Nasa says it has lined up the announcement of a “major science find” for us on Monday. A press release by the US space agency titled ‘Mars Mystery Solved’ would be conducted by the Nasa’s director of planetary science and the lead scientist for the Mars exploration programme.
“Nasa will detail a major science finding from the agency’s ongoing exploration of Mars during a news briefing at 11.30am EDT (10pm IST on Monday) on Monday. The event will be broadcast live on Nasa Television and the agency’s website,” the release said.
While several people on social media platforms speculated about alien-life, US news agency CNN said it may have found a hint related to the announcement. “For those who just can’t wait, a little Googling may solve the puzzle -- and it’s not Matt Damon, little green people, or any other clear indication of life. It appears to be a confirmation of periodically flowing water on the planet’s surface,” the CNN website reported.
“Three of the scientists slated for the news conference are listed as authors of a new paper to be delivered at this week’s European Planetary Science Congress. In it, the researchers say analysis of imaging from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter proves that seasonal dark streaks on the Martian surface are the result of briny water periodically flowing across the planet’s surface,” it added.
In April, Nasa’s Curiosity Rover, which has been on the planet for three years, noted the soil was damp with liquid brine, which lowers the freezing point. In addition, there are satellite images of round pebbles on the Red Planet indicating flowing water was once there.
Science writer Kevin Kopas has said the recent evidence supports speculations by many scientists that Mars was once an Earth-like planet. The confirmation of presence of water on Mars has also been repeatedly linked to the possibility of existence of alien life-form.
For the Nasa TV downlink information and to view the news briefing, visit: www.nasa.gov/nasatv .