In recent years it has become much more publicly known that one of Saturn’s moons known as titan has an atmosphere very similar to our own which would mean a breathable climate and conditions that could support our life. Of course I found out about this before it was made much more publicly known through the news statement of a probe being launched to see if there was any land or if it was entirely a water based planet.
How I discovered the breathable planet (although technically it is a moon as it orbits the planet Saturn) was due to not being able to complete a computer game on the amiga 500+ there was a game called battletech and I got to a stage where there was an underground map and the game gave no clues what to do whatsoever, and you were able to select and unselect planets in a solar system as the planet you were on was in danger, so I presumed you would have to map a route for finding another planet capable of supporting human life, so I went to the school library and began searching planetary books for some form of planets capable of supporting life that might have been included in the game, of course all the names of things in the game were under older names and more mythological names as the sun was known as sol and earth was terra. Either way my research there proved unhelpful, however it was when looking up planets I noticed that the elements in the air and atmosphere were very similar to our own, and although smaller it would be capable of supporting life.
With this knowledge I started talking to people around me and nobody whatsoever believed me that it was capable of supporting life as they believed if it was possible it would be much more widely known, of course in future years it did become much more widely known. However I am sure that the probe that was launched should have reached the moon by now as it was supposed to take 7 years and it would have been there by now however I have not heard anything since, did something go wrong or are they withholding the knowledge again (as its not beyond this government to hide things away for years)
This is also a reason I believe that the artificial islands we have on our planet were created for, as a test to see if we could create an island on a water based system that would survive and not erode, it would be ideal for creating land if there was none on titan in order to be able to colonise the planet/moon. What they would need to consider of course is that such a move would not match circumstances precisely, tidal forces on an entirely water based planet would be higher, and with the various gravitational forces of the sun, Saturn (which would be very strong due to its proximity) and Saturn’s other moons and rings, the islands may not naturally survive. Of course there would be a number of options for making the moon more hospitable.
Another thing that would need to be taken into account is how much sunlight the moon gets, depending on its location in orbit of Saturn much of the year it may not even get sunlight as it would be shielded by Saturn itself, and the rotation of the moon would also create varied days, some of our plant and animal life would possibly not survive in such circumstances, however as it is a system with a very similar balance of gasses in the air it is highly likely that the planet has life of its own, even if it is simply bacterial or water based, there could or could not be complex life already there, but disease could be a huge issue.
If you ignore the issues with unencountered diseases and super bacteria which would be stronger than anything on earth as we would have evolved around our own system but be completely unprepared for bacteria which evolved in another atmosphere. Then you would need to make the moon less risky with so many moons in orbit around Saturn there is a high chance of a future collision, the safest option would be to liberate the moon from Saturn’s orbit and place it into a stable orbit around the sun, and provide it with its own moon as a shield against space debris much like our existing planet has. This would then be the ideal situation for a secondary life based planet in our solar system. The calculations for doing such would be tremendous you would have to place the ideal spin and ideal moon size in order to make it retain its hospitable atmosphere. Or you could simply use a tony robinson style approach to making the planet (based on his programme catastrophes, not that he came up with the ideas but he presented the programme so Im giving him credit.) Find another moon/planet of the right size, and right density that it would break up entirely by skimming off titan whilst leaving titan generally intact but molten with some of the debris from the other planet and has its own ring creating its own moon, this would increase the size slightly, should knock it off saturn’s orbit, and into a proper special orbit of the sun. Of course this could naturally happen anyway with so many moons orbiting Saturn eventually they could collide especially as the ring of Saturn is supposed to be moons still in creation.
