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NASA's Europa Announcement Definitely 'NOT About Aliens'

Sep 23, 2016 04:43 AM EDT
NASA Discusses Research Seeking Habitable Worlds Among The Stars
NASA made it very clear that Monday's press conference about Jupiter's moon Europa has nothing to do with aliens.
(Photo : Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Are we alone in the universe? NASA is not yet ready to answer that as the agency recently denied that the press conference concerning Jupiter's moon Europa, scheduled on Monday, Sept. 26, is "not about aliens."

NASA announced in a media advisory that it would be conducting a press conference regarding Jupiter's icy moon Europa. Europa is believed to hold huge oceans underneath its surface. If there are indeed liquid water on the satellite, then the possibility of finding some sort of microorganism or any other life-form is viable.

In the advisory, NASA said it will conduct a teleconference announcing the findings of NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope about the Jovian moon, Europa. The astronomers that will discuss the "surprising findings are Paul Hertz, director of the Astrophysics Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington, William Sparks, astronomer with the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Britney Schmidt, assistant professor at the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and Jennifer Wiseman, senior Hubble project scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland; a full house of experts that can only mean that the agency is dropping something big. But not as big as extra-terrestrials.

Many speculated that NASA may finally announce that experts had already found alien life forms in Europa, the moon, being one of the top candidates in the search for alien life together with Saturn's moon, Titan. But NASA dissipated the fire before it can go out of hand and said they will be talking about "surprising findings of Europa but it won't include any news about extra-terrestrials.

"Monday, we'll announce new findings from Jupiter's moon Europa. Spoiler alert: NOT aliens," a NASA official said in a Tweet.

The agency made it pretty clear that no aliens were discovered just to set things straight, also not to disappoint alien hunters and conspiracy theorists who would be anticipating the press conference as eagerly as scientists around the world.

But, what NASA will reveal may be directly related to what everyone is keen to know about. NASA might announce the confirmation of "subsurface" oceans in Europa. Some are also asking if the moon contains more water than the Earth, and the astronomers may give light to that during the press conference.

With NASA saying that there would be no discussions about aliens in Europa, what could then be surprising about the moon? The list of potential discoveries goes on but no one can know for sure until the agency dropped the bomb on Monday. NASA will stream the teleconference live through the NASA Live Channel.


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