NASA has listed a number of experts who will speak at their “major science finding” tomorrow, giving a clue as to what may have been discovered on Mars.
While many are hoping the conference will confirm we are not alone in the universe, the strongest evidence hints the space agency has discovered water flowing on the Red Planet.
This belief stems from the panel selection NASA has advised will be in attendance for the groundbreaking announcement.
As expected, the space agency has rolled out its top authorities for the conference. Jim Green, Director of Planetary Science at NASA and Michael Meyer, lead scientist for the Mars Exploration Program will be key speakers.
All of the other guests are lesser known researchers from American universities, but their specialities allude to topic of the conference.
The inclusion of Ph.D. candidate in planetary science at Georgia Tech, Lujendra Ojha, holds particular merit as he was responsible for the discovery of possible flowing salt water on Mars back in 2011.
According to a CNN report, the then 21-year-old was studying at the University of Arizona when he used a computer algorithm to remove visual distortions from images of Mars obtained by satellite.
While Mr Ojha was comparing changes to the planet over time, he accidentally discovered irregular streaks appearing and disappearing on the surface of Mars.
“When I first saw them, I had no idea what it was. I just thought it was a streak made by dust or something similar,” he told CNN.
After months of research, Mr Ojha concluded the streaks were likely dried salts left by salt water running on the surface of Mars during the warmer months.
Planetary geologist at the University of Arizona, Matthew Chojnacki, agrees with the theory of seasonal water flows on Mars.
Writing on a blog post, he described the streaks Mr Ojha was referring to as “narrow, dark-toned streaks that descend steep Martian slopes, beginning in higher-lying rocky outcrops”.
“We have watched them grow, fade, and reappear every year by taking repeated orbital images,” he wrote.
“They grow fast, over timescales as brief as a week. Their seasonal behaviour and preference for warm equator-facing slopes suggests that something volatile, like briny water, could be involved.”
Mr Chojnacki said a similar phenomenon occurred in Antarctica during the warmest summer months when “water tracks” form from salty brines on steep slopes.
Author of the UFO Investigation Manual Nigel Watson said he was hopeful NASA would announce the discovery of life on Mars.
“For the more conspiracy minded they might wonder if NASA will announce that one of the many artefacts or structures seen in pictures sent back to Earth is real, or that they have found some form of alien base,” he told Journal Telegraph.
“That would be a massive intellectual and philosophical bombshell for humanity to cope with, though the odds of this, to use the words of Wells, is likely to be ‘a million to one’.”
Despite wishful thinking, Mr Watson has to admit he believes the finding will be related to salt water on Mars.
“When I first heard about NASA’s forthcoming announcement I immediately wondered if they had found some form of microscopic life there,” .
“It seems more likely that they have found water on Mars, which is the next best thing as it would indicate the possibility that life has clung onto this planet or existed there in the past.”
Regardless of the findings, the conference is expected to be important given the last time NASA held an event like this it was to reveal it had discovered the Earth-like planet Kepler-452b.
The conference will be held at 4.30am AEST on Tuesday September 29 at the James Webb Auditorium at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
As part of the event, members of the public will be able to ask questions via Twitter during the briefing using #AskNASA.