Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Plastic People of the Solar System?

Given the grief we are getting from just about every region on planet Earth, "getting away from it all" might entail traveling a significantly great distance. One would have thought that Titan, a moon of Saturn currently be scanned by the Cassini probe. However, according to a story on BBC News, Cassini has detected what appears to be naturally-occurring propylene. This is, by no means, a rare item on earth. It is strung into long chains (polypropylene) for many of the familiar products of the plastics industry. In other words, until Cassini stuck its nose into Titan, so to speak, we though of it as a synthetic compound. Since Cassini is rich in hydrocarbons, it is not beyond the imagination that propylene would form naturally there. On the other hand, it may turn out that Titan is the home of Franz Zappa's Plastic People and that The Plastic People of the Universe may have set their sights further than necessary.

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