Silicon-based and ammonia based extraterrestrial life
Silicon-based and ammonia based extraterrestrial life forms in various parts of the galaxy – Titan’s dark spot liquid methane lake stores the first surprise
All life on earth is based on carbon and water with traces of nitrogen and other elements. But scientists now are now realizing that there are other forms of life forms all over the universe especially in our galaxy.
One such life form is silicon based. Silicon-based life forms are based on the chemistries of silicon. Just as carbon can form (A colorless odorless gas used as a fuel) methane (CH4), silicon can form Silane (SiH4), and both elements can form long chains of polymers. Because of the silicon’s affinity for oxygen, the life forms based on silicon cannot breathe oxygen out. However, not all life forms need to breath out oxygen.
The other forms of life can also evolve from ammonia base. Numerous chemical reactions are possible in an ammonia solution. Ammonia is a pungent gas compounded of nitrogen and hydrogen (NH3). Liquid ammonia has some chemical similarities with water. Ammonia can dissolve most organic molecules at least as well as water does, and in addition it is capable of dissolving many elemental metals. Given this set of chemical properties it is possible that ammonia-based life forms might be possible.
Ammonia does have some problems as a basis for life. Heat of vaporization of ammonia is half that of water and surface tension three times smaller. That means the reproductive nature of the life form is less certain. However, when we find the first extraterrestrial life form we may get totally perplexed by the reproductive mechanisms of that life form.
Recently Titan the largest moon of Saturn is drawing real attention of the extraterrestrial researchers. The US-European Cassini spacecraft has imaged a dark, lake-like feature on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan. Scientists at the first glance are predicting that it is a liquid methane lake. The temperature of Titan and the general environment in Titan does not allow common wisdom to believe that there can be life forms of the nature we know exist in Titan. But it is possible and is probable that Titan’s lakes contain other types of life forms especially that of non-conventional type like silicon based and ammonia based.
According another popular theory, life in the universe could have stemmed from a single initial distribution of spores, which provide the basis for living beings to develop. If true, this theory would suggest that life in various forms might exist throughout the universe.
Another interesting theory suggests that there are advanced civilizations based on silicon based and ammonia based life forms deep below the crust of the earth. Those who have dug well below the crust of the earth and tried to hear sounds, have heard something called “sound of hell” or loud speeches and noises from below the ground. An experiment in Russian Siberia proves that theory. It is possible as we move in out technology and go deep into the core of the earth, we will find life forms way different than ours.