Harvard astrophysicist Avi Loeb has drawn criticism for suggesting a bizarre object passing via the photo voltaic system could possibly be an alien spacecraft. However he insists we should hold an open thoughts when nature throws us a curveball
10 February 2021
IN 2017, one thing unusual got here hurtling via our cosmic neighbourhood. Astronomers solely noticed it as soon as it was already on its means out, so that they didn’t get a correct look. However from the few observations we did get, it was clear that the item wasn’t from round right here – its trajectory indicated that it got here from one other star system. It was dubbed ‘Oumuamua, which suggests “scout” in Hawaiian, and categorised as the primary interstellar object we now have ever seen in our cosmic neighbourhood.
Not lengthy after ‘Oumuamua was noticed, Avi Loeb, an astrophysicist at Harvard College, made waves by proposing that it may be a piece of alien technology. “‘Oumuamua could also be a totally operational probe despatched deliberately to Earth neighborhood by an alien civilization,” Loeb wrote in a pre-print paper.
It’s definitely bizarre. Observations steered it’s more likely to be both flat or cigar-shaped, tumbling finish over finish each 7 hours or so and accelerating at a tempo seemingly better than could possibly be accounted for by gravitational forces alone. Loeb’s colleagues have since provide you with numerous pure explanations for what we glimpsed of ‘Oumuamua’s options, together with the concept that it’s some kind of giant fractal snowflake. However he’s adamant we should always a minimum of be open to the likelihood that it could possibly be proof of the existence of extraterrestrial civilisations.
Loeb has now written a guide about it referred to as Extraterrestrial: The first sign of intelligent life beyond Earth. Right here, he tells New Scientist about the potential of superior alien life and the way people may reply to it.
Leah Crane: You say …