NASA is at it again! The US space agency is teasing the world about a major scientific discovery that could be revealed as soon as tomorrow. This time, the "planet" in question is Pluto and the news is expected to be huge. According to NASA, it will change everything -- everything -- we know about the solar system. (Blimey!) Here's what you need to know to catch the event live.
UPDATE: Annnnnnd, it turns out NASA's New Horizons Twitter page has already debunked the report:
There is a false rumor going around that there will be a BIG New Horizons science announcement tomorrow. Completely false.
— NewHorizons2015 (@NewHorizons2015) October 7, 2015
We knew there was something fishy about the lack of NASA TV scheduling. With that said, we'd be surprised if the quotes attributed to Alan Stern by The Guardian were complete fabrications. Alan Stern himself has waded in on Twitter with the cryptic statement: "News is embargoed until announced by NASA on Thursday. Nothing different this week." Time will tell, we guess.
NASA will reportedly be unveiling fresh insights about Pluto and its moon Charon this Friday based on the latest data from its New Horizons spacecraft. During a conference at the University of Alberta in Canada, lead researcher Alan Stern revealed that the news was going to be big. Did we say big? We meant BIG.
Here is precisely what Stern said that has sent ripples of excitement through the astronomy community, as reported by The Guardian:
"[Pluto] is alive. It has weather, it has hazes in the atmosphere, active geology...NASA won’t let me tell you what we're going to tell you on Thursday. It's amazing...2015 will be a year in textbooks forever."
Could NASA have finally found proof of life beyond our planet? The space agency has a pretty good track record of delivering the goods in these situations. The previous two times NASA made a teasing statement like this, it revealed the Earth-like Kepler-452b and proof of flowing water on Mars.
Unless you're hoping for the discovery of little green men, the announcement is unlikely to be anti-climactic. Make no mistake: something very exciting is in store for astronomy fans around the world.
You can watch NASA's briefing live on the space agency's streaming channel, NASA TV, embedded below:
At present, the exact timing of the announcement has not been revealed to the public. A conference will reportedly be held on Thursday EDT, which usually works out to Friday in the wee morning hours for Australians.
The lack of relevant scheduling info on the NASA TV website makes us suspect that the news might have been postponed for some reason: We'll be sure to update you as soon as more information becomes available.
In the meantime, feel free to pontificate about the possible significance of the findings in the comments!