologicalExpand
Water, Life, and Planetary Geodynamical Evolution
Abstract In our search for life on other planets over the past decades, we have come to understand that the solid terrestrial planets provide much more than merely a substrate on which life mayExpand
Six Phases of Cosmic Chemistry
The article presents a conceptually unified, quantitative account of the development of chemical phenomena throughout the cosmic history, with a detailed discussion of the cosmological,Expand
A view of extraterrestrial soils
Summary The nature of soils on celestial bodies other than Earth is a growing area of research in planetary geology. However, disagreement over the significance of these deposits arises, in part,Expand
Viroids-First—A Model for Life on Earth, Mars and Exoplanets
This article thinks that “viruses-first” can be specified to “viroids- first” as the most likely scenario for the emergence of life on Earth, and possibly elsewhere. Expand
ALMA detection and astrobiological potential of vinyl cyanide on Titan
The first spectroscopic detection of vinyl cyanide in Titan’s atmosphere is reported using archival data from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), collected from February to May 2014. Expand
Titan's ionospheric chemistry, fullerenes, oxygen, galactic cosmic rays and the formation of exobiological molecules on and within its surfaces and lakes
Abstract We discuss the formation of aerosols within Titan's thermosphere-ionosphere and the different chemical pathways. Negative ion measurements by the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS) ElectronExpand
Organic Ices in Titan’s Stratosphere
Titan’s stratospheric ice clouds are by far the most complex of any observed in the solar system, with over a dozen organic vapors condensing out to form a suite of pure and co-condensed ices,Expand
Photoreactivity of condensed acetylene on Titan aerosols analogues
Abstract Volatile organic molecules formed by photochemistry in the upper atmosphere of Titan can undergo condensation as pure ices in the stratosphere and the troposphere as well as condense as iceExpand


Organic chemistry in the oceans of Titan
Abstract On Titan, most of the organics present in the atmosphere must condense in the lower stratosphere and be solid near the surface, except methane, ethane, propane, propene and 1-butene whichExpand
The low temperature organic chemistry of Titan's geofluid.
One consequence of the low temperatures of Titan is the possible formation of organics unstable at room temperature and very reactive, which may be detectable on future IR spectra (ISO and Cassini) of Titan. Expand
Photochemistry of the atmosphere of Titan: comparison between model and observations.
The photochemistry of simple molecules containing carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen atoms in the atmosphere of Titan has been investigated using updated chemical schemes and the authors' own estimates of a number of key rate coefficients, which satisfactorily accounts for the concentrations of minor species observed by the Voyager IRIS and UVS instruments. Expand
Organic chemistry in Titan's atmosphere: new data from laboratory simulations at low temperature.
The first detection in Titan simulation experiments of C6H2 and HC5N is reported, a few percent relative to C4H 2 and HC3N, respectively, which opens new prospects in the modeling of Titan's haze making. Expand
Chemistry and evolution of Titan's atmosphere
Abstract The chemistry and evolution of Titan's atmosphere is reviewed in the light of the scientific findings from the Voyager mission. It is argued that the present N2 atmosphere may be Titan'sExpand
New planetary atmosphere simulations: application to the organic aerosols of Titan.
A "Titan aerosol generator" was developed in the frame of the Cassini-Huygens mission, in order to produce Titan's aerosol analogues within conditions closer to those of the titanian atmosphere: cold plasma simulation system, low pressure and low temperature. Expand
Organic syntheses from CH4−N2 atmospheres: Implications for Titan
Numerous experiments have already been performed, simulating the evolution of gaseous mixtures containing CH4 when submitted to energy flux. From their results, it appears that a variety of organicExpand
Photochemical modeling of Titan's atmosphere
A new photochemical model of Titan's atmosphere which includes all the important compounds and reactions in spherical geometry from the surface to 1240 km is developed and is in a closer agreement with the abundances inferred from the Voyager infrared measurements at the equator than the Yung et al. results. Expand
The escape of molecular hydrogen and the synthesis of organic nitriles in planetary atmospheres.
Experimental results may explain extant data concerning the nature and relative abundance of organics present in the atmosphere of Titan, a planetary satellite which may be an ideal model within the authors' solar system for the study of organic cosmochemistry and exobiology. Expand
Chemistry and evolution of Titan's atmosphere
A review will be given of the scientific findings from the Voyager Flyby of Titan with emphasis on chemistry and implications on evolution. Magnetospheric electrons interact with Titan's exosphere toExpand