From the first expedition to the Moon to hoping to live on Mars one day, humans have wondered time and again if we are the only living beings in the universe. Even though we haven’t been able to find any evidence of life on other planets, it really seems too good to be true that we are the only ones in the whole galaxy.
Not to mention, there have been many alien sighting claims by a number of people around the world. There are people who have claimed to have been abducted by aliens and even been brainwashed. But again, these stories sound too movie-like to be true.
While that may be a rather subjective opinion, scientists are now sending satellites and rovers to investigate the different moons and planets around Earth to find traces of elements that are required to sustain human life like water, oxygen, and carbon. And they have been successful in finding these elements in a number of places in space, even though there has been no sign of intelligent life. However, many scientists have detected microbe growth on certain planets and moons, which could eventually lead to an intelligent life form. Of course, that could take thousands of years.
In this article, we have compiled together the list of places in space where we could probably find aliens:
The largest moon of Saturn, which is the sixth planet in our solar system, Titan has all the elements which would be typically needed to sustain life. But the only catch here is that the elements aren’t in the same form as we have on Earth.
For instance, instead of liquid water which we require daily for survival, Titan has water in solid form. Titan actually has hydrocarbons flowing in liquid form. On the Earth, hydrocarbons are essentially in gas forms like methane and propane.
14. KIC 8462852 (Tabby’s Star)
First of all, KIC 8462852 has been named Tabby’s Star after the astronomer Tabetha Boyajian who discovered the star, and its very weird behavior. Apparently, the star dims at extreme rates for long periods of time. Usually, a star dims when it’s eclipsed by another planet, but such long periods of dimming are extremely unusual.
When a star loses its energy, it dims. One explanation for this dimming is that there is an alien megastructure which is using energy from this star to operate. Yes, it is a far-fetched theory, but it is still a theory.
13. Proxima B
This planet has been happily coined as the second Earth by scientists because it is similar to our planet in terms of its location and size category. The planet also has a gravitational force towards star Proxima Centauri.
Since Proxima Centauri is almost seven times smaller than the sun, Proxima B is just at the right position near it to have liquid water on its surface. But again, it’s just speculation. The planet is so far away from us that there is no way to directly know the kind of atmosphere Proxima B really has.
Another of Saturn’s moons, Enceladus is different, unique and definitely hopeful. And that is because this moon actually has water, in the liquid form. Then why haven’t we been able to detect life on Enceladus? Well, that is because the water is underneath the crust, making it difficult to detect.
In fact, astronomers had only speculated about the existence of water when they found little evidence back in 2015. But it was only the Cassini spacecraft in 2017 which was able to detect hydrogen molecules on the moon.
Another one of Jupiter’s moons, scientists think Europa could have life on it because it has all the basic elements which are necessary to sustain life, like energy sources, chemicals and most importantly, water.
However, water is believed to be underneath the surface of the moon and not over it. While these are just theories, scientists are gearing up to confirm their theory by initiating the Europa Clipper mission. So, a spacecraft will be sent to Europa, and over the next couple of years it will take pictures of Europa’s surface and try to search for any signs of life on the moon.
Closest to the Earth, Mars was one of the first planets which was expected to have life on it. In fact, take any sci-fi movie with aliens in it, chances are the aliens came from Mars. While the Mars Rover and several other expeditions have proven that there aren’t any human-like figures on the red planet or intelligent alien species, scientists still believe that there could be microscopic life on the planet.
Ganymede is also one of Jupiter’s many moons which scientists believe could have life on it because there is supposedly a whole ocean beneath its surface. In fact, scientists believe that beneath Ganymede’s crust, there could be more water than there is on the entire Earth.
It was by analyzing the magnetic field of the moon that the scientists were able to predict the presence of liquid water inside the crust. In fact, scientists also believe that cracks in the surface can lead to the water coming out on the main surface. But that is just speculation; we won’t know anything for sure until there is a mission exploring this interesting planet.
8. Wolf 1061c
Present in its host star’s habitable zone, Wolf 1061c is in the right position with the right warmth to be able to have a chance of alien life on it.
The planet orbits around the star Wolf 1061 in what is called as the goldilocks zone – The orbital region which is neither too hot for life to sustain on it or too cold. Wolf 1061c might be over 14 light years away from us, but scientists believe that it isn’t too far for us to do studies to find a sign of life.
7. LHS 1140b
Around 40 light years away from us is a recently discovered exoplanet, LHS 1140b, which has been coined by the scientists as ‘super-Earth.’ It orbits a star and is present in the habitable/goldilocks zone of the star, and it is assumed to have a rocky surface with an iron core, just like our Earth.
But the reason why scientists have termed it as Super Earth is that LHS 1140b is ten times the size of our Earth. Because of similar surfaces and core, scientists believe there is a chance of aliens being present on the planet. Though, because of the wide distance, all scientists can do now is send signals.
Another exoplanet, the Kepler 452b is over 1000 light-years away from the Earth. And yet, our amazing scientists have been able to not only detect it but also come to the conclusion that this planet is one of the best places to find alien life. Located in its star’s habitable zone, it is surrounded by several other companion planets.
What makes this planet all the more interesting is that the Search of Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute has its eyes set on this planet for a long time. They believe that this planet definitely has what it takes to sustain life.
A companion planet of Kepler 452b, Kepler 186f too is orbiting the same star. It’s nearly the size of the Earth and around 500 light years away from us. More importantly, Kepler 186f is also in the habitable zone of the star it’s orbiting.
Apart from the size, scientists have also theoretically concluded that the planet has the same rocky surface like the Earth. But because the planet is so far away, there is no way to determine other similarities like density, atmosphere, temperature, or the presence of water. All we have is a planet that looks a lot like Earth and might harbor life.
A whole other solar system in itself, TRAPPIST-1 was discovered just in early 2017 when it created hopes and waves among scientists to find new life. There are seven planets in the system, which are very much like Earth, and are orbiting a rather ‘cool’ star, as compared to the sun.
Since all seven planets are continuously orbiting around the star, it becomes easy to study and observe them in their transit. Three of the seven planets are more favored to have a life than others, and they are even capable of holding liquid water. Let’s hope there is a mission to TRAPPIST-1 soon so that we can finally meet our alien neighbors.
Referred to by scientists as ‘warm Neptune,’ the HAT-P-26b has similar mass as Neptune in our solar system. But it’s quoted as warm because it’s much closer to its host star and that is why has a much more habitual environment than Neptune.
The reason why this planet is so interesting for scientists is that its atmosphere mainly consists of helium and hydrogen, which is not something you find on a planet close to its host star. In fact, HAT-P-26b is so close to its host star that it only takes the planet 4.65 days to orbit around it.
2. Gliese 581g
Found in 2010, Gliese is about 20 light-years away from the sun, and it is almost three times as big as the Earth. It revolves around its host star Gliese 581, and it takes the star around 30 days to complete the orbit. But even in the last seven years we haven’t gotten much information about the planet because it’s a rather controversial planet for the astronomical community. That is because, for a planet’s discovery to be confirmed, it needs to be observed by two independent teams through two independent methods. But this planet has only been observed by one team.
While we have been looking for alien life all around the space and across multiple planetary systems, we never stopped to wonder if there could be aliens right on the Earth.
Maybe we were so busy searching for the aliens outside that we didn’t even notice that aliens have slowly infiltrated our homes. After all, there have been many alien sightings in the past and incidences which don’t seem to have any other explanation than extraterrestrial intelligence.
There are chances that while humans might have failed to find aliens, aliens have actually found us. So, the next time you see something you can’t explain, ask yourself – Could that be an alien?
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