Cambridge, Massachusetts “A professor at Harvard University says we’re probably not alone in the universe.” Astronomer Avi Loeb’s new book, Alien, explores the flight of a space object in 2017 that he said was truly out of this world.
“Initially, people thought, ‘Well, this must be a rock, just like the asteroids or comets we’ve seen before in the solar system,'” Loeb told Culane Boston in front of Paula Ebben. “But since they got more data on that, it looks very strange.”
The cigar-shaped object seen by the telescopes is called “Oumuamua”
It was then 10 times longer than it was wide, and was traveling at 196,000 miles per hour, researchers said at the time.
“It didn’t look like a comet, but it still acted like something that had an extra boost,” Loeb said.
NASA has confirmed that this is “the first object ever seen in our solar system that is known to have originated elsewhere,” but said its origin is unknown.
Loeb claims in his book that the object was probably a wreck of modern alien technology – space debris for many light years. It may have been a type of “light canvas” powered by sunlight, a technology that humans are currently developing to explore space.
“There may be a lot of space debris or a probe there,” he said. “We don’t know because we haven’t gathered enough data, enough evidence, and I’m just warning everyone to look for such objects, so the next time there is one, let’s take a closer look.”
Loeb said it was time for researchers to look for potential “bottle-like messages” like Oumuamua, instead of just looking for radio signals as evidence for other civilizations.
He said his ideas were not popular in the scientific community at the time – talking about potential extraterrestrial intelligence was “out of mass flow and shouldn’t be”.
“We need to be open-minded and look for evidence, instead of accepting that everything we see in the sky must be a rock,” he said.
For those who doubt the existence of aliens, Loeb says to consider the chances.
“We know that half of the sun-like stars have a planet the size of Earth at about the same distance from the star, so they can have liquid water on the surface – that’s the chemistry of life,” he said.
“That means if you roll the dice billions of times in the Milky Way galaxy, we’re probably not alone, and we’re probably not the sharpest cookie in the jar, the smartest kid on the block.”