NASA has plans to reveal its findings on astrobiology or the evidence of extraterrestrial life. A geobiologist, an oceanographer, an exobiologist and an ecologist will brief the media.
Geobiologist Pamela Conrad writes on geology and life on Mars, Oceanographer Felisa Wolfe-Simon has written on photosynthesis using arsenic recently, biologist Steven Benner is a member of the Titan Team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, ecologist James Elser is part of a NASA-funded astrobiology program called Follow the Elements.
Curious blogging is going around speculating whether NASA really found some evidence of extra-terrestrial life to build such hype ahead of a press conference.
Kottke.org says the revelations may focus on one of Saturn's moons, but not Rhea. So, 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 (by following the elements). Or something like that, said Jason Kottke, in a posting on the website.
But Alexis Madrigal, science editor at The Atlantic, disagrees. I'm sad to quell some of the @kottke-induced excitement about possible extraterrestrial life. I've seen the Science paper. It's not that. he said.
Phil Plait, another scientist suggests that NASA may merely list the conditions suitable for life to exist on these planets. Of course, the speculation is that NASA will announce the discovery for life. Maybe. I can't rule that out, but it seems really unlikely; I don't think they would announce it in this way. It would've been under tighter wraps, or one thing. It's more likely they've found a new way life can exist and that evidence for these conditions exists on other worlds. But without more info, I won't speculate any farther than that, he wrote on his Discover magazine blog.
NASA's 50-year study of possible signs of life has come at a time when its entire history of missions is being questioned with the radical findings of British-born journalist Nick Redfern, whose latest book NASA Conspiracies even questioned the space agency's accomplishments such as the Apollo moon landings, explanation of the face on Mars and UFOs.
Is NASA engaged in a cosmic conspiracy to conceal the truth, or is the huge face (on Mars) simply a trick of the light? he says.