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A Harvard professor has claimed a mysterious object flying through space is of alien production and that there could be many, many more of them.
Professor Avi Loeb has doubled down on earlier claims the elongated and sparkling asteroid Oumuamua is alien – adding there are probably a vast number of them.
In 2018, Professor Loeb and his colleague Shmuel Bailey reckoned “Oumuamua was produced by an alien civilization” – claiming it was of interstellar origin.
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They even argued it could have been a part of a larger ship still drifting through space, Hows and Why's reports.
The rock’s composition was a mystery to scientists and, confusingly, didn’t have a gas tail behind it.
That same year Loeb, the former Chair of Harvard’s Department of Astronomy, said: “There should be one [object like Oumuamua] in every volume roughly the size of the orbit of the Earth around the sun.
“This is a vast area in human terms, but in the immensity of space, it’s pretty small.
“So it means that there are plenty of them, a quadrillion of them, inside the Oort cloud. Inside the Solar System.
“There are lots of them.”
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Loeb’s claim wasn’t taken seriously, earning him ridicule from the astronomy community, but now, four years later he is still dead set on the hypothesis.
This year, along with fellow Harvard astronomer Carson Ezell, Loeb asked how many more Oumuamuas there could be in the solar system and beyond.
In a not-yet-peer-reviewed studypublished in September of this year, they concluded there could be as many as 4 quintillion (4,000,000,000,000,000,000) Oumuamuas out there.
What they meant was that there were this many extraterrestrial bodies directed towards the solar system’s ‘habitable zone’ closer to the Sun – that’s the part of the solar system in which astronomers might hope to be able to spot something passing.
While not saying there are this many crewed alien spacecraft flying about, he does think that humanity should be open to the idea that there could be that many out there, that it is possible.
The number they came out with is not the actual number of alien ships out there, but rather the number of potential artificial craft.
“One can use recent rates of detection of interstellar objects and known capabilities to estimate the density of similar objects in the solar neighbourhood and the total number of such objects bound by the thin disk of the Milky Way,” they said.
Their calculations were based on how much of the galaxy we can see, and how much we can’t – which is a lot.
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