11:02 02 October 2013
Scientists claimed that they found traces of propylene, the chemical used to make Tupperware, floating in the thick orange atmosphere of Titan.
Scientists agree that Titan, Saturn’s moon, is one of the most unusual places in the solar system. It is bigger than Mercury and temperature reaches 228 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. It has the same weather as earth and it is the only moon in the solar system with clouds.
Conor Nixon, a planetary scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said that the discovery is more satisfying than surprising. He explained that scientists have been expecting to find the material since Voyager 1 gave them first close-up look at Titan’s atmosphere in 1980 where it detected propane and propyne in the planet’s atmosphere. However, propylene wasn’t detected during that time.
Just like propyne and propane, propylene is also a three-carbon gas.
"We were kind of sure it had to be there at some level," said Nixon. "It just doesn't make sense to have propyne and propane and not propylene." He added: “But now that we know for certain it is there, the next step is to find out how much of it is there and where the concentrations are the highest.”
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