Dr. Avi Loeb, Institute For Theory And Computation, Harvard University discussed on Science Friday

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Friday. I'm Ira Plato. Some scientists find my hypothesis on fashionable outside of mainstream science, even dangerously ill conceived. But the most egregious error we can make, I believe is not to take this possibility seriously enough. That's a quote from Avi Loeb's new book, The Apotheosis that he wants you to take. Seriously. What is it? Well, let's return to October 2017 when our solar system received a strange visitor, unlike any seen before, scientists couldn't pin it down. Was it an asteroid or a comet or chunk of ice? Or what? To this day. It's simply classified as an interstellar object dubbed the Moola Moola. But Loeb is pretty sure of what it is. It's hard to classify he reasons because it's a byproduct of intelligent life outside our solar system. How it found its way here is well, we don't know. This is the central argument of his new book, Extraterrestrial first sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth, and here, he is joining us to talk about it. Dr. Avi Loeb, astronomy professor at Harvard University. Director of the school's Institute for Theory and Computation, founding director of Harvard's Black Hole Initiative. Welcome back to Look to Science Friday. Thanks for having now I mentioned in my intro there that a movable was a strange object, which has made it hard to classify. Tell us about this object. What made it so unusual? Yeah, The experience is similar to walking on the beach and seeing most of the time natural sea chest and rocks. But every now and then you stumble across the plastic bottle that indicates that it was artificially made. There is a civilization off there, and that's the sense that one gets from looking at the evidence we have on the more more each told the lot off anomalies. The first of which was that its brightness by reflecting sunlight changed by a factor of 10 as it was tumbling over eight hours. And if you imagine a piece of paper that is razor thin, tumbling in the wind. The area that is projected in front of us, You know, it's not expected to change by such a large factor even for razor thin object. So that implies that the more more has an extreme geometry extreme shape. It is at least 10 times longer than it is wide and then trying to feed the light curve imply that it's most likely flat. It's a flat object robin Cigar shaped It was depicted in some cartoons and then even more mysteriously, It exhibited an extra push away from the sun beyond the force of gravity that the sun exerts on it, And usually that is provided by the rocket effect on comments when eyes on their surface gets evaporated. As it gets heated by sunlight. But the only problem with that is there was no cometary tail. The speeches space telescope search very deeply for carbon based molecules dust around this subject and found nothing. So there was no commentary evaporation off the object. And yet it exhibited this push in order to provide this bush about 1/10 off the object. 10% of the mass of this object had to evaporate and we haven't seen anything. And so the question arose as to what gives it this extra push, and the only thing that I could think off is a reflection of sunlight. And in fact, in September 2020 the war's another object. That showed a similar push away from the sun without any commentary table. It was given the name 2020 s O by the astronomy community. And then astronomers figured out that in 1966. This object came from the earth and according to the history books, indeed, the was a rocket booster that was kicked into space. From a mission called the Lunar Lander, a surveyor, too, and so that Woz this object hollow very thin, and so it could have been pushed by sunlight. And here we have an example of an artificial object that we could in fair that it's artificial from the extra push, and we know that this artificial because we produced it. The question is who produced the more more Wow. And you know, I'm reminded of Carl Sagan's famous quote. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Will we ever get extraordinary evidence on this one? Do we need it? I don't think this statement makes much sense because the word extraordinary is really dependent on the eyes of the beholder. For some people, dark matter is extraordinary for others. It must be there. For some people. Extra dimensions are extraordinary for the mainstream of theoretical physics. Even though we have no evidence for it. It's not extraordinary, so my point is, we should be guided by evidence. And if the evidence shows anomalies, we should try to explain them just like Cheryl homes, trying to explain a crime scene. We should put all the possibilities on the table and then ruled them out based on the evidence, But we should not have a prejudice. You know, the Mayan is the Mayan culture collected a lot of data on planets the motion of planets in the sky where they are because they believe That you can focus the outcome of fuel war based on where these planets are on the sky. They had the wrong idea. They collected a lot of data and it was completely useless because they haven't really used it to the right. For example, you don't sloth gravity. So my point is, if we have a prejudice if we have a prior idea about what the data means, we think that everything we see on the sky is rocks. We behave just like a caveman that is faced with the cell phone in the caveman would say, Oh, the cell phone is just a shiny rock. And yet we have a settee. The search for extraterrestrial,.

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