Back in 2017, a bizarre blunt shaped object made its way towards Earth from space. It measured approximately half a mile in length and was moving at an irregular pace.
This bizarre event got alien watchers on the tip of their toes. The vast majority of scientists who studied the object have said that "'Oumuamua, was a natural phenomenon". However, a recent study published by the head of Harvard's Astronomy Department, Dr Avi Loeb, stated that he believes the giant object was indeed alien in origin.
The 240-page book is titled, Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth. In it, it explains just why Loeb believes the object from 2017 was an intergalactic attempt to contact Earth.
"The most exciting aspect of the possibility that 'Oumuamua is weird and unlike any asteroid or comet that we had seen before is that it might be a product of an alien technology. If so, we might not be the 'sharpest cookie in the jar' or 'the smartest kid on the block'. We should search for additional interstellar objects to find out."
In a paper published by researchers at the University of Maryland in 2019, Nature Astronomy, researchers came to a different conclusion. They said that, even though the giant space blunt was bizarre due to its colour, it didn't have comet-like propulsion. Also, it didn't give off gases in the way a comet would be expected to, but they still find it unlikely to be alien in nature.
"'Oumuamua's having some unusual properties is by no means sufficient evidence to conclude that it must be aliens," said Matthew Knight, coauthor of that paper. "As a scientist, I'm trained to not think in absolutes, so I can't say with 100% confidence that it wasn't aliens."
Knight's hypothesis is that the object was "planetesimal", meaning it could be a building block of a planet. However, Loeb added that he doesn't want to jump to conclusions and fill loopholes with assumptions. He argues in his book that this type of thinking is ignorant, and we should consider all possibilities because "humans aren't the smartest ones out there."
Loeb added that: "Most of the mainstream astronomy community continued with 'business as usual' and ignored 'Oumuamua's anomalies. Some mainstream astronomers tried to explain the anomalies but needed to invoke objects that were never seen before. Like a hydrogen iceberg or a "dust bunny" that are not likely to survive the long interstellar journey."
NASA can confirm that the bizarre object does come from another solar system, accelerated in a non-comet-like way through space.
"Astronomers had never seen a natural object with such extreme proportions in the solar system before."
Loeb further said, "My point is that it is very difficult to explain the weird properties of 'Oumuamua with conventional natural processes. So, studying objects of its type in the future will either educate us about an unusual natural source or about another civilization. Let's collect evidence and not rely on prejudice."