With a phrase that leaves many speculating all kinds of theories about the possibility of life on Mars, NASA announced on its official website that this Monday, at 11 a.m. EDT, the space agency will hold a big event in Washington to “detail a major science finding from the agency’s ongoing exploration.” NASA is saying the announcement will be in regards to “a major scientific breakthrough.”
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which is responsible for the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research, has worked on Mars research for many years now. Over the years, the United States government agency has sent a series of robots to Mars, which have moved over the surface of the red planet, sending data, doing experiments and looking for elements that could lead to the conclusion that life exists (even in microbial form).
Although many people are undoubtedly hoping that the Mars announcement will be that researchers have discovered life on the Red Planet — which would be a sensational discovery — CNN believes the announcement will simply be a confirmation of periodically flowing water on the planet’s surface. If this is the case, this find would raise significant questions and would be a strong indication of extraterrestrial life, which means that we are not alone and that life could be much more common in the universe than we could even imagine.
And although it’s not the first time that NASA has planned a major announcement, it is probable that the discovery will be relevant to everything NASA has already told us about Mars. In a past conference, NASA scientists presented Kepler-452b, the most Earth-like planet found to date outside our solar system.
“On the 20th anniversary year of the discovery that proved other suns host planets, the Kepler exoplanet explorer has discovered a planet and star which most closely resemble the Earth and our Sun,” said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at the agency’s headquarters in Washington. “This exciting result brings us one step closer to finding an Earth 2.0.”
It is likely that Monday’s announcement will not be that NASA has found life on Mars, but it is possible that the information that will be presented will give us a better understanding of the planet. So we’ll see what NASA has to say and what implications all this new information will have.
The event will be broadcast live on NASA through its television channel and website. You can also participate with the hashtag “AskNASA in a short program that will stream on the site.
[Image via NASA/Getty Images News]