Theoretical physicist Avi Loeb of Harvard wants you to think seriously about the possibility that an artifact made by an extraterrestrial intelligence passed through our solar system in 2017. This object – called ‘Oumuamua, or scout, by earthly astronomers – was traveling at a speed indicating an origin outside our solar system. But we never got close enough to it to see what it was. For the past few years, Loeb has argued that ‘Oumuamua was an alien artifact. In this episode of the University of Chicago’s Big Brains podcast, Loeb talks about the controversy and explains why he thinks we need to invest more in the search for alien life by developing the field of space archaeology.
‘Oumuamua was traveling too fast (196,000 miles per hour, that’s 54 miles per second or 87.3 kilometers per second) to have originated in our solar system. Loeb’s ideas on this subject caused a stir in the scientific community. Loeb commented:
People tend to have an opinion ahead of time, and I think that’s dangerous because we just don’t know who lives in our neighborhood and what their objectives are.
Loeb is author of a new book called Extraterrestrial: the First Signs of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth. Want to read more about Avi Loeb’s ideas regarding ‘Oumuamua as an alien artifact and about his book? Check out this article.
Long rocky asteroid-like object against background of stars and Milky Way.
Artist’s concept of ‘Oumuamua, whose actual appearance is unknown. This illustration is based on the limited observations available. What was ‘Oumuamua? We know it entered our solar system – swept near our sun on September 9, 2017 – then headed back to interstellar space. Astronomers are still trying to piece its story together. Image via ESO/ M. Kornmesser.
Bottom line: Interview with Avi Loeb, Harvard professor who claims ET aliens have already visited us.
Read more: Avi Loeb on the 1st sign of intelligent life beyond Earth.
Via University of Chicago