Seen any UFOs lately? An astronomer from Harvard has examined objects seen flying close to Earth and performed some calculations to try and estimate how many there are. In a study that hasn’t yet been peer-reviewed, the scientist and colleagues claim there might be up to 4 quintillion alien spacecraft in our solar system. Well, that’s a lot of alien ships.
The science and other stuff to know
According to astronomer Avi Loeb, author of the study published in Arxiv, we should be open to the possibility that there are lots of alien spaceships zipping about our solar system. His calculation of 4 quintillions is just a population estimate of possible alien crafts or other possible artificial objects.
While his study hasn’t yet been peer-reviewed, it’s a follow-up on the discovery of the first interstellar object to visit our solar system, dubbed ‘Oumuamua‘, an object that has puzzled scientists for years, with some speculating it could be an extraterrestrial visitor.
To come to the conclusion, Loeb and fellow astronomer Carson Ezell looked at how many interstellar visitors we’ve already spotted. The astronomers explained in the study, as quoted by The Daily Beast, which spotted the study, “One can use recent rates of detection of interstellar objects and known capabilities to estimate the density of similar objects in the solar neighborhood.”
Since Oumuamua, astronomers have detected three more interstellar objects in our solar system. These include interstellar meteors CNEOS 2014-01-08 and CNEOS 2017-03-09, and interstellar comet Borisov. And at that rate, Loeb and Ezeller claim there could be up to a staggering 40 decillion interstellar objects in the entire solar system. That includes areas beyond the reach of our telescopes. The astronomers then lowered the figure to four quintillions when limiting the scope to the “habitable zone” near the Sun.
Loeb’s theories are often boundary-pushing and have never failed to fascinate. Even though some of his 4 quintillion estimates may turn out to be rocks, there could still be lots of possible alien ships close to our planet. That is, if you are as open-minded as he is and take into account the size of the universe.
For years, Loeb has been advocating for open-mindedness in the scientific community when it comes to the existence of extraterrestrial life. According to him, UFO sightings should be investigated with the same scientific vigor as any other space-related phenomena. He even recently launched the Galileo Project which aims to identify extraterrestrial objects that might come close to Earth.