NASA has made a press release announcing a news conference "to discuss an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life." The conference is scheduled for 2 p.m. EST on December 2. In a brilliant fit of genius, NASA has not announced anything else about the conference, sending much of the net into a frenzy of speculations of what will be discussed at the conference.
While, of course, there are some pretty wild speculations as to what the discovery is, the reality of it is that it may be a big step in the scientific field, but is likely not such big news to the public in general. Bacterial evidence might be the holy grail for scientists, but, face it, most Americans are not going to care unless they are being shown little green men. At the very least, this press release has gotten many Americans interested in the occasion.
The people who will be participating in the conference tomorrow are geobiologist Pamela Conrad, biologist Steven Benner, oceanographer Felisa Wolfe-Simon, and ecologist James Elser. Based on these conference members and their recent work, blogger Jason Kottke announced, "If I had to guess at what NASA is going to reveal on Thursday, I'd say that they've discovered arsenic on Titan and maybe even detected chemical evidence of bacteria utilizing it for photosynthesis. Or something like that." That theory certainly seems spot-on as the most likely hypothesis so far.
Despite the fact that the news is likely not going to have the same wow effect that many people are imagining, it will still be interesting to see exactly what NASA's big announcement is, so don't forget to tune in at 2 p.m. tomorrow.
What do you think NASA's announcement will be? Do you plan on watching the press conference?