Nasa announcement: 'Amazing' Pluto discovery to be revealed, senior scientist says

Senior planetary scientist Dr Alan Stern said that Nasa wouldn't allow him to say anything before the official announcement

Nasa are set to reveal an "amazing" discovery on Thursday, according to one of the space agency's senior scientists.

Dr Alan Stern, a planetary scientist and Principal Investigator on Nasa's New Horizons Pluto mission, made the exciting announcement whilst speaking at the University of Alberta in Canada. 

Whilst speaking about the latest images of Pluto captured by the New Horizons probe, Stern said: "Nasa won't let me tell you what we're going to tell you on Thursday. It's amazing."

Last week, Nasa unveiled new images of the surfce of Pluto, which show a landscape of mountains, craters and gorges.

New images of Pluto's surface

As reported by The Guardian, Stern said: "This world is alive."

"It has weather, it has hazes in the atmosphere, active geology... Every week I am floored."

There is no word yet on what the announcement could be, with Nasa taking the same line of secrecy as they did at their last big event - the announcement of the discovery of water on Mars.

However, a number of unknowns remain. Pluto has vast mountainous dune fields, a multicoloured surface, and a number of other mysterious features that have not been explained by science.

Thursday's announcement could relate to any one of these.

Nasa has had a year of big discoveries. From the discovery of flowing water on Mars, to the identification of 'Earth 2.0' - Kepler 452b, the most Earth-like planet every discovered - the leading space agency has been holding momentous announcements fairly regularly over the last few months.

As Stern said, "2015 will be a year in textbooks forever," as the year in which mankind discovered so much about its solar system.

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