A top Harvard scientist who recently said our Solar System could be filled with a quadrillion alien spaceships believes he has seen "advanced extraterrestrial technology".

Professor Avi Loeb, Professor of Science at Harvard University, believes a space rock that passed through our solar system in 2017 was an alien spacecraft.

Oumuamua, estimated to be 200m in diameter, is the first interstellar object ever found in the Milky Way and was first spotted in October 2017 by the University of Hawaii's Pan-STARRS1 telescope while it was looking for comets and asteroids near the Earth.

The long long cigar-shaped rock was observed to be spinning and accelerating at a phenomenal speed, known as "non-gravitational acceleration," with some scientists baffled as to why.

But Professor Loeb, who runs the Department of Astronomy at one of the world's most prestigious universities, insists the most rational explanation for it is alien and reckons human technology should soon allow us to detect similar space objects every month.

Writing in his upcoming book Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth, he said the space object shot past Earth before "moving swiftly toward the constellation Pegasus and the blackness beyond".

Choosing to believe it is alien technology, Professor Loeb calls his argument the "Oumuamua wager", a take on "Pascal’s wager" which states that the upside of believing in God far outweighs the downside.

"If we dare to wager that Oumuamua was a piece of advanced extraterrestrial technology, we stand only to gain," Loeb writes.

"Whether it prompts us to methodically search the universe for signs of life or to undertake more ambitious projects, placing an optimistic bet could have a transformative effect on our civilization."

In the book, which goes on sale in the UK on February 4, Professor Loeb says the discovery of alien life would be the single greatest discovery in the history of science.

As he writes: "But the moment we know that we are not alone, that we are almost certainly not the most advanced civilization ever to have existed in the cosmos, we will realise that we’ve spent more funds developing the means to destroy all life on the planet than it would have cost to preserve it."

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