Aliens among us? Places NASA is exploring to find other life forms

Aliens among us? Places NASA is exploring to find other life forms
Aliens among us? Places NASA is exploring to find other life forms

There is always a question about life forms other than humans out there in the Universe. NASA aims to answer the question through several missions already launched or planning to launch. Here are some places out there that scientists are exploring or will explore for possible alien life. (NASA)

At the 2021 52nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, scientists suggested studying Earth from the perspective of another solar system to understand potential life signatures, helping in the study of exoplanets. (Photo: NASA)

Scientists conducted a massive computer simulation to explore hospitable universes for life. Surprisingly, they found that life could potentially thrive even in universes abundant with dark energy, contrary to previous beliefs. (Photo: NASA)

Intelligent beings might use our sun as a hub in a massive “internet space” to send messages. The sun’s gravity bends light, acting like a magnifying glass for signals over long distances. Scientists scanned the sun for these signals but found none, as reported in The Astronomical Journal. (Photo: NASA)

What if the debris circulating Earth wasn’t just rock, but fragments of alien tech? Scientists suggest in a recent study that objects from other star systems, dubbed “interstellar interlopers,” could get caught in Earth’s orbit, potentially containing alien-made artifacts, as per Live Science. (Photo: NASA)

Researchers are focusing their search for extraterrestrial life towards the center of the Milky Way galaxy. This is because “Aliens at the core of the our galaxy would be in a privileged position to catch our attention — they’d be able to reach a vast swath of space by fanning signals outward.”
A recent study published in The Astronomical Journal details how scientists listened for narrow-frequency pulses emanating from this region. (Photo: NASA)

In early 2023, a star in the Messier 101 galaxy was dying, catching scientists’ attention despite being 25 million light-years away. This led to speculation in a study on arXiv about searching for potentially habitable planets around the supernova, as it might be a beacon from intelligent alien life. (Photo: NASA)

In a 2023 study published in The Astrophysics Journal, scientists suggested that life might thrive in the “terminator zones” of tidally-locked planets, where the transition between day and night occurs. (Photo: NASA)

In 2021, scientists pinpointed five potential life-supporting multi-star systems, including Kepler-38. These systems, located between 2,764 and 5,933 light-years away in Lyra and Cygnus, likely host habitable worlds within their optimal temperature zones for liquid water, according to Live Science. (Photo: NASA)

Scientists used the James Webb Space Telescope to search for habitable exoplanets like those in the HD 110067 star system. Despite finding six Neptune-sized planets, recent efforts with the Green Bank Telescope detected no technosignatures indicating advanced civilizations. However, researchers remain open to the possibility of extraterrestrial life. (Photo: NASA)

Mars, once a planet resembling Earth, possessed lakes, rivers, and a warm climate. It is possible that reservoirs of liquid water still exist deep beneath its surface. These characteristics make Mars a promising candidate for harboring remnants of life, although likely in the form of microbes residing below the planet’s surface, if present at all. “The Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover, one of many missions to Mars, landed in Jezero Crater in 2021, and is analyzing rock samples from the former lakebed and other sites for potential signs of life,” stated Live Science. (Photo: NASA)

During its journey to Saturn in 2017, the Cassini spacecraft made a detour to explore Enceladus, one of the planet’s most sizable moons (left). As per Space.com, the mission yielded significant findings, including the presence of subterranean oceans containing liquid water and the detection of organic molecules.

NASA identifies Saturn’s largest moon, Titan (right), as akin to early Earth, boasting an atmosphere rich in organics. Unlike Earth, it rains methane there. Set to launch in 2026, NASA’s Dragonfly mission aims to land on Titan by 2034, gathering samples from various sites to potentially unveil concrete evidence of life. (Photos: NASA)

NASA suggests Venus might have once been Earth-like, with water and a mild climate, but a runaway greenhouse effect changed that. Still, there’s speculation that microbial life might exist there, possibly indicated by phosphine gas in its atmosphere. Davinci+ and Veritas missions, launching soon, aim to explore Venus’s atmosphere and surface to uncover more about its past and present habitability, according to Live Science. (Photo: NASA)

Io, Jupiter’s moon, has the solar system’s most volcanic activity despite its icy surface. Some scientists believe underground water ice and possibly liquid water could sustain life. However, NASA prioritized Venus missions over Io exploration in 2029.

The JUICE mission, focusing on Ganymede, Jupiter’s largest moon, will assess its potential vast saltwater ocean beneath the icy surface. This ocean, possibly larger than Earth’s combined water bodies, may harbor life, with JUICE equipped to detect evidence using during its 12 flybys.

Europa, is a prime target in the search for extraterrestrial life due to its vast saltwater ocean beneath its icy surface. NASA’s Europa Clipper mission, launching in 2024, aims to study this ocean for potential for microbial life through low-altitude fly-bys. (Photos: NASA)

Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt and often considered a dwarf planet, is approximately 1/20th the size of Pluto. NASA has found organic compounds and water on Ceres, making it an intriguing target for further study. However, its thin atmosphere and likely cold temperatures pose challenges. In 2018, students, with support from the European Space Agency, proposed a mission to collect and return samples from Ceres, but such a mission hasn’t been approved yet, according to Live Science. (Photo: NASA)

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