"Europa is the most exciting place for the study of life."
—Rich Terrile, NASA Jet Propulsion Labratory(Astronomy, January 2008)
Europa is a moon of Jupiter that, according to recent photos taken by the Galileo probe, has liquid water oceans underneath the frozen ice that makes up its surface. The oceans are roughly the same area that Earth's oceans are, and the oceans are 60 miles deep, which may be large enough for submarine volcanoes. Because of the abundant oceans on the moon, this may mean that it supports life. However, we'll have to wait for a probe to drill through the ice and see.
Epsilon Eridani b is a proposed and unconfirmed extrasolar planet nearest to Earth, about 10 light years away. The body is 1.5 more massive than Jupiter, with a 7-year orbit around the young Sun-like star, Epsilon Eridani. If moons circle the planet, they might have temperatures similar to Earth's and possibly liquid water. However, the planet's orbit takes it so far from its star that any oceans on the moons would freeze. Life could potentially survive on such moons if they were massive enough to retain a dense heat-trapping atmosphere like Saturn's moon, Titan, said Fritz Benedict at the University of Texas.
“It is fantastic to think we are able to detect the process of terrestrial planet formation. Stay tuned — I expect lots more fireworks as the planet in HD113766 grows. —Carry Lisse ”
HD 113766 is an extrasolar planet 424 light-years from Earth, that can be viewed in Centaurus Constellation. It is considered a newly formed planet that will eventually be within the habitable zone of its star.
"We know that water vapor exists in the atmospheres of one extrasolar planet and there is good reason to believe that other extrasolar planets contain water vapor."—Travis Barman
HD 209548 b, also nicknamed Osiris, is an exoplanet that orbits the solar analog HD 209458 viewed in constellation Pegasus, some 159 light-years from the Solar System. Astronomers have detected water in the atmosphere of HD 209548 b, confirming previous theories that say water vapor should be present in the atmospheres of potential extrasolar planets.