NASA has scheduled a major press conference concerning a "Discovery Beyond our Solar System" for 1pm EST on Wednesday Feb 22 in Washington DC . Nature has a paper associated with whatever is to be announced, but it's embargoed until after the announcement. Nothing seems to have leaked about what the announcement is about. (How is that Possible in Washington DC?) Here's the announcement: https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-to-host-news-conference-on-discovery-beyond-our-solar-system I wondered if I could perhaps figure out what this is about by examining the research areas of the participants. One is a NASA administrator. Another is the guy in charge of the orbiting Spitzer space telescope at Cal Tech. Another is Sara Seager of MIT who says that she is searching for "another earth" including signs of life by detection of "biosignature gases". If that's what this is about, it could be huge (or at least controversial). http://www.saraseager.com/research/ Another one is Nikole Lewis of the Space Telescope Science Institute at Johns Hopkins. Her research is once again into exoplanet atmospheric composition. http://www.stsci.edu/~nlewis/ The last one is Michael Gillon of the University of Liege in Belgium. He too has an interest in the search for extraterrestrial life. His research concerns transiting exoplanets around small dwarf stars, detection of "super earths" and their physicochemical characterization. http://reflexions.ulg.ac.be/cms/c_22687/en/gillon-michael This is going to be interesting. Somehow I expect that's whatever is announced will be more disappointing than the discovery of "another earth" showing possible signs of life in its atmosphere. That's too much to hope for. My guess/speculation is that they've found a rocky exoplanet with an atmosphere that might include oxygen. We'll know tomorrow.