(Washington) It’s a paving stone, thrown into the depths of the sea, causing a lot of turbulence: Respected Harvard astrophysicist claims that “Oumuamua,” an interstellar object that passed near Earth in 2017, was an extraterrestrial vehicle .
“The belief that we are unique, unique and special is arrogant,” Avi Loeb, former director of the astronomy department at Harvard University, told AFP.
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, Oumuamua – a “messenger” in Hawaii – passed through 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 detected coming from another star system.
After a closer analysis of the data, the researchers found that the object was pushed out 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 is also distinguished by its brilliance and great contrast in its sheen, which seems to indicate a metallic appearance.
To explain these various anomalies, astronomers had to invent new theories. The body can be made entirely 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 devised to explain some of the specific characteristics of Oumamoa always include a phenomenon that has not been observed before,” says 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.
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 ship advancing in space, the perspective should instead be inverted, says Mr. Loeb.
He wrote in his book: “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.”
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 heavy criticism 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.
Mr. Loeb who mentions Galileo several times in his book, A Scientist Imprisoned in the Seventeenth CenturyH Century for asserting that the earth revolves around the sun, criticizing the academic “culture of intimidation”.
He says finding signs of extraterrestrial life makes more sense than studying dark matter or the multiverse.
So he hopes to create a new branch of astronomy, space archeology, dedicated 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.