A major online betting site has slashed the odds to 3/1 that alien life will be discovered in 2017.
Betfair is currently offering odds of 3/1 whilst competitor PaddyPower is presenting a significantly better price at 25/1.
The change in betting odds comes just hours before NASA is due to announce the latest discovery made by its planet-hunting Kepler space telescope.
The announcement will take place at 6:00pm (G.M.T.) on Thursday December 14.
The discovery was made by researchers using machine learning from Google. Machine learning is an approach to artificial intelligence, and demonstrates new ways of analysing Kepler data.
The experts who will brief the media on the discovery are: Paul Hertz, Astrophysics Division director at NASA Headquarters in Washington; Christopher Shallue, senior software engineer at Google AI in Mountain View, California; Andrew Vanderburg, astronomer and NASA Sagan Postdoctoral Fellow at The University of Texas, Austin and Jessie Dotson, Kepler project scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley.
The Kepler space observatory was launched in 2009.
The mission was to search for Earth sized planets orbiting stars.