In 2017, he approached our planets, before leaving. This “interstellar visitor” is the first object to come from beyond our solar system. Astronomers in Hawaii (United States) gave it the name of Oumuamua, “the scout”, in the Maori language. According to Avi Loeb, director of the Harvard Astronomy Department and author of First sign of intelligent extraterrestrial life, this messenger is perhaps the first sign of a extraterrestrial civilization.
Oumuamua changed direction abnormally as it approached the sun. Comets can change course when their ice melts by ejecting gas; however, no trail was detected on this interstellar visitor. But for other astrophysicists, mystery does not necessarily mean extraterrestrial vessel.
As for the astronomer, he prefers to offer a lesson in humility: “There are trillions of galaxies like our Milky Way in the visible universe, all combined. There are more planets and solar systems like ours in the universe than snowflakes on our Earth. It must teach us a little modesty. We’re probably commonplace, common, and probably not the smartest in the neighborhood“. Oumuamua would also be a warning to humanity: Avi Loeb thinks it could be the debris of a ship or an automatic probe, a vestige of a vanished civilization.
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