Advertisement

Cosmic Biology pp 225-251 | Cite as

Petrolakes

  • Louis Neal Irwin
  • Dirk Schulze-Makuch
Chapter
Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)

Abstract

Saturn was the furthest planet from Earth in the known Solar System in 1655, and the crude telescopes available at the time revealed an enigma. At times, the planet looked like it had "handles" on either side, but at other times the handlelike bulges disappeared. Christiaan Huygens, born into a wealthy Dutch family of high status, was given an allowance by his father to do nothing but pursue his interest is mathematics, mechanics, optics, and astronomy (What a dad!). With a telescope much improved over earlier versions, he deciphered enough detail about far away Saturn to propose that the handles were actually rings encircling the planet, seen sometimes at an angle facing Earth, and at other times viewed edge-on from Earth to the point of becoming invisible.

Keywords

Solar System Liquid Hydrocarbon Impact Crater Hydrocyanic Acid Liquid Ethane 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Jenkins, L. 2008. Saturn, Dione, Rhea, and Titan. http://eltiriel.wordpress.-comGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Lunine, J. I., Yung, Y. L. and Lorenz, R. D. 1999. On the volatile inventory of Titan from isotopic abundances in nitrogen and methane. Planetary Space Sei 47: 1291-1303.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Waite, J. H., Jr., Young, D. T., Cravens, T. E., et al. 2007. The process of tholin formation in Titan's upper atmosphere. Science 316: 870-5.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Grasset, O., Sotin, C. and Deschamps, F. 2000. On the internal structure and dynamics of Titan. Planetary Space Sei 48: 617-636.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Niemann, H. B., Atreya, S. K., Bauer, S. J., et al. 2005. The abundances of constituents of Titan's atmosphere from the GCMS instrument on the Huygens probe. Nature 438: 779-84.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Tobie, G., Grasset, O., Lunine, J. L, et al. 2005. Titan's internal structure inferred from a coupled thermal-orbital model. Icarus 175: 496-502.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Shaw, A. M. 2006. Astrochemistry: From Astronomy to Astrobiology. West Sussex: John Wiley.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hörst, S. M., Vuitton, V. and Yelle, R. V. 2008. Origin of oxygen species in Titan's atmosphere, ƒ. Geophys. Res. 113: E10006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    McKay, C. P. and Smith, H. D. 2005. Possibilities for methanogenic life in liquid methane on the surface of Titan. Icarus 178: 274-276.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Schulze-Makuch, D. and Grinspoon, D. H. 2005. Biologically enhanced energy and carbon cycling on Titan? Astrobiology 5: 560-567.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    O'Brien, D. P., Lorenz, R. D. and Lunine, J. I. 2005. Numerical calculations of the longevity of impact oases on Titan. Icarus 173: 243-253.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Marcano, V., Benitez, P. and Palacios-Pru, E. 2002. Growth of a lower eukaryote in non-aromatic hydrocarbon media >= C-12 and its exobiological significance. Planet. Space Sei. 50: 693-709.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Schulze-Makuch, D., Haque, S, Resendes de Sousa Antonio, M., Ali, D., et al. 2010. Microbial life in a liquid asphalt desert. Astrobiology, in review.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Wang, H.-Q., Chen, Y.-J. and Qin, B.-Y. 2009. Degradability of n-hexadecane by Bacillus cereus DQ01 isolated from oil contaminated soil from Daqing oil field, China. Int. J. Environ. Pollution 38: 100-115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Raulin, F. and Owen, T. 2002. Organic chemistry and exobiology on Titan. Space Sei Rev 104: 377-394.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Baross, J. A., Benner, S. A., Cody, G. D., et al. 2007. The limits of organic life in planetary systems. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Louis Neal Irwin
    • 1
  • Dirk Schulze-Makuch
    • 2
  1. 1.The University of Texas at El PasoEl PasoUSA
  2. 2.Washington State UniversityPullmanUSA

Personalised recommendations