Scientists are about to announce something huge about Mars.
NASA says it will reveal "a major science finding" Monday at a news conference at 11:30 a.m. You can watch it live when it begins in the video player below or by clicking here:
NASA is remaining tight-lipped about the revelation.
Any hints? A little Googling appears to show NASA will confirm periodically flowing water on the red planet's surface.
News conference participants will be:
- Jim Green, director of planetary science at NASA Headquarters
- Michael Meyer, lead scientist for the Mars Exploration Program at NASA Headquarters
- Lujendra Ojha of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta
- Mary Beth Wilhelm of NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California and the Georgia Institute of Technology
- Alfred McEwen, principal investigator for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) at the University of Arizona in Tucson
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, according to CNN.
So why is this a big deal?
The confirmation of water on the surface of Mars would be important and would raise a host of questions, chief among them: Where is the water coming from, and what does it mean for the prospect of life, past or present?