Avi Loeb defends a controversial thesis: For him, the asteroid Oumuamua that was discovered in our solar system in 2017, is an extraterrestrial vehicle
It is a cobbled pebble, thrown into the depths of the sea, causing a lot of disturbances: the respected Harvard astrophysicist says thatOumuamua, an interstellar object that passed near Earth in 2017It was an extraterrestrial vehicle.
“The belief that we are unique, unique, and special is arrogant,” says Avi Loeb, former director of the astronomy department at Harvard University. He insists, “The most logical way is to be humble and say,” We are not special, there are a lot of other civilizations in the universe and we just have to find them. “
The 58-year-old astrophysicist explains his theory in a new book called Extraterrestrial. The first sign of smart life, Published at the end of January. For this black hole specialist, conservatism and the scientific community’s lack of imagination prevent it from grasping the obvious.
After being observed by the Pan-STARRS1 telescope in Hawaii, it crossed Oumuamua – “messenger” in Hawaii – our solar system in October 2017. Its speed was so high that it could only come from a distant star. It is the first object to be discovered coming from another star system.
After a closer analysis of the data, the researchers found that the object had succumbed to the eruption and deviated slightly from the path it should have followed if it was only affected by the gravitational pull of the sun and the planets.
This motion can be explained in a simple way if the Oumuamua is a comet, emitting gases and debris capable of causing slight path differences. But this discharge was not noticed. Oumuamua was also distinguished by its brilliance and the great contrast in its sheen, which seemed to indicate a metallic appearance.
To explain these various anomalies, astronomers had to invent new theories. The entire body could be made of hydrogen ice, which explains why a gas pathway has not been detected. Another explanation: It would have disintegrated in a cloud of dust.
“These ideas that were developed to explain some of the specific characteristics of Oumamoa always include a phenomenon that has not been observed before,” explains Avi Loeb. So why not consider an artificial origin? Confirms.
No photo of Oumamoa. Scientists did not know it existed until it left our solar system. Two shapes can correspond to the different characteristics detected in the object: the shape of the cigar, long and tapered, or a very round and delicate pie.
Numerical models lean toward the second, and Avi Loeb is convinced that Oumuamua was seen as a “solar veil” driven by starlight.
Oumuamua was planted as a beacon in the ocean of the universe and our solar system would approach it at high speed, like a ship in fog.
Another strange element for the American-Israeli researcher is how the body moves. Before Oumuamua interacted with our Sun, it was in “relative stillness” with respect to the surrounding stars, which is rare. Instead of visualizing it as a spacecraft advancing in space, the perspective should instead be inverted, says Mr. Loeb.
“Oumuamua was planted as a beacon in the ocean of the universe and our solar system would approach it at high speed, like a ship in fog,” he wrote in his book. For the expert, it would be some kind of alarm system, like a thread stretched by an extraterrestrial civilization, waiting to be unleashed.
Avi Loeb’s unorthodox theses have come under fire from the scientific community. “Instead of answering their scientific objections, he has completely stopped listening to other astronomers,” preferring the general public to judge his theory, denounced the American astrophysicist Ethan Siegel in Forbes magazine.
If we find evidence of technologies that took millions of years to develop, we can find a shortcut and use it on Earth. ”
Avi Loeb, who mentioned Galileo repeatedly in his book, a scientist imprisoned in the 17th century for claiming that the Earth revolves around the sun, criticizes the academic “culture of intimidation”.
He says looking for signs of extraterrestrial life is more logical than studying dark matter or the multiverse. Thus he hopes to create a new branch of astronomy, space archeology, devoted to researching the biological and technological implications of extraterrestrial civilizations.
“If we find evidence of technologies that have taken millions of years to develop, we can find a shortcut to them and use them on Earth,” notes Avi Loeb.
“Professional food nerd. Internet scholar. Typical bacon buff. Passionate creator.”