A new UFO "speed camera" could catch alien craft whizzing through our solar system.

The device uses powerful lenses and artificial intelligence to track mystery objects passing the Earth.

Five years ago, a 3,000ft oblong "visitor" from deep space shot past us at 196,000mph.

READ MORE: 'Dying' Mars rover makes people cry with heartbreaking farewell message to Earth

It was only noticed by chance by a telescope 40 days after passing by the Sun.

Physicist Avi Loeb, 60, from Harvard University in Massachusetts, set up the new super-camera in a bid to spot UFOs.

It is operating 24/7 from a secret site.

He said: "We are buying some cameras off-the-shelf from manufacturers and have our own engineers design their assembly, integration, calibration and operation. The data is fed to a computer system which uses an AI algorithm to identify the objects."

The professor refused to say where the camera was situated for security reasons but revealed it had gone live "in recent weeks".

Loeb said the mystery 2017 object, since named Oumuamua – Hawaiian for scout – may have been a "missed chance" for a close encounter.

He said: "Oumuamua’s speed, course and shape are possible signs it’s an alien craft."

Loeb is now planning a space mission to intercept any similar objects.

Jacob Haqq Misra, of the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science in Seattle, US, said of the camera: "You can look for anything in the sky."

Loeb's invention should be an improvement on the images taken down the years from handheld cameras of UFO sightings.

Just two weeks ago, The Star reported how a photo of a Hercules cargo plane being "buzzed" by a mystery object had sent UFO hunters into a flap.

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The shot was captured by a police officer called Chuck Marose, who claimed the black craft raced off at incredible speed moments later.

He said: "As soon as the plane made its turn and I shot that picture, the object was gone in an instant. I mean, it went from a standstill to being gone instantaneously."

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