Harvard astronomy professor says aliens visited Earth in 2017
“The realization that we are not alone will have dramatic implications for our goals on Earth and our aspirations for space.”Avi Loeb, an astronomer who holds the chair of Harvard University’s Astronomy Department, is set to publish a book with the title “Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth.”
In the book, Loeb further pushes his controversial theory that Oumuamua, an interstellar object spotted by astronomers in 2017, may in fact be an alien probe that was sent by an advanced extraterrestrial civilization.
According to a statement by Loeb’s publisher HMH Books given to the Boston Globe, Loeb “showed it was not an asteroid; it was moving too fast along a strange orbit, and left no trail of gas or debris in its wake.”
To Loeb, this object is evidence that an advanced alien civilization visited us in 2017. It’s a fascinating theory, but one that separates him from other SETI researchers, who firmly believe that we have not yet found any proof of life beyond the Earth.
However, Oumuamua is the first interstellar object to have ever been directly observed. It was first spotted by astronomers at the Haleakalā Observatory, Hawaii, on October 19, 2017.
“Honestly, I think it’s a bit of wild speculation,” Canadian astronomer Robert Weryk, who himself discovered ‘Oumuamua in 2017, told the CBC in 2018. “We actually think that’s not true based on the data that we obtained.”
In 2019, an international team of researchers published a study on ‘Oumuamua in the journal Nature Astronomy, contending that they found “no compelling evidence to favor an alien explanation,” and that “Oumuamua’s properties are consistent with a natural origin.”
The researchers argued that while the object didn’t quite fall under the definition of either an asteroid or comet, small gas emissions from its surface could explain its unusual trajectory through the solar system, deviating from an expected path that took the Sun’s gravitational pull into account.
Although, Oumuamua appeared to have been gaining momentum, as though it were being propelled by some kind of “peculiar propulsion system” according to another study that TMU previously reported.
That study was conducted in 2018 by Harvard professor Avi Loeb and Harvard postdoctoral Shmuel Bialy, the pair suggested that the object “may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth’s vicinity by an alien civilization.”
Despite the criticism, Loeb believes strongly that ‘Oumuamua could be a sign that we’re not alone in the universe.
“The data we gathered on ‘Oumuamua are incomplete,” he argued in a recent December essay for Scientific American.
“To learn more, we must continue to monitor the sky for similar objects,” he wrote. “The realization that we are not alone will have dramatic implications for our goals on Earth and our aspirations for space.”