Nasa caused a stir on 24 September by saying that it will announce a "major science finding from the agency's ongoing exploration of Mars" at a news briefing on 28 September. The US space agency kept details brief, but obviously with the intention of aiming for the science boffins' attention with the title NASA to Announce Mars Mystery Solved.
It remains unclear about what Nasa is set to announce, but that hasn't stopped the internet reacting in its typical overextravagant manner.
Some big names will be on the panel on 28 September, such as director of planetary science at Nasa Headquarters, Jim Green, along with Michael Meyer, the lead scientist for the Mars Exploration Program, Mary Beth Wilhelm at Nasa's Ames Research Center, and Alfred McEwen at the University of Arizona in Tucson. However, another name that has got people talking and could be the biggest clue – Lujendra Ojha, a grad student at Georgia Tech.
Far from a household name, Ojha, admittedly serendipitously, discovered the possibility that salt water may flow on the surface of the Red Planet in the warmer months. In a 2011 study, Ojha, along with his then professor McEwen, co-authored a study on how there is a chance that water lay beneath the surface.
Ojha has always been curious about the formation of mountains and was studying Mars when he noticed apparent gullies – which are the result of flowing water – on the planet. By using a computer algorithm to examine images of craters and the seasonal changes, he was able to identify irregular features within a crater that were not the result of gullies, and could have been recent water tracks.
He told CNN in 2011: "When I first saw them, I had no idea what it was. I just thought it was a streak made by dust or something similar. It was a lucky accident. There's going to be years of research put into this to even prove that this is definitely a proof of water. And from that, we can move on: OK if this is water, what are the chances that life could be in these kinds of surroundings?"
And that's where this press conference could come into play. The "years of research" may potentially be up, and Nasa might be ready to announce that there is water on Mars. And with water comes the distinct possibility of life. "That would be exciting. That's kind of like the holy grail of science: To find our neighbor, to find life on some other planet," he added at the time.