Monday, December 15, 2008

Life on Titan?

12/2/12 - A slideshow update of my own: 

Perhaps it would be going out on a limb, but would it not be possible that Saturn’s surprisingly active moon Titan might support a unique life-form? This moon exhibits temperatures that make superconducting electrical currents a certainty, and there is an awful lot of chemistry sloshing about. Might it not be possible that some pretty stunning surprises await us?
Addendum 6/23/13 - "Antifreeze on Titan could effect its chances for life"
Addendum 06/10/12 - "NASA scientists may have discovered life on Titan" See? Told ya! :-)
Addendum 10/13/11-Another article "The hazy history of Titan's air" (
Addendum 09/25/11- Interesting article about possible life on Titan, Fertile frontiers" in Science News, (with the unlikely date of publication, Oct. 8th, 2011)
Addendum 01/06/11 - I realize that the temperatures on Titan's surface are exceedingly cold, but we have already been surprised more than once on the tenacity of life. Consider the creatures thriving around the oceanic ridge vents in temperatures above boiling on our own planet. If there is chemical movement on Titan (note the river deltas welling into Titan's mysterious oceans,) and the now observed complex molecules in it's atmosphere - combine that with temperatures that allow for super-conduction; well, I'd say there is a pretty good chance that something really exciting is happening on that surface.

Update: 12/31/2010 - Nice to find oneself on the bleeding edge. Here is an article quite some time after my musing:

And earlier still: 10/20/10
ScienceDaily (June 7, 2010) — Two new papers based on data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft scrutinize the complex chemical activity on the surface of Saturn's moon Titan. While non-biological chemistry offers one possible explanation, some scientists believe these chemical signatures bolster the argument for a primitive, exotic form of life or precursor to life on Titan's surface. According to one theory put forth by astrobiologists, the signatures fulfill two important conditions necessary for a hypothesized "methane-based life."

Friday, December 12, 2008

"Just the facts, Ma'm..." If you want a clear picture of how to go about building a space elevator, you cannot do better than visiting The Space Elevator Blog. Concise and interesting, a great resource for learning the principles of space elevator construction.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Space elevator and Dooms Day pundits

Space Elevator detractors  are such an interesting phenomenon. If you were to peruse newspapers, magazines and science periodicals from the late 1800's, you will find endless articles by the learned who ceaselessly informed the public that powered flight was impossible.
Critical discovery is inevitable and necessary. It is an inherent aspect of tackling a new, bold idea. In a way, it is evidence that the Space Elevator is coming of age.
Unfortunately, rather than just stating the possible problems that might incur in the construction a Space Elevator, the pundits inevitably infer that the hitch is insolvable, making construction impossible.
Discovering possible pitfalls is healthy. But the sweeping pronouncements that a newly discovered hurdle makes building a Space Elevator impossible is both arrogant and counterproductive.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Space Elevator Animation 1, 2, 3 & 4

My hat off to the creators of this visionary work. This series of animations gives a very credible blow-by-blow account of how to build a space elevator. Yes, the animation is somewhat crude and the ambient techno music that accompanies the documentary is dorky, but this in no way inhibits the inspirational work. I recommend you turn down the sound and play some appropriate classical music. Sit back and enjoy what will be mankind's greatest accomplishment in the 21st century.

Space elevator animation, part one:

Space elevator animation, part two:

Space elevator animation, part three:

Space elevator animation, part four: