NASA Discovers Unexpected Molecule In Atmosphere Of Saturn’s Largest Moon Titan

Saturn's Largest Moon Titan

The US space agency NASA has spotted an unexpected molecule in the atmosphere of Saturn’s moon Titan. Scientists have claimed to discover a molecule that has never been detected in any other atmosphere. The molecule in the question is cyclopropenylidene. Its chemical formula is C3H2. NASA said that many chemists have never heard of Titan’s molecule. Scientists discovered C3H2 using a radio telescope observatory. They used the observatory located in northern Chile. It is known as ALMA. NASA scientists said that the molecule is made of carbon and hydrogen. They were able to spot it through a spectrum of unique light signatures.

Scientists said that they have found C3H2 in the galaxy. But spotting C3H2 in an atmosphere of a celestial body is something that has never been established. C3H2 can react easily with other molecules and form different species. C3H2 molecules have been so far found in clouds of gas and dust. These gas and dust are found in the regions that are too cold. Its molecules float between star systems. Its molecules diffuse and result in many chemical reactions. Titan has a very dense atmosphere and hives of chemical activity. This is why scientists have time and again shown interest in exploring Titan. NASA is even planning a robotic mission to Titan.

Saturn has as many as 62 natural satellites of which Titan is the largest. NASA’s Dragonfly mission will explore Titan’s diverse environments. It is proposed to take off in 2027. Scientists said that they have spotted small amounts of C3H2 as they were looking in the upper layers of the atmosphere. They are clueless about why C3H2 shows up in the atmosphere of Titan. Titan is unique in many terms. Its atmosphere is four times denser than the atmosphere of Earth. Its atmosphere is made mostly of nitrogen just like Earth. Earth’s atmosphere contains approximately 78 percent nitrogen. Titan hosts even a subsurface ocean that has salty water. Scientists said that they are not working to figure out if Titan is habitable.