On the one hand, he is one of the greatest alien hunters on the planet, and on the other, he is one of the most controversial scientists. This is Avi Loeb, known for his research on Oumuamua, his development of an “interstellar hook,” and his claims about extraterrestrials. Now this Harvard expert claims to have recovered the first known sample of an object outside our solar system.
The popular astronomer explains that his research team, the Galileo Project, has completed the analysis of dozens of small “sphere” fragments from IM1, a meteorite that crashed into the Pacific Ocean in 2014 and is thought to have originated outside of Earth, our home star system.
Loeb made a name for himself by combining outlandish-sounding claims about alien technology with serious scientific acumen. The latter led to the “interstellar expedition” to investigate what he believes may also have been a ship belonging to an intelligent civilization from outside our solar system.
Project Galileo’s voyage to the waters off Papua New Guinea earlier this summer eventually brought together more than 700 beads, 57 of which were earmarked for more in-depth analysis. Their analyses of these globules show that five of them emerged in early 2014, when the object was first discovered, “as molten blobs formed from IM1’s surface as it was subjected to the intense heat of the fireball generated by its friction with air fell to the ground.
In addition, these five pieces show “a compositional pattern of elements outside the solar system” that has never been seen before,” a finding that has yet to be confirmed by independent experts. Loeb and his team were able to capture the IM1 spheres using an instrument invented by the Galileo project, which they call an “interstellar hook.” This is a sled-like device equipped with finely tuned magnets that pull it across the seabed to capture the IM1 bullets. small meteorite pieces.
The device examined everything else on the seafloor and used the magnets to detect only those with large amounts of iron and other compounds thought to be part of objects formed outside our solar system. In April 2022, US Space Command released a memo that, after years of speculation by Loeb, confirmed the claim that IM1 did in fact originate from interstellar space, based on the speed at which it traversed Earth’s skies in January 2014 before it crashed in space. Pacific Ocean.
6/ “I had the pleasure of signing a memo @ussfspocThe university’s senior scientist, Dr. Mozer, confirmed that a previously discovered interstellar object was indeed an interstellar object, a confirmation that was useful to the wider astronomical community.” pic.twitter.com/PGlIOnCSrW
— US Space Command (@US_SpaceCom) April 7, 2022
However, it is not yet known if the beads show any signs of extraterrestrial design. “The fundamental question is whether an interstellar meteorite could indicate a composition that is clearly man-made,” concludes Loeb. “Better still, maybe some technological components would survive the impact. My dream is to push a few buttons on a working device made off-world.