Aside from the Allen Telescope Array (ATA), another way of determining if there really is some sort of extra terrestrial life in the Universe would a more comprehensive exploration of the planet MARS, & of Jupiter’s moon, EUROPA.
Where there’s water, there’s likely to be LIFE. Mars & Europa are basically the only other worlds out there aside from Earth that are thought to have some form of water on or below its surface.
2 of Jupiter’s moons, Titan & Triton, also seems to have water, but frozen in ice. Scientist are less sure of the presence of liquid water on these moons, so planned future explorations are geared to also try to confirm this.
Over the years, as exploration of Mars continues, Scientists are getting more & more evidence that water once did exist on that planet. The latest findings that seem to support that are the presence of ridges or surface features that could only be likely formed thru the action of flowing water: Spacecraft Finds Evidence of Underground Fluids on Mars – February 15th, 2007
Does water still exist up to now on Mars, somewhere in its underground chambers? That one very tantalizing question to answer. If they find water underground during actual exploration, there is a very good chance that they will find some form of life there.
Scientists have known for decades about the presence of water on that moon, but the problem is that it is a bit too far away from us, certainly much farther than Mars. This means it will take longer for us to be able to explore it.
What is more exciting about Europa, though, is that, unlike Mars, where there is no trace of any body of water on its surface, Europa has a lot of it on its surface, albeit underneath a thick layer of ice.
Scientist even estimate that there is more water in Europa than there is on Earth. And again, the presence of water should mean a pretty good chance that some form of life exists there.
Here is one of the latest articles I found on the web about Europa: NASA’s Next Probe Should Visit Europa
‘Are We Alone?’
With the continued exploration of these 2 heavenly bodies in our solar system, I am almost sure, that within the next century or so, we will be able to confirm or not the existence of extra terestrial life in the Universe.
If we DO find life on any of these 2 planets, it won’t matter what form it will take, whether it will be in the form of an Algae, or, perhaps even some form of plant or animal. The existince of ANY form of life outside of Earth will confirm that life, is, indeed common in the Universe. If life can exists on at least 3 heavenly bodies here in our Solar System, how much more on others out there?
If we DON’T find life on the waters of these 2 bodies, then that will be big blow to our expectations of life in the Universe. Not necessarily a death blow to those believing that Aliens do exist, but a pretty big blow, nonetheless. If life could not be found on planets or moons w/ water, then how much more so on more less hospitable places?
It will reinforce strongly the theory that life on Earth is UNIQUE, & that we really may be alone in the infinitely vast stretches of the Universe.