Astronomers Are About to Make a Major Mystery Announcement

Rumors are swirling online that some big astronomy news will be revealed later today.

The Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) in the U.K. will be making an announcement at 4 p.m. local time, which is 11 a.m. ET and 8 a.m. PDT.

"You may have heard a rumour that we're announcing something big this afternoon—well of course we want you to be the first to know what's going on so stayed tuned here," the society wrote in a Twitter post Monday.

The announcement will be streamed live online as scientists involved in the latest findings discuss their research. The conference stream can be viewed via this link or below in the embedded player.

"Searching for the truth? Go direct to the source. Tune in to our press briefing this afternoon to hear directly from the lead scientist involved some exciting new research," the RAS tweeted.

Newsweek subscription offers >

Today's announcement has got many social media users excited.

"The big astronomy news today will be released at 4 p.m. U.K. today, and yes, it's big," tweeted ex-astrophysicist Brian O'Halloran.

"Too much excitement!" wrote Twitter user @grb090423, in reference to the upcoming announcement.

Several users had some fun with the tantalizing prospect of what today's astronomy news could be. Italian astronomer Claudia Antolini asked Twitter users what they thought the research could be about, specifying that she wanted "wrong answers" only. "My guess: they found intelligent life on Earth," Antolini wrote.

"The Earth will be demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass sometime next Thursday," user Matt McPherson wrote—a reference to late British author Douglas Adams' seminal comic science fiction work The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

"They found Planet X and it's inhabited by low intelligence orange humanoids that shave their backs to make toupees," one user suggested.

"Astronomers have demoted the sun as an object," another wrote.

The Milky Way
The Milky Way seen above Mono Lake on June 28, 2017, near Lee Vining, California. George Rose/Getty Images

While there is no official confirmation of what the news could be, whenever there is a big astronomy announcement on the horizon, talk inevitably turns to the topic of alien life.

If the news does relate to extraterrestrials, hopefully, the announcement will be more promising than the results of a radio telescope survey published last week, which found no signs of alien technology in 10 million star systems.

The Murchison Widefield Array telescope in Western Australia had completed the deepest and broadest search at low frequencies for alien technologies but came up empty-handed, according to a study published in the journal Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia.

Astronomers Are About to Make a Major Mystery Announcement | Tech & Science