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NASA press conference about alien life? An E.T. rumor.

NASA plans a press conference today at 2 p.m. to discuss an astrobiology finding. The Internet buzz is that alien life was found on Titan. Not entirely true, according to reporters who have seen the research.

In the 1982 Stephen Speilberg movie, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Elliott (Henry Thomas) finds a friend in a visitor from another planet.


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Speculation that life has been discovered beyond Earth exploded on the Internet after NASA announced plans for a press conference involving scientists who study unusual life forms.

The briefing, set for 2 p.m. Thursday, focuses on a paper being published in the journal Science, which has not been made public.

But when it is released, the paper will be a disappointment to those speculating about its contents. It does not report finding life outside of Earth.

In a report on the flap, the Columbia Journalism Review observed that the actual science in question "is quite terrestrial in nature and will come as a disappointment to those breathlessly waiting for news that E.T. has phoned home."

The American Association for the Advancement of Science – which publishes the journal in which the research will appear – said Wednesday it has received numerous inquiries about the "mostly erroneous online and/or tabloid speculation about the forthcoming research.

"These reports clearly are not based on the peer-reviewed research being published under the auspices of the journal Science."


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