“It would be arrogant to think we’re alone in the Universe,” says Harvard Professor Avi Loeb, theoretical astrophysicist. His conjecture on the anomalous, shiny, elongated space object (dubbed “Oumuamua”, Hawaiian for “scout”) that wandered through our inner solar system in 2017 fit the evidence, yet stirred up quite the controversy. It looked and behaved not like an asteroid or cement, but a solar light sail, just as we’d design for a space probe. He details why in his book, Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth. “We should not rule out technology from an advanced, extraterrestrial civilization just because the notion is unpopular among the academic community,” he argues. This did lead to private funding for Avi’s “Galileo Project” named for that other daring astronomer. We talk about new strategies to detect life in the Cosmos, the goals and hopes for his project, the role and limits of science, what we know and don’t know, his philosophy of life, tackling the big questions, the impact on society’s advancement, the filmmakers interested in his work, and more. Three astronomers in the audience pose their questions and comments, including one who worked on the Hubble Telescope.
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- Laura Lee, Laura Lee Show, Conversation4Exploration. Conversation 4 Exploration, ConversationforExploration, Conversation for Exploration, Cuyamungue Institute