NASA has slyly, or inadvertantly, let out a handful of clues that a planned news conference will reveal details of an important new finding regarding life on other planets. There have been a number of moments in the history of astrobiology where an important find has gotten us all very excited, including the discovery of isotopic profiles on a Mars rock (a meteorite) indicating a biological pathway, parallel findings on Mars, various discoveries related to water on Mars, and analysis of places like Europa and Titan, and so on. The word on the street is that this is going to be one such moment.
The press conference is scheduled for 2 p.m. EST on Thursday, Dec. 2. Speculation based on who will be present at the press conference has suggested that this is a about Mars, or Titan, or Photosynthesis, or something.
Specifically, NASA has said that they will discuss: “an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life.” To me, that could mean that something has been found on another planet or moon that is or was alive, an actual finding out there, or it could mean a new technique or model (the finding) that will unfold as a project (a mission).