NASA will announce a major “discovery beyond our solar system” today

NASA will hold a news conference later today in Washington DC, during which the space agency will announce a “discovery beyond our solar system”.

NASA will announce a major “discovery beyond our solar system” today

The organisation is keeping a tight lip on what the conference will entail, mentioning only that it will involve “new findings on planets that orbit stars other than our sun, known as exoplanets”.

A number of prominent researchers are being called in to speak at the briefing, including Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA headquarters; Sara Seager, professor of planetary science and physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Michael Gillön, astronomer at the University of Liège in Belgium.

Most of the speakers specialise in the study of habitable exoplanets, as well as the possibility of life existing outside of our solar system. At the very least, the international pedigree of the speakers suggests that we may be in for something special.

NASA’s findings are under embargo with the science journal Nature until the conference begins on 22 February, 1pm ET (6pm GMT). You can watch the briefing live then, via NASA TV. Scientists will also answer questions at 3pm ET (8pm GMT) on a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything).

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