A Harvard professor is officially making the argument that in 2017, scientists found the "first sign of intelligent life outside Earth".
Avi Loeb, a Harvard University professor, is releasing a book called "Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth" that explains why he thinks an object that came close to Earth in 2017 could be of alien origin.
Hawaiian scientists in 2017 saw "an object soaring through our inner solar system, moving so quickly that it could only have been from another star," the book says. In the book, Loeb makes the argument that the object was actually "space junk" from another galaxy. The object was called "1I/2017 U1 'Oumuamua".
"There was only one conceivable explanation: the object was a piece of advanced technology created by a distant alien civilization," the book says, according to Yahoo.
NASA described the object as "the first confirmed object from another star to visit our solar system, this interstellar interloper appears to be a rocky, cigar-shaped object with a somewhat reddish hue."
Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate said when it was discovered: "For decades we've theorized that such interstellar objects are out there, and now - for the first time - we have direct evidence they exist. This history-making discovery is opening a new window to study formation of solar systems beyond our own."
Publisher Houghton-Mifflin says: "In late 2017, scientists at a Hawaiian observatory glimpsed an object soaring through our inner solar system, moving so quickly that it could only have come from another star. Avi Loeb, Harvard’s top astronomer, showed it was not an asteroid; it was moving too fast along a strange orbit, and left no trail of gas or debris in its wake..."
"In Extraterrestrial, Loeb takes readers inside the thrilling story of the first interstellar visitor to be spotted in our solar system. He outlines his controversial theory and its profound implications: for science, for religion, and for the future of our species and our planet. A mind-bending journey through the furthest reaches of science, space-time, and the human imagination, Extraterrestrial challenges readers to aim for the stars—and to think critically about what’s out there, no matter how strange it seems."
Anne Wojcicki, CEO and cofounder of 23andMe, said the book "convinces you that scientific curiosity is key to our future success."
Loeb is a professor of science at Harvard, with a doctorate in physics and is also chair of Harvard's Department of Astronomy.
His book will be released January 26, 2021.