Going back to the series “catastrophes” it mentioned how millions of years ago asteroids hitting the earth created water on our planet which lead to oxygen, it states that the oxygen was deadly to most of the bacteria breeding on the planet, only some adapted to the oxygen based atmosphere, which means that the large amounts of bacteria which died off could have formed other forms of life possible creating more than just humans as intelligent life on our level, however the program’s view was without oxygen we would not be here, chances are the bacteria which evolved to create us would still have evolved to intelligent life levels but it would have breathed the atmosphere which the earth originally contained rather than the current oxygen based atmosphere. The fact that bacteria was breeding in a different climate also produces evidence that there is a good possibility life exists on other planets in some form, bacteria could easily evolve in the same ways it has here, perhaps slower or faster, depending on the elements available electricity may not even be possible on some planets, if it weren’t for lightening striking here we would not even have electricity. I personally believe that complex life would have evolved elsewhere in the galaxy, but the chances of them being so superior in evolution as to have space travel far beyond our capabilities is pretty low, most forms of life would probably be at an equal level as ours, their technological capabilities would depend on what discoveries they have made in their existence, and how they cooperate, is knowledge shared or hidden away etc, shared knowledge on a global level would increase the technological development speed whilst hidden knowledge would severely delay things as several people over the world may be working on the same things making the same mistakes and remaking old discoveries that weren’t made public knowledge wasting time which could be used on research and development elsewhere. It is said that we are transmitting our tv signal into space and people would pick it up, they may be able to detect the electric signals, but it would be so distorted through spacial noise and degradation (we have to have local signals for our radio waves and tv waves after x amount of distance you cant pick it up imagine that on a interstellar scale anything picked up would be worse than white noise and ignored on our own seti scale.) On top of that they have to have technology that works in the same ways as ours does, they have to have the precise decoders we have in our television sets etc, the way we presume other life would notice that you would never get noticed.
If we were really wanting to be noticed by life elsewhere in the galaxy we would have to approach things from a scientific point of view, what do we look for as signs of intelligent life elsewhere in the galaxy? We look for a persistent repeating signal which isn’t a pulsar, so would have to have some sort of varied rhythm. We presume numbers would be known throughout the universe but I believe this would not really be the case.. but some sort of repeating tune broadcast out into space (by tune I mean a signal that turns on and off in a set pattern repeating like dots and dashes on morse code like very old mobile phone ring tones) Music and noise would probably be more universally recognised as intelligent life, so if we broadcast a simple tune like chopsticks throughout the galaxy on a repeating signal from a point in space separate to our planet so as to not get lost in our special noise we transmit this would be a better signal to point out to the galaxy “we are here and we are intelligent enough to make music”, of course the signal would have to be very strong so as to reduce the degradation as it travels throughout the universe. Imagine seti searching through the stars for the noise they are searching for, rather than a repeating pulse (which would be highly unlikely from our planet just transmitting scattered noise on a large scale we would be presumed to be some electrostatic star of some kind spewing out random electrical signals) that you get a tune being played to you, undeniable proof of intelligence to come up with a tune. Heck its just popped into my head that close encounters of a third kind would be ironic, the spaceship plays a tune and communicates in music, which is quite clever as I just thought that music would be more universal, and the creators of the film must have realised this too. (again back to the issue of shared knowledge, our planet would be far better if knowledge was shared worldwide rather than kept secret, wikipedia is a great idea if only the entire world could contribute including scientific minds etc, this would then be the internet truly being put to good use as a global knowledgebase.
Back to the main issue of titan, if it was hospitable who would be chosen to go there, would it be like when the america’s were discovered, the rich took great boats to go there, and took poor people along promising them land in exchange for building the properties and community. I do believe that something along those lines would occur rather than the worlds best and brightest etc being chosen to populate the new world. I do believe that those with a desire to run their own country, those with a desire for change from our governments etc would wish to go, for the chance of creating their own community where things work out better and fairer, it truly would be the chance to start fresh and create a fantastic community from scratch and make things right. Inevitably once we have populated the moon (titan) we would have transports between earth and titan, which would lead to commercially produced superships (like ferries we use to cross the channel, but for the journey between planets, I would imagine they would dock at a spaceport orbiting each like the international space station but on a larger scale, which shuttles people between the station and the planet/moon as this would be easier than attempting to land a huge ferrycraft each journey. And from it becoming commercial many more people would be investing in the technology and research and our space travel would improve and we would have faster and more efficient spaceships which would lead elsewhere. Of course anyone who was to take the journey would have to be committed to giving up all they have here, it would be like a jump back there would be no internet, no television or radio, no supermarkets, truly fending for yourself from scratch, there wouldn’t even be electricity until some form of power generation was created on the planet, unless of course we prepared some form of fast install power generators etc. And with the journey you probably wouldn’t see anyone from this planet again, not as an initial settler, so anyone you cared about would have to go with you.
After seeing james may’s 20th centaury I noticed an invention known as the duck, basically it’s a form of energy generation which uses tidal forces, it would be ideal on a water based planet for generating energy, the tremendous upside is that beyond the point of the device which is gathering electricity it leaves perfectly calm waters, so this could be used as both a way of creating electricity and of preventing tidal erosion.