In a post on its website, NASA has revealed that they are set to announce the solving of a ‘major mystery of Mars’. The press conference will take place on Monday at 11:30 am ET and will be broadcast live and can be streamed online.
There has been lots of speculation among the scientific community as to what the discovery is. The general consensus is that NASA will reveal the presence of liquid water somewhere on Mars, probably below the surface.
Several lines of evidence suggest the red planet once had water on its surface in the distant past including dried up riverbeds and traces of minerals associated with water on Earth.
Liquid water is key when looking for life beyond Earth and if the announcement is the presence of water then that would give scientists a good place to look for life on Mars.
Several big names will be talking at the announcement including Lujendra Ojha who, while doing research as an undergraduate put forth the idea of salty water flowing on Mars during its warmer months. His idea may now prove to be a reality.
The other speakers will be Michael Meyer, head of Mars Exploration Program, Jim Greene, NASA director of planetary science, Mary Beth Wilhelm of NASA Ames research Centre and Alfred McEwen, of the University of Arizona.
But there are other ideas as to what the announcement might be. Some are suggesting that it might be the discovery of alien life in the form of microbes. While this would be very exciting it is unlikely.