A team of scientists will embark on a new international research project led by Harvard University to search for evidence of extraterrestrial life by searching for advanced technology that might leave it behind.
The Galileo project is led by Harvard University astronomy professor Avi Loeb. Loeb co-founded the project with Frank Luken, CEO of Bruker Corporation, a Massachusetts-based manufacturer of scientific equipment.
“Given the recently discovered abundance of Earth and Sun systems, Project Galileo is dedicated to the proposition that humans can no longer ignore the potential existence of Extraterrestrial Technological Civilizations (ETCs),” the team announced in a statement Monday.
The project comes on the heels of a US government report last month on a series of unidentified atmospheric phenomena reported by Navy personnel and Oumuamua, an interstellar pancake-shaped object that entered the solar system in 2017. Oumuamua did not resemble any previously observed comet or asteroid. At the same time, it sparked a debate among astronomers about its true origin.
According to the Galileo project team, “Oumuamua has been shown to have highly anomalous properties that challenge well-understood naturalistic explanations.” He added, “We can only speculate … by expanding our imagination that (Oumuamua) may be an extraterrestrial technological object, like the light of a very thin candle or a communication dish.”
Instead of searching for electromagnetic signals, Galileo’s project will search for physical objects associated with extraterrestrial technological equipment, also known as technical signatures.
The project will follow three main methods of research: obtaining high-resolution images of the UAP through multi-detector sensors to detect its nature, searching and conducting an in-depth search on “Oumuamua-like” interstellar objects, and searching for potential ETC satellites.
“It is very important to keep in mind that the Galileo project is not for everyone and it is not for everyone,” said Lauqian. “It is specific in scope and has limitations,” he added, referring to the project’s goal of exploring only known physical explanations rather than speculating on past UAP action plans, purported observations and informal reports.
“We want to clear the fog through scientific and transparent analysis by collecting our own data, not data based on government-owned sensors, because most of that data is confidential,” Lukian said.
The team is currently selecting the instruments it plans to purchase and plans to install dozens of telescope systems globally. Each system will consist of two 25 cm (10 in) telescopes with a camera suitable for detecting objects of interest, connected to a computer system that filters the data.
“We’re planning to get some interesting results next year, hopefully,” Loeb said at a recent news conference.
The project, named after Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei, known for his pioneering use of telescopes, promises “the audacity to search through new telescopes, both literally and figuratively”.
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