An interesting structure was recently spotted in the ice of Antarctica, leading UFO enthusiasts to speculate that it might be extraterrestrial in nature. Google satellite images show the staircase, located deep in the wilderness of the polar region of the continent.
The theory states that aliens used the staircase as part of a landing site at some point. A member of a UFO conspiracy theory forum discovered the staircase while looking at satellite images following a debate about why high-profile personalities like former astronaut Buzz Aldrin visited Antarctica recently.
When news breaks of an upcoming NASA announcement regarding Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons, some hope that announcement has to do with alien life. This is especially true when the space agency says the information surrounds new images captured on the icy moon. However, NASA proactively squashed those rumors, directly stating in a tweet, “Spoiler alert: NOT aliens.”
The images, in fact, captured water vapor rising up from Europa’s surface. The vapor erupted from the surface, rising 125 miles into the air before dropping back down to the surface. NASA recently released the images, which were taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.
Following up on data collected by the Kepler Space Telescope to find exoplanets hosting alien life, astronomers at the SETI Institute are using the Allen Telescope Array (ATA) to observe planets around Trappist 1, a star that's just 40 light years away from Earth.
In the past, SETI has attempted to discover life by focusing its attention on systems with known planets. Because of the detailed working of the Kepler Telescope, however, some of these have been at distances ranging from 500 to 1,500 light years. When SETI researchers attempted to use the ATA to detect radio wave transmissions from one of these planets, it was determined that the distance was too great for radio waves to be detected -- and any that might have existed simply were too weak by the time they reached the ATA.
The relatively much closer proximity of Trappist 1 "offers a more-than-thousand-fold improvement in sensitivity to any transmissions," writes SETI astronomer Seth Shostak.