aliens – where will we find extraterrestrial life? Amid recent news about Europa, and the "alien megastructure star" located millions of milesaway, humankind's days of feeling alone in the universe may be over sooner than anyone believes.

Europa and our Solar System

Europa is Jupiter's fourth moon, an icy rock about 500 million miles from earth. As NASA reported last week, its Hubble Space Telescope found water ice plumes being thrown off the surface of the planet, which tends to confirm the prevailing theory of a liquid ocean covered by an icy shell. NASA is currently developing the Europa Clipper probe to explore Jupiter's moon more closely.

A 3,000-pound robotic submarine dubbed ARTEMIS will be sent down into Europa's vast ocean as a probe. Various prototypes are now being tested in the icy cold of the Antarctic Ocean. ARTEMIS will use multibeam sonars, echosounders, high-resolution cameras and a special protein fluorescence spectrometer to probe up to three miles below the surface of the ocean.

Saturn's moon Enceladus is more or less a smaller version of Europa, and also makes the list of potential candidates for alien life in our solar system, according to Dr. Penelope Boston, director of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute, and Dr. Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer at the Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) as interviewed in the Daily Caller.

Titan, Saturn's largest moon, is full of liquid methane and ethane, along with organic compounds. Some scientists have speculated that these elements could take the place of water in living organisms -- organisms that would be very different than us.

Mars recently got bumped up the list of potential hosts for aliens when geologists at the University of Aberdeen found that hydrogen-- an element lacking on Mars -- could be produced by earthquakes here on Earth.

It led them to conclude a similar process could be in play on Mars.

Proxima b, KIC 8462852 and beyond

The slight wobble of a star called Proxima Centauri -- the star closest to the Earth, aside from our own sun -- led astronomers to the discovery of what they called a "second Earth."According to NASA, the planet is located in a suitable region for liquid water and is "tidally locked" on Proxima Centauri, meaning it experiences cycles of day and night as we do on Earth.

KIC 8462852 -- the so called "alien megastructure star" located 1480 light years away -- continues to fascinate astrophysicists with a series of puzzling anomalies first discovered about a year ago.

NASA's Kepler Mission has been dubbed the "planet hunter" and has found more than 520 suitable rocky planets orbiting their own stars at a suitable distance to support life -- i.e. not too cold, and not too hot. A five-year Kepler survey found that fluctuating light patterns of KIC 8462852 were consistent with large orbiting masses that served to block out some of the star's light. Are these alien structures, such as a refueling dock for interstellar Space travel? A gigantic alien spaceship? The masses that have been observed near KIC 8462852 are not the same age as the star itself, another clue that may suggest alien intervention.

Astronomers currently put the odds that humankind is the only civilization in the universe at about one in 10 billion trillion. The question remains: if we are looking for aliens, are they looking for us?

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