In 2018, Professor Avi Loeb announced that the asteroid ‘Oumuamua is of interstellar origin and likely an alien spacecraft. This news caused a huge scandal in the scientific community. The man who spent nearly a decade as chairman of Harvard’s Department of Astronomy was not taken seriously and ridiculed. However, more than three years later, he continues to claim that his hypothesis is based on solid evidence and has not been refuted by anyone. And he calls to start looking for similar objects in the Universe.
In 2017, Canadian astronomer Robert Weryk noticed Oumuamua from the Haleakala Observatory in Hawaii using Pan-STARRS1 as it passed by Earth. Scientists had no idea about the composition of this object because it was totally different from other asteroids as it was elongated and shimmering. At first, scientists thought it was a comet, but it had no gas tail. As the research began, it started to become more mysterious.
After studying this data, Loeb put forward an extremely bold hypothesis along with his colleague Shmuel Bailey in 2018, saying that “Oumuamua was produced by an alien civilization”. He said that perhaps this was part of a larger spacecraft adrift in interstellar space.
But to prove him wrong, other scientists and physicists have come up with various explanations for its distinctive shape and properties. However, Loeb was not convinced by these hypotheses. Over the years, he did not stop collecting and analyzing information and ended up writing the book “Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth”, in which he stated that ‘Oumuamua was not an asteroid, nor a comet, nor any other object of natural origin. It could be a “light sail” (a type of spacecraft propelled by the momentum of light particles in space) built by a technologically advanced alien civilization.
He said it might even have been a fully functional probe that was sent to Earth by an alien civilization: “You have to have an open mind to find wonderful things.”
Loeb is known for his bold hypotheses. In 2018, he also said that we are definitely not alone in the universe.
Why does Loeb consider Oumuamua to be a spacecraft built by an advanced alien civilization? So the first reason behind this was the trajectory of the object as it was not moving in space according to the local standard of rest (LSR). He calls it a “very special frame of reference, a sort of galactic parking lot.” The second and most important reason for calling ‘Oumuamua an alien craft is based on its response to the Sun’s gravitational pull. It showed an excessive push away from the sun. Such a thing happens with comets when the frozen material in them vaporizes and accelerates them.
Loeb said: “Oumuamua would have to lose about a tenth of its mass. That’s quite… we should have seen a very clear gas cloud all around.” But on close examination with the Spitzer Space Telescope, it was discovered that it had no tail and also did not radiate heat. Even he moved in a regular pattern, like a man-made spaceship.
In his recent interview, he shocked all science lovers by stating that there is a possibility of quadrillions of alien spaceships alone in our solar system.
“There should be one in each volume roughly the size of Earth’s orbit around the sun. This is a vast area in human terms, but in the vastness of space, it’s quite small. So that means there are a lot of them, a quadrillion of them, inside the Oort cloud. Inside the solar system. There are many of them.”
He even went one step further, saying that alien ships could outnumber humans by over 140,000 to one.
“It is difficult to reconcile the idea that we are surrounded by trillions of pieces of alien technology with scientific conservatism. Humanity’s understanding of itself would be radically changed if we knew that other forms of life have already built these things.”