Update for 2 pm ET: NASA's Curiosity rover has found organic molecules, the building blocks of life, in ancient rocks on Mars, and discovered that methane on the Red Planet follows a seasonal cycle. Read our full story here!
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has apparently found something intriguing on Mars, and the space agency will unveil the discovery today (June 7).
The space agency revealed few details about what will be announced today, but the "live discussion" will feature "new science results from NASA's Mars Curiosity rover," according to a NASA announcement. Why all the secrecy? "The results are embargoed by the journal Science until then," NASA wrote in the statement.
That means NASA won't release any details until the news conference, which is scheduled for 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT). You can watch the Mars announcement live on Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV. The space agency did reveal the list of scientists who will be discussing the Mars discovery. [See Curiosity's Greatest Mars Discoveries (So Far)]
According to NASA, Thursday's Mars science discussion will be hosted by Michelle Thaller, the assistant director of science for communications in the agency's Planetary Science Division. Presenters will include:
- Paul Mahaffy, director of the Solar System Exploration Division at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
- Jen Eigenbrode, a research scientist at the Goddard center.
- Chris Webster, a senior research fellow at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
- Ashwin Vasavada, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory project scientist at JPL. (Mars Science Laboratory is the full name of the Curiosity rover's $2.5 billion mission.)
NASA will webcast Thursday's Curiosity Mars rover discussion on its NASA TV channel, as well as via Facebook Live, Twitch TV, Ustream, YouTube and Twitter/Periscope. You'll be able to ask the panelists questions via social media by tagging your posts with #askNASA.
The Curiosity rover has been exploring Mars since it landed in August 2012. The rover recently began drilling into the Martian surface for the first time in 18 months. It is steadily climbing Mount Sharp, a 3-mile-high (5 kilometers) mountain in the center of a region known as Gale Crater.
Visit Space.com today for complete coverage of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity announcement. This story, originally posted Monday, June 4, has been updated with the timing of the news conference.