Harvard-based astronomer Avi Loeb has generated more buzz with his new, yet-to-be peer-reviewed research that suggests there may be a whopping four quintillion extraterrestrial spacecraft orbiting within our solar system. If true, this would represent an unrivaled number of alien vessels.
In 2017, astronomers made a groundbreaking discovery when they identified the first interstellar object ever to visit our Solar System – ‘Oumuamua. This strange and weird object provoked much speculation among scientists, particularly due to its cigar-shaped form.
Loeb is not denying the plausibility of ‘Oumuamua being of alien origin but instead encourages us to entertain that thought as a possibility.
This opens up the debate of how many ‘Oumuamuas may have gone unnoticed in our solar system, an area of exploration that many respectable scientists would be hesitant to pursue.
Loeb and Ezell, both Harvard astronomers, explored the extent of interstellar visitors that have been already spotted.
Astronomers have detected three more interstellar objects since ‘Oumuamua, making it four within the past eight years.
According to calculations by Loeb and Ezeller, the entire solar system is likely home to an incredible 40 decillion interstellar objects – including those that may be beyond the current range of our instruments. This means that the possibilities for discovering new interstellar objects are practically limitless.
By limiting our scope to just the “habitable zone” near the Sun, that number is significantly reduced to 4 quintillions. This is intriguing and exciting as it suggests there could be a higher chance of discovering alien life if any is present.
Loeb’s ideas challenge the status quo while at the same time presenting some thought-provoking concepts.
Even though it’s probable that the vast majority of 4 quintillion interstellar objects are merely space debris, it still leaves plenty of opportunity for some of them to be of extraterrestrial origin. Who knows – it may not be out of the realm of possibility!
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