NASA has revealed plans to announce an ‘exciting new discovery’ about the moon today.
The space agency is hosting a teleconference at 16:00 GMT (12:00 EDT) today, where four NASA experts will announce the findings.
While NASA has remained tight-lipped about the discovery, it says that it ‘contributes to NASA’s efforts to learn about the Moon in support of deep space exploration.’
In a statement, NASA said: “This new discovery contributes to NASA’s efforts to learn about the Moon in support of deep space exploration.
“Under NASA’s Artemis program, the agency will send the first woman and next man to the lunar surface in 2024 to prepare for our next giant leap – human exploration of Mars as early as the 2030s.
“Understanding the science of the Moon also helps piece together the broader history of the inner solar system.”
The briefing will include Paul Hertz, astrophysics division director at NASA Headquarters in Washington, Jacob Bleacher, chief exploration scientist for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters, Casey Honniball, postdoctoral fellow at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre and Naseem Rangwala, project scientist for the SOFIA mission, NASA’s Ames Research Centre.
NASA says that the findings come from the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) – a modified 747 that flies high in the atmosphere.
NASA explained: “As the world’s largest airborne observatory, SOFIA is a modified 747 that flies high in the atmosphere to provide its nearly 9-foot telescope with a clear view of the universe and objects in our solar system.
“Flying above 99% of the atmosphere’s obscuring water vapor, SOFIA observes in infrared wavelengths and can detect phenomena impossible to see with visible light.”
This indicates that the discovery could relate to water around the Moon’s south pole – considered to be a key resource for astronauts on further lunar missions.
If you’d like to watch the announcement live, you can watch it on NASA’s YouTube channel here at 4pm.
Mirror Online will also be bringing you all the latest announcements as they happen, so make sure you check back in this afternoon!