Contents page 1 — “if I was wrong, I would be happy,” page 2 — “This was not a Stunt, it’s just a study” page 3 — “I want to think differently!” On a page

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An unknown object in the sky – on the way brought by aliens? There should be a possibility that it came by the extraordinary object Oumuamua that comes from another solar system, and last year, at the earth, an alien probe. At least that is the Thesis, the Abraham Loeb, head of the astronomy Institute of Harvard, has recently published, with a young colleague in a specialist magazine. TIME ONLINE wanted to know: Wanted to ask people, the researchers only attention or is the transparent, science in its purest Form? We met Loeb in Berlin during his visit to the Falling Walls conference and asked him whether he himself believes in what he claims now.

TIME ONLINE: do you Think it is likely that Aliens exist, especially an intelligent, highly advanced alien species?

Abraham Loeb: We humans are nothing Special. Anyone who does so, as if we were the only intelligent civilization in the universe, is arrogant. I’m trying to be modest – cosmic modesty, I call it. There are plenty of stars with earth-like planets that have an atmosphere, liquid water and the chemistry of life as we know it. There are more earth-like planets than grains of sand on all the beaches of the earth. What remains is the question: How do we find life, either in the sense of microbes or later developed, with technologies? This is at the Moment a focus of my research.

Zeit ONLINE: you have caused quite a fuss with your current study, in which they a far-fetched Thesis about the inter-stellar object Oumuamua have published. It says: “We will discuss possible origins of such an object, including the possibility that it is a light sail of artificial origin.” Do you really believe, Oumuamua is no Exokomet or Similar, but an alien probe?

Loeb: Oumuamua is really strange. It looks like one of the asteroids or comets that we find in the solar system. It has an extreme Form. Based on the reflected light of the sun, it seems to be a factor of five to ten much longer than it is wide. And it is pushed by a force in addition to gravity of the sun, as the current study, another research team (Nature: Micheli et al., 2018). Now a comet by the evaporation of the ice would behave in the same way, but there is no tail of Gas that would arise, or a change in the rotation. We therefore ask: What is a push, could it? Sunlight was the only thing that came to my mind. Thus, the object can be from the sun light influences, it must be really thin like a sail. A Light Sail. This is a technology we are working on currently. Another civilization could have developed, and – a step further – perhaps deliberately as a probe sent to earth.

Abraham Loeb is Director of the Institute for astronomy of the Harvard University and Chairman of the Advisory Committee, the Breakthrough Starshot Initiative. The theoretical physicist is convinced that Aliens exist. A focus of his research: According to the testimonies of extraterrestrial life and technologies for space travel to develop; light sail. © Andreas Cheers for TIME, ONLINE

TIME ONLINE: So you say that it is a possibility. One of the many.

Loeb: Not many. If the work of the colleagues about the additional thrust is correct – and you say you have measured a doubt – then I ask myself: What could be the reason? The only other possibility besides a light sail is that the object is broken and a fragment of the other triggers. But that would be an impulsive shock, the Team has observed a continual boost.

TIME ONLINE: Some of the scientists with whom I have spoken have emphasized that a single idea, what could be the object that makes this automatically the only conceivable explanation.

Loeb: Then, these researchers suggest that in a own publication is something else. And then we look at what is meaningful. Because this is the epitome of science. I have applied the approach of Sherlock Holmes: When the impossible is excluded, what remains, no matter how unlikely it is, the truth.

TIME ONLINE: Other scientists and researchers, the search for extraterrestrial life, in this case, of the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) and Breakthrough lists, have tried, with the help of their radio telescopes for a Signal from Oumuamua to absorb. You could but hear nothing. How do you explain that?

celestial body celestial body: Asteroid

asteroids are small rock objects, which move on an orbit around the sun. Your Name astēr (“star”) with the extension of an oath (“similar”) – describes that you appear to be like stars, because they are so small.

Together with the meteoroids, and comets asteroids are one of the small bodies of the solar system. Small body orbiting the sun, but do not have spherical shape. Their mass and gravity is too low to make this Form.

the majority of The asteroids in our solar system is located in the so-called asteroid belt, a collection of asteroids and dwarf planets between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

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