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A New Project by a Harvard-led Team Searches for Interstellar Object

When the first Interstellar object, ‘Oumuamua, flew past Earth in 2017, it appeared to be speeding up. Most space rocks don’t do that, which is why Harvard scientist Avi Loeb believes ‘Oumuamua was an alien spaceship.’ Although most scientists believe the object was a space rock – either a comet or a fragment of a small planet – Loeb believes there are numerous such objects like ‘Oumuamua flying by our planet, some of which could be from aliens as well.

So he set up a programme to track them down. On Monday, Loeb unveiled the Galileo Project, a hunt for physical evidence of alien technologies and civilizations named after the Italian astronomer Galileo. The $1.75 million initiative, which has the support of at least four benefactors, will use a network of Earth-based telescopes to search for Interstellar objects that could be extraterrestrial in origin. The team will also look for unexplained flying objects in our atmosphere as well as possible alien ships in Earth’s orbit.

Loeb said in a press conference, “It’s a fishing expedition, let’s just go out and catch whatever fish we find. And that includes objects close to Earth, hovering within our atmosphere, or objects that came from outside the solar system that look weird.” The $1.75 million initiative, which has the support of at least four benefactors, will use a network of Earth-based telescopes to search for Interstellar objects that could be extraterrestrial in origin.

The team will also look for unexplained flying objects in our atmosphere as well as possible alien ships in Earth’s orbit. ‘Oumuamua was already hurtling around at 196,000 miles per hour when astronomers discovered it. Several ground-based telescopes and one in space collected limited data, but astronomers only had a few weeks to analyse the odd, skyscraper-sized object before it drifted too far away.

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