What if we don’t need to keep sending probes and telescopes further and further into space to find signs of extraterrestrial life? What if we already had evidence sitting in a Harvard lab? In 2014 a meteor from space crash-landed in the sea off the coast of Papua New Guinea – a relatively common occurrence which was recorded and logged by US government sensors. But the renegade Harvard physicist Dr Avi Loeb believes the speed and direction of the fireball created by this particular meteor indicate it was interstellar (from outside our solar system). To prove his case, Loeb set out on a $1 million cryptocurrency entrepreneur-funded mission to recover remnants from the meteor, which he says were found last month. Analysing the tiny spherules of metal debris his team discovered could prove evidence of technology and intelligence from beyond our solar system, he says. The context: Loeb has become known as the “alien hunter of Harvard” for his obsession with searching for extraterrestrial signs of life, and significant parts of the scientific community have distanced themselves from his theories. Still, no harm in checking.
Photograph courtesy Dr Avi Loeb /Medium